Martin Seligman

Director, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania

Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D. works on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, ethnopolitical conflict, and on optimism. He is the director of the Positive Psychology Center and the Zellerbach Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Among his books are Learned Optimism, What You Can Change & What You Can't, The Optimistic Child, and Helplessness. His latest book is Authentic Happiness. He received both the American Psychological Society's William James Award (for basic science) and the Cattell Award (for the application of science) and the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. The National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation have supported Dr. Seligman’s research. He holds honorary doctorates from Madrid (Complutense), The University of East London, and Uppsala (Sweden). In 1996 he was elected President of the American Psychological Association by the largest vote in modern history. His current mission is the attempt to transform social science to work on the best things in life—virtue, positive emotion, and positive institutions—and not just on healing pathology.

Public. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have been best-sellers both in America and abroad. His work has been featured on the front page of the New York Times, in Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, the Reader's Digest, Redbook, Parents, Fortune, Family Circle and many other popular magazines. He has been a spokesman for the science and practice of psychology on numerous television and radio shows. He has written columns on such far-flung topics as education, violence, and therapy. He has lectured around the world to educators, industry, parents, and mental health professionals.

In 1996 Dr. Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association, by the largest vote in modern history. His primary aim as APA President is to join practice and science together so both might flourish; a goal that has dominated his own life as a psychologist. His major initiatives concerned the prevention of Ethnopolitical warfare and the study of Positive Psychology.

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