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Human Virtues and Character Strengths

Study one human advantage and the related character strengths which are necessary to you, as listed in Ch. 10 of Optimistic Psychology.

Choose somebody who you recognize or is a public determine who you are feeling encompasses not less than one among these virtues.

Focus on why this advantage is necessary to you. How does the particular person you chose embody this advantage and the related character strengths?


Submit a 200- to 300-word response.












Consider somebody you maintain in excessive regard and look as much as as a mannequin for your self and others.
Maybe a good friend, relative, or an individual from historical past or up to date society involves
thoughts. Take into consideration this particular person’s private qualities and the way you may describe the
foundation of your admiration to a different particular person. Make a psychological checklist of Four or 5 qualities that make this
particular person deserving of your respect. Now evaluate your checklist to the optimistic traits mentioned in
Chapter 9. What number of of them overlap? Did your checklist embrace extraversion, cheerfulness, selfesteem,
or optimism? What traits in your checklist should not in Chapter 9? Did you embrace any of the
following qualities: integrity, braveness, honesty, kindness, spiritual conviction, knowledge, equity,
or modesty? The purpose right here, affirmed by how we take into consideration individuals we respect, is
description of optimistic human traits could be incomplete with out together with private qualities
Creating a Classification of Human Virtues
Measuring Strengths of Character
Knowledge as a Foundational Energy and Advantage
What's Knowledge?
Theories of Knowledge
Stability Concept
Knowledge as Skilled Information within the Conduct of Life
Knowledge in Motion: The SOC Mannequin of Efficient Life Administration
Deal with Concept: Knowledge or Self-control as Grasp Virtues?
Transcendence: Faith and Spirituality
The Seek for That means
Faith and Spirituality: The Range of Views
Defining Faith and Spirituality
Faith/Spirituality and Nicely-Being
Spiritual Orientation
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Spiritual Orientation
Quest Spiritual Orientation
Attachment Concept and Relationship to God
Types of Spiritual Coping
“Explaining Faith versus Explaining Faith Away”
Faith and Advantage
Deal with Analysis: Growing Nicely-Being by Counting Your Blessings
Advantage and Strengths
of Character
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208 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
judged as optimistic as a result of they're “good” in
ethical and moral phrases. Clearly, we could admire
people who find themselves outgoing, upbeat, and optimistic
in regards to the future. However simply as clearly, and maybe at a
deeper degree, we additionally admire people who present
strengths of character that replicate virtuous qualities like
integrity, kindness, and compassion. In brief, advantage
and character strengths belong on a listing of optimistic
human traits.
The traits reviewed in Chapter 9 had been evaluated
as optimistic due to their advantages to particular person
well-being—particularly well being, happiness, and
emotional well-being. Virtuous conduct can also
enhance our life satisfaction and make life extra
significant and wholesome. Nevertheless, advantage can be thought-about
a optimistic trait unbiased of any profit or
“pay-off” to the person. Advantage is positively
regarded in its personal proper due to its connection to
spiritual and secular mores and its worth to society.
A consideration of advantage and character strengths supplies
an extra means to consider the which means
of “optimistic.” On this chapter, we are going to first evaluate a
current try to offer a complete classification
of character strengths and virtues. Then, we are going to
concentrate on two foundational virtues (knowledge and
faith) in additional element by inspecting how they contribute
to well-being and a life well-lived.
For a substantial time in psychology’s historical past,
advantage was not thought-about an applicable assemble
for scientific investigation. The examine of advantage was
considered too simply tainted and biased by the
ethical beliefs of researchers and the prevailing cultural
mores of the day (Tjeltveit, 2003). Many psychologists
believed that science ought to present solely
goal information about how individuals act. Questions
about how individuals ought to conduct themselves—that
is, whether or not their actions had been good, dangerous, ethical, or
immoral—had been left for philosophers and theologians
to resolve. Nevertheless, a renewed curiosity in
character strengths has begun to emerge as extra
psychologists have come to comprehend full
account of human conduct wants to incorporate the
ethical dimension of individuals’s lives (Fowers &
Tjeltveit, 2003). Current occasions from the Enron scandal
to the influence-peddling of lobbyist Jack
Abramoff have strengthened the significance of moral
conduct. Folks’s anger and outrage at these kinds
of improprieties stem primarily from ethical issues.
In brief, individuals lead ethical lives within the sense
of evaluating themselves and others based on
ethical standards.
Describing the options of a life well-lived is a
central theme of optimistic psychology. As a result of the
which means of a very good particular person and a very good life are intimately
linked to advantage, optimistic psychology has
given advantage explicit prominence. That is most
obvious in a current collaborative analysis mission
(the Values in Motion Undertaking, Peterson & Seligman,
2004) that had the lofty objective of growing a classification
of character strengths and virtues that may
parallel the Diagnostic and Statistical Guide
of Psychological Problems (DSM), developed by the
American Psychiatric Affiliation (2000). The DSM
supplies a classification of psychological problems and an
intensive “language” for describing human psychological
weaknesses and pathologies. Authors of the
Values in Motion Undertaking (VIA) hoped to create a
complete classification system just like the
DSM, however one which was centered on human strengths
reasonably than weaknesses. Additionally they hoped to offer
a language describing optimistic human qualities that
outlined a wholesome particular person residing a very good life. Put
one other means, the DSM describes facets of life
“beneath zero” (with “zero” representing the edge
dividing psychological well being from emotional sickness). One
objective of the VIA was to explain life “above zero”
(i.e., to determine the traits that outline emotional
well being and power). This objective is per
optimistic psychology’s emphasis on restoring steadiness
to the sector, rather than psychology’s historic focus
on problematic human behaviors.
Creating a classification of character
strengths is a frightening job. Advantage and character
are clearly complicated subjects. What, precisely, is a
human advantage or character power? Do individuals have
a standard understanding of traits that qualify as
virtuous? Getting solutions to those questions was
one of many main functions of the VIA. The VIA,
coordinated by Christopher Peterson and Martin
Seligman (2004), introduced collectively a gaggle of
researchers who sought to explain these strengths
of character that had been most outstanding throughout historical past
and tradition. Is there a standard set of human
qualities universally considered optimistic virtues? A
checklist of doable “candidates” was generated by inspecting
virtues and strengths described in a wide range of
philosophic, spiritual, and cultural traditions. This
checklist included virtues described in main religions
ISBN 1-256-51557-Four
Optimistic Psychology, by Steve R. Baumgardner and Marie Okay. Crothers. Printed by Prentice Corridor. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Training, Inc.
Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 209
and philosophies (e.g., Confucianism, Buddhism,
Hinduism, Judeo-Christianity, and historical Greek
philosophy), the works of well-known historic figures
(e.g., Benjamin Franklin), and in well-liked tradition
(e.g., Boy and Woman Scout Guides, Hallmark greeting
playing cards, well-liked songs, Saturday Night Submit covers
by Regular Rockwell).
From an extended checklist of candidates, 24 character
strengths had been chosen and arranged round 6
virtues. The 6 virtues—knowledge, braveness, humanity,
justice, temperance, and transcendence—had been
chosen as a result of they seem like common
throughout historical past and throughout societies. They characterize
ethical virtues as outlined by most religions and moral
philosophies. Peterson and Seligman regard
these virtues as core defining options of excellent
character. Every advantage is outlined by a set of character
strengths that characterize the substances, expressions,
and potential technique of growing the
advantage. For instance, temperance as a advantage refers
to individuals’s power in avoiding excesses. The
substances and expressions of temperance would
embrace self-control, gratitude towards others,
humility, prudent decision-making, and the flexibility
to forgive the transgressions of self and others.
Creating this advantage would contain efforts to
exert extra self-control, turn out to be extra humble and
much less self-aggrandizing, and extra grateful and forgiving
in relationships with others.
Character strengths had been chosen by making use of
a set of standards to the checklist of strengths recognized in
the primary section of the mission. A pattern of the set of
standards used is proven in Desk 10.1. To be included
within the ultimate classification, a personality power needed to
meet all or almost all of those standards.
Half of the strengths chosen met your complete set
of standards. The opposite half didn't. As Seligman and
Peterson notice, disagreements can come up in regards to the
inclusion of 1 or one other of the strengths, the position
of a given power beneath a selected advantage, and
whether or not another necessary power was omitted.
Nevertheless, taken in whole, this classification system
“hangs collectively” as a fairly coherent first effort
at describing what could also be universally considered
human strengths and virtues. The ultimate classification of
strengths and virtues is described in Desk 10.2. For a
full description of the choice standards, earlier
classification fashions, and literature opinions detailing
what is understood about every character power, see
Peterson and Seligman’s Character Strengths and
Virtues: A Handbook and Classification (2004).
Knowledge and Information
As a advantage, knowledge refers to a common mental
power involving the event and use of
information. Knowledge doesn't essentially comply with
from a proper training or a excessive IQ rating. Knowledge
refers to a extra sensible intelligence and logic
primarily based on studying life’s classes—maybe
via hardships. A clever particular person places issues within the
correct perspective and avoids the pitfalls of narrowly
centered and self-interested understandings. Knowledge
means with the ability to supply good counsel to others
about easy methods to stay and easy methods to perceive and deal
with life’s challenges, uncertainties, and selections.
Braveness is the emotional power to beat concern
within the face of opposition and adversity. Braveness is
TABLE 10.1 Standards for choosing character strengths
Thought to be a valued ethical high quality in and of itself, whether or not or not it led to concrete advantages.
Contributes to non-public achievement within the sense of enhancing private expressiveness, meaningfulness, satisfaction,
and happiness.
Constitutes a steady particular person distinction trait for which dependable measures had been beforehand developed.
Be distinctive and never overlap with different strengths.
Have an reverse that was clearly unfavourable (e.g., the alternative of braveness is cowardice).
Enhances reasonably than diminishes different individuals when expressed (i.e., the trait should evoke admiration or respect reasonably
than envy, inferiority, or lowered self-evaluation).
Be the main target of institutional efforts (e.g., training, church buildings) to advertise its growth.
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Optimistic Psychology, by Steve R. Baumgardner and Marie Okay. Crothers. Printed by Prentice Corridor. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Training, Inc.
210 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
TABLE 10.2 Classification of virtues and character strengths
I. Knowledge and Information—cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of data.
Defining Strengths
1. Creativity—pondering of novel and productive methods to do issues
2. Curiosity—taking an curiosity in all ongoing expertise
three. Open-mindedness—pondering issues via and from all sides
Four. Love of studying—mastering new abilities, subjects, and our bodies of data
5. Perspective—with the ability to present clever counsel to others
II. Braveness—emotional strengths that contain train of will within the face of opposition, exterior or inside.
Defining Strengths
6. Authenticity—talking the reality and presenting your self in a real means
7. Bravery—not shrinking from risk, problem, problem, or ache
eight. Persistence—ending what one begins regardless of obstacles alongside the best way
9. Zest—approaching life with pleasure and power
III. Humanity—interpersonal strengths that contain “tending and befriending” others.
Defining Strengths
10. Kindness—doing favors and good deeds for others
11. Love—valuing shut relations with others
12. Social intelligence—being conscious of the motives and emotions of self and others
IV. Justice—civic strengths that underlie wholesome neighborhood life.
Defining Strengths
13. Equity—treating all individuals the identical based on notions of equity and justice
14. Management—organizing group actions and seeing that they occur
15. Teamwork—working effectively as member of a gaggle or group
V. Temperance—strengths that shield in opposition to extra.
Defining Strengths
16. Forgiveness—forgiving those that have accomplished fallacious
17. Modesty—letting one’s accomplishments communicate for themselves
18. Prudence—being cautious about one’s selections; not saying or doing issues that is likely to be later regretted
19. Self-regulation—regulating what one feels and does
VI. Transcendence—strengths that forge connections to the bigger universe and offering which means.
Defining Strengths
20. Appreciation of magnificence and excellence—noticing and appreciating magnificence, excellence, and/or expert efficiency
in all domains of life
21. Gratitude—being conscious of and grateful for good issues that occur
22. Hope—anticipating the very best and dealing to attain it
23. Humor—liking to snicker and tease; bringing smiles to different individuals
24. Religiousness/Spirituality—having coherent beliefs in regards to the increased functions and which means of life
Supply: Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Optimistic psychology progress: Empirical validation of
interventions. American Psychologist, 60, 410–421. Copyright American Psychological Affiliation. Tailored and reprinted with
ISBN 1-256-51557-Four
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 211
exemplified in confronting and accepting one’s personal
loss of life; coping with a debilitating sickness or illness;
truthfully confronting one’s personal limitations, weaknesses,
or dangerous habits; and standing up for one’s
convictions, regardless of the potential for unfavourable penalties
(e.g., chastisement by others).
Humanity refers to our capability for sympathy, empathy,
compassion, and love in with
others. Humanity is the premise for nurturing and caring
relationships centered on one other’s wants reasonably
than one’s personal wants and pursuits. Humanity is
expressed in our willingness to assist others in want,
to be type, to be beneficiant, and to respect the emotions
and values of others.
Justice is an important ingredient in wholesome societies,
communities, and relationships with others. This
advantage is proven when persons are honest minded
and even-handed reasonably than being biased by selfinterest.
Justice additionally contains strengths that contribute
to neighborhood well-being, resembling working
cooperatively with others and taking the initiative to
develop and comply with via on targets and tasks.
Temperance is the power to regulate excesses and
restrain impulses that will hurt the self and others. It
expresses the concept of “willpower” within the face of temptations.
Temptations and the advantages of restraint
is likely to be centered on consuming; ingesting; smoking;
expressing of anger, hatred, or conceitedness towards others;
or extreme self-promotion on the expense of
others. Chapter eight described a number of the psychological
processes concerned in self-control and selfdirected
actions which are related to temperance.
Temperance is a type of ongoing self-awareness and
self-discipline that affirms the “look earlier than you leap”
dictum of on a regular basis knowledge. Temperance additionally
includes the flexibility to let go and forgive the indiscretions
and hurtful actions of others.
To transcend means to transcend or rise above the
extraordinary and the on a regular basis. Transcendent pondering
lifts us out of the standard concrete preoccupations of
every day life and out of an individualized sense of self by
offering a broader view of the world and the universe.
Transcendence places issues in perspective and
retains us from worrying about or striving for issues
that don’t actually matter. Faith and spirituality are
the clearest examples of transcendence as a result of they
contain a perception in the next energy and a better function
for all times. No matter their varied types, transcendent
beliefs join the person to a extra
encompassing understanding and a deeper which means
of life. The character power of religiousness clearly
matches the advantage of transcendence.
The opposite strengths listed beneath transcendence
could not appear to suit so effectively. Peterson and Seligman
(2004) imagine that the widespread theme right here is offering
alternatives to understand and develop an even bigger
image of the world that will present a extra enduring
and satisfying understanding and function for all times.
“Appreciation of magnificence is a power that connects
somebody to excellence. Gratitude connects somebody
on to goodness. Hope connects somebody immediately
to the dreamed-of future” (Peterson & Seligman, 2004,
p. 519). Humor, they admit, appears a little bit of stretch as
an expression of transcendence. Nevertheless, as they
level out, humor retains us from taking our selves and
our virtues too severely. It reminds us to “loosen up.”
Laughter holds nothing sacred and may lower via
every little thing from self-righteousness to passionate conflicts
over necessary points. Every day, Jay Leno
and David Letterman create humor out of ache and
tragedy, from political scandals to the warfare in Iraq.
Maybe humor serves a protecting perform by connecting
us on to life’s absurdities and getting us
to snicker at them.
Measuring Strengths of Character
A significant objective of the VIA mission was the event
of measures for every of the 24 strengths of
character. Based mostly on present information and evaluation
devices for every of the strengths, a 240-
merchandise self-report questionnaire was created. Ten
objects had been used to evaluate every character power.
For instance, forgiveness is measured by objects such
as, “I at all times enable others to go away their errors in
the previous and make a recent begin.” Kindness is measured
by objects like, “I’m by no means too busy to assist a
good friend.” Curiosity is measured via objects resembling,
“I'm by no means bored.” Gadgets like, “I at all times maintain my
guarantees” measure integrity (Peterson & Seligman,
2004, pp. 629–630). Respondents fee their diploma
of endorsement on a scale from 1 (very not like me)
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Optimistic Psychology, by Steve R. Baumgardner and Marie Okay. Crothers. Printed by Prentice Corridor. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Training, Inc.
212 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
to five (very very similar to me). Score summaries produce
a profile of a person’s relative standing on every
of the 24 character strengths. Your complete VIA stock
of strengths takes 30 to 40 minutes to finish.
You'll be able to take the VIA stock of strengths on-line
at www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/. There
are a number of questionnaires on this website. You wish to
choose the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire,
which supplies you a personality power profile and
identifies your high 5 strengths, referred to as “signature”
strengths. You have to to go browsing to the positioning, present
some fundamental data, and create a password
to take the take a look at and have your responses scored.
Though nonetheless a piece in progress, the VIA
Strengths Stock has proven good inside consistency
and take a look at–retest reliability. Particular person self-ratings
have been validated in opposition to scores by knowledgeable
observers. A youth model of the VIA stock has
additionally been developed and examined (see Peterson &
Seligman, 2004). The stock has been taken by
over 350,000 individuals of all ages and backgrounds, representing
50 nations and all 50 U.S. states (Peterson,
2006; Peterson & Seligman, 2004; Seligman, Steen,
Park, & Peterson, 2005).
Evaluation of character-strength profiles in relation
to respondents’ backgrounds revealed a number of fascinating
patterns. Folks from world wide present substantial
settlement relating to the strengths rated as
“most like me.” Essentially the most generally endorsed character
strengths in 50 nations had been equity, kindness,
authenticity, gratitude, and open-mindedness. The
least ceaselessly endorsed strengths had been prudence,
self-regulation, and modesty. The correlations of
power rankings throughout nations had been sometimes within the
zero.80 vary. Regardless of extensively completely different cultures, religions,
and ethnic backgrounds, individuals appear to share
a standard understanding of character strengths and
virtues. Inside america, the identical sample of
rankings was obvious aside from religiousness,
which was stronger within the southern states.
Apparently, there was much less settlement in
rankings between U.S. youngsters and U.S. adults
than amongst adults from completely different nations.
American adolescents rated hope, teamwork, and
zest as “most like me,” whereas American adults gave
increased endorsements to authenticity, appreciation of
magnificence, management, and open-mindedness.
Character strengths associated to relationships
(love) and optimistic feelings (e.g., zest, hope, and
gratitude) had been extra strongly associated to measures of
life satisfaction than had been extra intellectual-cognitive
strengths (e.g., curiosity and love of studying).
“Strengths of the center,” as Peterson and Seligman
name them (experiences resembling kindness, love, and
gratitude), contribute probably the most to our particular person
Profiles of character power additionally match with the
matching speculation mentioned in Chapter 7. Folks
had been requested to consider private experiences
involving their most rewarding and fulfilling jobs
and hobbies, their “truest” love, and their finest
buddies. The experiences they selected because the “most
satisfying (they) had ever had” had been those who
matched their character strengths. For instance,
individuals sturdy in kindness loved working as mentors
for others. These with curiosity as power valued
and loved romantic companions who had been
adventuresome risk-takers.
Lastly, issue evaluation revealed a five-factor
dimensional construction of the 24 character strengths
that was related (however not similar) to the unique
group of strengths across the six virtues.
The 5 components had been recognized as strengths relating
to restraint (e.g., humility, prudence, and
mercy), intelligence (e.g., creativity and curiosity),
relationships (e.g., love and kindness), feelings
(e.g., bravery, hope, and self-regulation), and
faith (e.g., spirituality and gratitude). Peterson
and Seligman acknowledge the tentative nature of
the group of character strengths across the
six core virtues. Subsequent analysis will undoubtedly
refine the advantage classes and the strengths
that outline them. For instance, a current examine
inspecting the issue construction of 42 optimistic character
traits, together with these from the VIA mission,
discovered solely a partial overlap with the VIA six-virtue
mannequin (Haslam, Bain, & Neal, 2004). Outcomes advised
that classes of self-control, love, knowledge,
drive, and vivacity could higher seize how individuals
take into consideration and set up character strengths.
Regardless of the ultimate group, the VIA mission
has supplied a helpful place to begin, by proposing
an in depth checklist of character strengths and powerful proof
for his or her universality throughout time and tradition.
Within the the rest of this chapter, we are going to
evaluate analysis and principle associated to the virtues of
knowledge and transcendence. Chapter 11 is targeted
on the advantage of affection. Literature related to different
strengths has been mentioned in earlier chapters as
described beneath. Peterson and Seligman (2004) present
a complete evaluate of analysis and principle
relating to every character power.
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 213
From the traditional Greeks to the current, knowledge and
residing a very good life have been intimately linked.
Regardless of cultural variations within the specifics (e.g.,
Yang, 2001), knowledge is most usually understood to
imply a philosophic understanding of what issues in
life and the sensible information of easy methods to conduct a
life that issues (Baltes & Freund, 2003b; Peterson &
Seligman, 2004; Robinson, 1990). Theoretical knowledge
and sensible knowledge are thus wedded collectively and
assumed to provide a contented and satisfying life. The
happiness linked to knowledge has extra to do with
the eudaimonic than with the hedonic perspective
(see Chapter Four). Knowledge includes figuring out and pursuing
the deeper and enduring functions of life,
past particular person happiness. Knowledge is the flexibility to
steadiness your wants and happiness with these of others
(Sternberg, 1998). Knowledge serves the widespread
reasonably than the purely particular person good by discovering a
steadiness between the 2. Many psychologists have
come to treat knowledge as a basis for a life welllived
and one among people’ most necessary strengths
(e.g., Baltes & Freund, 2003a, 2003b; Baltes, Gluck, &
Kunzman, 2002; Csikszentmihalyi & Rathunde, 1990;
Sternberg, 1990, 1998a).
What Is Knowledge?
One strategy to discover the which means of knowledge is to
study individuals’s on a regular basis understanding. Every of
us has some implicit concept about knowledge, drawn
from cultural characterizations which are embodied in
exemplars of “clever” individuals. Consider well-known individuals,
previous and current, who exemplify your understanding
of a clever particular person. Who involves thoughts? The
high 15 solutions given by faculty college students are proven
in Desk 10.three. Apparently, together with well-known
clever individuals like Gandhi, Confucius, Jesus Christ,
Martin Luther King, and Socrates, “knowledge nominees”
additionally included Oprah Winfrey and Ann Landers
(Paulus, Wehr, Harms, & Strasser, 2002).
This examine additionally investigated whether or not individuals
distinguish amongst knowledge, intelligence, creativity,
and sheer fame by having completely different teams of contributors
make nominations for every of the desired
traits. Desk 10.three exhibits that the nominations
for every of the classes embrace a mix of
historic and up to date figures. Proof of the
variations individuals understand amongst clever, clever,
artistic, and simply well-known individuals was proven by the
low diploma of overlap within the varied nominee lists.
Just one particular person, Oprah Winfrey, was on each the
knowledge checklist and the intelligence checklist. There was no
overlap between nominees for creativity and knowledge,
a 27% overlap between artistic and clever
individuals, and a 7% overlap between knowledge and creativity.
Folks don't use pure fame or notoriety as a
foundation for nominating clever, artistic, or clever
individuals. Sheer fame nominees by no means exceeded 20%
of overlap with the opposite three classes.
To get on the particular components that outline people
knowledge, researchers have requested individuals to determine
Energy Matter Chapter
Curiosity 5 Issue Mannequin (FFM) Chapter 9
Openness to expertise
Love of Studying Method/avoidance targets Chapter 7
Intrinsic/extrinsic motivation
Persistence Dedication Chapter 7
Persistence and vanity Chapter 9
Integrity Autonomy Chapters 2; 7
Self-determination principle
Prudence FFM—conscientiousness Chapter 9
Self-regulation Self-control and regulation Chapter eight
Hope Optimism/hope Chapter 9
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214 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
TABLE 10.three Nominations for clever, artistic, clever, and well-known individuals
Clever Inventive Smart Sheer Fame
1. Einstein Da Vinci Gandhi Princess Diana
2. Invoice Clinton Picasso Confucius Elvis Presley
three. Da Vinci Michelangelo Jesus Christ Michael Jordan
Four. Prime Minister Mozart M. L. King Muhammad Ali
5. Gates Spielberg Socrates Michael Jackson
6. Shakespeare Shakespeare Mom Theresa Invoice Clinton
7. Hawking Michael Jackson Solomon Madonna
eight. Oprah Beethoven Buddha Wayne Gretzky
9. Newton Walt Disney Pope Invoice Gates
10. Mozart Robin Williams Oprah Winfrey John F. Kennedy
11. Edison Salvador Dali Winston Churchill Nelson Mandela
12. Suzuki Madonna Dalai Lama Marilyn Monroe
13. Madonna Sigmund Freud Ann Landers Adolph Hitler
14. Gorbachev Alexander Graham Bell Nelson Mandela George Bush, Sr.
15. Trudeau Margaret Atwood Queen Elizabeth Jesus Christ
Supply: Paulus, D. L., Wehr, P., Harms, P. D., & Strasser, D. H. (2002). Use of exemplars to disclose
implicit varieties of intelligence. Character and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1051–1062. Copyright
American Psychological Affiliation. Reprinted by permission.
clever behaviors and have analyzed the traits
of knowledge described in cultural, historic, and
philosophical writings. For instance, Sternberg
(1985) requested a gaggle of school professors and
lay-persons to checklist traits they related
with clever individuals. Researchers then took the highest
40 knowledge traits and requested faculty college students
to type them into piles, based on “which
behaviors [were] more likely to be discovered collectively in a
particular person.” Based mostly on college students’ sortings, Sternberg
recognized six groupings of attributes that characterize
a clever particular person:
1. Reasoning potential: Unusual potential to look
at an issue and remedy it via good logical
reasoning potential, by making use of information to
explicit issues, by integrating data
and theories in new methods, and by possessing a
big retailer of data.
2. Sagacity: A eager understanding of human
nature, thoughtfulness, equity, good listening
skills, information of self, and putting worth
on the recommendation and information of others.
three. Studying from concepts and the atmosphere:
Locations worth on concepts, is perceptive, and learns
from others’ errors.
Four. Judgment: Has good, smart judgment in any respect
instances, takes a long-term reasonably than a short-term
view, and thinks earlier than performing and talking.
5. Expeditious use of knowledge: Learns
and retains data from expertise (each
errors and successes), willingness to alter
one’s thoughts primarily based on new expertise.
6. Perspicacity: Demonstrates perceptiveness,
instinct, potential to see via issues, learn
between the traces; and discern the reality and
the best factor to do.
In his evaluation of knowledge in philosophical writings,
Baltes (1993) recognized seven properties
describing the character of knowledge (taken from Baltes &
Staudinger, 2000, Appendix A, p. 135).
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 215
1. “Knowledge addresses necessary and tough
questions and methods in regards to the conduct and
which means of life.”
2. “Knowledge contains information in regards to the limits
of data and the uncertainties of the
three. “Knowledge represents a very superior degree of
information, judgment, and recommendation.”
Four. “Knowledge constitutes information with extraordinary
scope, depth, measure, and steadiness.”
5. “Knowledge includes an ideal synergy of thoughts
and character, that's, an orchestration of
information and virtues.”
6. “Knowledge represents information used for the
good or well-being of oneself and that of
7. “Knowledge is well acknowledged when manifested,
though tough to attain and specify.”
Knowledge, then, is just not the identical factor as technical
information, “ebook studying,” fame, or intelligence
as measured by an IQ take a look at. Having a lot of
training, being a “good” particular person, or being an
knowledgeable in a given space (like pc expertise
or finance) doesn't by itself qualify an individual
as clever. Many individuals are intelligent, clever, or
consultants of their subject, however far fewer are clever.
Knowledge embodies a selected type of information,
intelligence, and judgment centered on the conduct
of a virtuous life. Smart individuals have realized life’s
most necessary classes. The broad scope of their
understanding contains the uncertainties of life—
that's, figuring out what can't be definitively
identified. Two outstanding theories try to seize
knowledge’s important parts: Sternberg’s steadiness
principle and the work of Paul Baltes on knowledge as
experience within the conduct of life (sometimes called
the Berlin knowledge mannequin).
Theories of Knowledge
BALANCE THEORY Sternberg’s steadiness principle
describes the sensible intelligence essential to take
clever motion when confronting tough and complicated
life conditions (Sternberg, 1990, 1998a). Knowledge is
primarily based on tacit information that's constructed up over time
as individuals learn to pursue and obtain valued
targets efficiently. Tacit information is the actionoriented
part of sensible intelligence
(i.e., figuring out “how” reasonably than know “what”).
Sternberg believes that information of easy methods to
stay efficiently is realized within the trenches of life
expertise—not via formal training or direct
instruction from others. Tacit information turns into
the muse for knowledge when it's used to
obtain a standard good reasonably than a self-interested
good, and when it's centered on discovering methods to steadiness
the usually conflicting pursuits and selections
concerned in real-life conditions.
In accordance with Sternberg’s steadiness principle,
clever persons are skillful in balancing three pursuits
and three doable programs of motion in arriving at
options to life issues. The three pursuits are
(a) one’s personal pursuits and wishes (intrapersonal);
(b) the pursuits and wishes of necessary others like
a partner, good friend, or employer (interpersonal); and
(c) these associated to neighborhood, nation, atmosphere,
or faith (extrapersonal). Balancing these
a number of pursuits to attain a standard good
requires consideration of three programs of motion
regarding whether or not and the way a lot people
have to (a) change themselves (adaptation);
(b) change their atmosphere, together with others; or
(c) choose a brand new atmosphere altogether.
Think about the next instance of a life
dilemma that confronts many “child boomers,”
sometimes called the “sandwich era”
as a result of they're “sandwiched” between the wants
of their getting older dad and mom and their very own youngsters.
Think about your self on this state of affairs. You and your
partner each have profitable, however demanding
careers. You have got two youngsters, one baby is in faculty
and the opposite, a sophomore in highschool,
will probably be off to school in two years. Retirement is
nonetheless numerous years off, partially due to the
have to pay your youngsters’s faculty bills.
Your getting older dad and mom have gotten more and more frail.
They've a number of vital well being points and
can't stay by themselves for much longer. Your dad and mom
wish to preserve their independence and do
not wish to transfer into an assisted residing facility or
nursing dwelling. What could be a clever course of
motion right here?
To satisfy Sternberg’s standards for knowledge, you
should discover methods to steadiness your individual pursuits and
these of your loved ones with the growing want for
help required by your dad and mom’ deteriorating state of affairs.
You have to take into account and discover solutions to questions
like the next: How a lot ought to your
circle of relatives should sacrifice, and the way a lot ought to
your dad and mom should sacrifice? How will you steadiness
all of the pursuits on this case? When it comes to particular
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216 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
actions, the query turns into, whose atmosphere
and life should change probably the most? Yours? Your loved ones’s?
Your dad and mom’? Must you modify your life to your
dad and mom’ wants and transfer nearer to your dad and mom?
Ought to they transfer in with you, or close by? Ought to
you attempt to place them in an assisted residing facility?
These are clearly laborious selections! It’s not straightforward to
know what steadiness of pursuits and actions represent
a clever resolution. Knowledge doesn't result in an ideal
steadiness of pursuits and actions, within the sense
that everybody will probably be completely satisfied and received’t should
accommodate change or make sacrifices. As a substitute,
Sternberg’s concept is that knowledge means making use of tacit
information to search out the absolute best resolution that
balances each a number of pursuits and doable actions
involving adaptation and alter. A steadiness of pursuits
defines a standard good, and balanced actions
serving a standard good outline knowledge.
OF LIFE Baltes and his colleagues on the Max Planck
Institute in Berlin, Germany, have developed a set of
particular standards for outlining and measuring knowledge
that gives the premise for an ongoing program of
empirical research. Of their Berlin knowledge mannequin,
knowledge is outlined as knowledgeable information regarding
the “elementary pragmatics of life” (Baltes, 1997;
Baltes & Smith, 1990, Baltes & Staudinger, 2000). The
phrase, “elementary pragmatics of life” refers to
“. . . information and judgment in regards to the essence of
the human situation and the methods and technique of
planning, managing, and understanding a very good life”
(Baltes & Staudinger, 2000, p. 124). Knowledge is
assessed based on the next 5 standards.
1. Factual information: Intensive information of
the pragmatics of life. Figuring out the “whats” of
the human situation and human nature (e.g.,
variations amongst individuals, social relationships,
society, social norms, and many others).
2. Procedural information: Figuring out “how.”
Methods and approaches for fixing life’s issues,
attaining targets, coping with battle, and many others.
three. Lifespan contextualism: Information of various
life settings and social environments (e.g.,
work, training, household, leisure, and buddies),
and the way these roles and settings change over
time, each for people and for society.
Four. Relativism of values: Consciousness of particular person
and cultural variations in values and life priorities.
Smart persons are dedicated to the widespread
good, so this doesn't imply “something goes.”
Relativism means consideration and sensitivity
to worth variations amongst individuals from completely different
5. Consciousness and administration of uncertainty:
Recognizing the bounds of data. The
future can't be totally identified forward of time. An
understanding of easy methods to cope successfully with
the uncertainty of data in regards to the world.
As a result of knowledge is outlined by superior information
within the conduct of life, few persons are anticipated
to satisfy all 5 of the knowledge standards. Measures of
knowledge point out individuals’s diploma of wisdom-related
information. Knowledge is assessed by presenting
analysis contributors with difficult, hypothetical
life conditions and dilemmas, and asking them to
describe aloud what must be thought-about and what
must be accomplished in response to every dilemma.
Participant responses are tape-recorded and evaluated
by a panel of skilled judges, who assess the
diploma of correspondence between contributors’
responses and the 5 knowledge standards. The life
dilemmas embrace conditions like the next two
examples (from Baltes & Staudinger, 2000, p. 126):
1. “Somebody receives a cellphone name from a very good
good friend who says that she or he can't go on
like this and has determined to commit suicide.
What may one/the particular person consider
and do in such a state of affairs?”
2. “In reflecting over their lives, individuals generally
understand that they haven't achieved what
that they had as soon as deliberate to attain. What
ought to they do and take into account?”
Judges’ evaluations of respondents’ solutions
present substantial inter-judge settlement; take a look at–retest
reliability can be excessive. Pattern excerpts from lowrated
and high-rated responses are given beneath
(Baltes & Staudinger, 2000, Appendix B, p. 136) for
the next life dilemma:
“A 15-year previous lady desires to get married
immediately.What ought to one/she take into account
and do?”
Instance of a Response Judges Rated as
“A 15-year previous lady desires to get married?
No, no means, marrying at age 15 could be
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 217
completely fallacious. One has to inform the lady that
marriage is just not doable. [After additional
probing] It could be irresponsible to help
such an concept.No, that is simply loopy.”
Instance of a Response Judges Rated as
“Nicely, on the floor, this looks as if an
straightforward drawback. On common, marriage for a
15-year previous lady is just not a very good factor. However
there are conditions the place the common case
doesn't match. Maybe on this occasion, particular
life circumstances are concerned, such
that the lady has a terminal sickness. Or the
lady has simply misplaced her dad and mom. And in addition, this
lady could stay in one other tradition or historic
interval. Maybe she was raised with a
worth system completely different from ours. As well as,
one additionally has to consider sufficient
methods of speaking with the lady and to contemplate
her emotional state.”
Utilizing the life dilemmas measure, Baltes and
his colleagues have supplied some fascinating
solutions to wisdom-related questions (see Baltes &
Staudinger, 2000; Baltes et al., 2002; Kramer, 2000;
Kunzmann & Baltes, 2003, for analysis summaries).
Does Knowledge Improve with Age? Standard
knowledge about knowledge means that we turn out to be
wiser as we age and accumulate extra life experiences.
Research present solely partial help for this
perception. Knowledge has been discovered to extend dramatically
throughout adolescence and younger maturity; it
then seems to stay comparatively steady till age 75,
when it begins to say no. Getting older, by itself,
doesn't improve knowledge. Nevertheless, examination of
the highest 20% of clever individuals confirmed increased
proportion of the “very clever” had been middle-aged
(Baltes & Staudinger, 2000).
Are “Specialists” Wiser than Non-Specialists?
Scientific psychologists have intensive expertise
in serving to individuals evaluate, plan, and handle their
lives. Additionally they is likely to be anticipated to develop an
understanding of the dilemmas of life via
their medical coaching and work as psychotherapists.
Are they wiser than comparably educated
people whose careers should not centered on
life dilemmas? A number of research (see Baltes &
Staudinger, 2000) discovered that medical psychologists
did present increased knowledge scores than a management
group of non-psychologist professionals—a discovering
that happy the second creator of your textual content,
who's a practising medical psychologist. Nevertheless,
a number of issues could qualify this discovering
(sorry, Marie!). First, medical psychologists did
rating considerably increased than members of the
management group on the knowledge measure, however their
scores didn't method the highest finish of the size.
(Particularly, the size ran from 1 to 7, with 7
reflecting a excessive degree of knowledge. Scientific psychologists
scored a median of three.eight, simply above the
scale’s midpoint.) Second, it's totally doable
that people with a propensity towards knowledge
self-select into medical psychology careers. In line
with this risk, skilled specialization
accounted for extra variation in knowledge scores
than did intelligence and character components.
Third, Baltes questioned whether or not the superior
efficiency of medical psychologists may replicate
an expert bias imbedded within the measure
of knowledge. That's, because the test-maker and the
test-takers are each psychologists, do medical psychologists
have an edge over non-psychologists
as a result of they assume extra just like the take a look at builders
than different respondents? To seek out out, researchers
in contrast the efficiency of medical psychologists
to a pattern of people nominated as clever
by an unbiased panel of non-psychologists.
Knowledge nominees had been discovered to carry out simply
in addition to the medical psychologists, suggesting
that the measure of knowledge is just not biased in opposition to
Are Smart Folks Happier? Given the connection
of knowledge to a very good life, one may assume the reply
could be sure. Nevertheless, knowledge is linked to
deeper meanings and dilemmas of life that go
past the easy pursuit of happiness. Knowledge is
not guided by the “pleasure precept” (Kunzmann &
Baltes, 2003). It's doable that knowledge may even
scale back private happiness. If breadth of factual
information and complicated understandings result in
better consciousness of ache and struggling on the planet
and the uncertainties of life, maybe knowledge comes
with an emotional price ticket. Maybe ignorance
actually is bliss. One other risk is that clever individuals
could excel at coming to phrases with the emotional ups
and downs of life. Their experience in residing a very good
life could embrace extra peace of thoughts and fewer
excessive temper swings.
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218 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
To guage these questions, Kunzmann and
Baltes (2003) examined the connection of knowledge
to affective expertise in a pattern together with
younger adults (15–20 years), middle-aged adults
(30–40 years), and older adults (60–70 years).
Increased knowledge scores had been related to much less
frequent experiencing of unfavourable impacts (such
as anger, unhappiness, concern, disappointment, disgrace,
and indifference), much less frequent experiencing of
pleasure-oriented, optimistic impacts (resembling happiness,
cheerfulness, amusement, exuberance, and
satisfaction), however extra frequent experiencing of emotions
associated to affective involvement with the atmosphere
(resembling emotions of curiosity, alertness, inspiration,
attentiveness, and energetic engagement).
Kunzmann and Baltes argue that these outcomes help
the connection of knowledge to emotional regulation.
Smart individuals, maybe due to their “huge
image view” and ability in self-control, are much less
reactive to life occasions, whether or not optimistic or unfavourable.
As well as, clever persons are not oriented
towards pursuing pleasure or avoiding ache.
As a substitute, they're energized by feelings that
improve energetic involvement and studying. Smart
persons are motivated to discover and perceive
the complexities and paradoxes of life. It makes
sense that knowledge could be related to extra
frequent expertise of feelings that encourage and
outcome from energetic engagement with the world
(e.g., inspiration, curiosity, and attentiveness).
Knowledge in Motion: The (SOC) Mannequin
of Efficient Life Administration
Baltes and his colleagues have lately begun to
describe a wisdom-based framework for figuring out
the important options of a very good life (Baltes &
Freund, 2003a, 2003b; Baltes & Staudinger, 2000;
Freund & Baltes, 2002; Kramer, 2000; Kunzmann,
2004). Knowledge, as outlined in Baltes and colleagues’
earlier work, concerned an understanding of
each the deeper functions and meanings of a very good
life (what) and an understanding of the means by
which a very good life could possibly be achieved (how). The
Berlin knowledge mannequin was initially directed extra at
knowledge-related knowledge than at wisdom-related
motion. Current work has shifted to incorporate a extra
particular mannequin of motion that describes how
theoretical knowledge about what issues in life could
direct sensible knowledge regarding easy methods to stay a
life that issues. Sensible knowledge is described by
their SOC Mannequin of Efficient Life Administration
(SOC refers to “choose, optimize, and compensate”).
The mannequin describes the function of knowledge in efficient
life administration and optimum human functioning
(see Determine 10.1).
Defining the Meta-range
Fascinating Objectives,
Fascinating Means
Efficient Life Administration and
Purpose Pursuit: Orchestration of
Optimization, and
FIGURE 10.1 The SOC Mannequin of Efficient Life Administration
Supply: Baltes, P. B., & Freund, A. M. (2003b). The intermarriage
of knowledge and selective optimization with compensation: Two
meta-heuristics guiding the conduct of life. In C. L. M. Keyes
& J. Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing: Optimistic psychology and the life
well-lived (pp. 249–273). Washington, DC: American Psychological
Affiliation. Copyright American Psychological Affiliation.
Reprinted by permission.
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 219
The SOC mannequin doesn't specify particulars regarding
administration of a profitable life. The
specifics are depending on every particular person’s wants,
values, character, sources, stage of life, and
environmental context. The SOC specifies three common
methods, relevant throughout the life span, for
easy methods to obtain personally necessary targets. In lots of
methods, the choice, optimization, and compensation
mannequin describes a lifestyle planning that
serves to arrange the foremost analysis findings regarding
private targets and the self-regulation
processes mandatory to attain them (mentioned in
Chapters 7 and eight). Baltes and his colleagues make
the connection between objective analysis and SOC
specific of their current work (e.g., Baltes & Freund,
2003a, 2003b).
SELECTION Choice is step one in life planning
and is an integral a part of private growth and
well-being. Selecting applicable targets amongst a
number of choices contributes to a purposeful, significant,
and arranged life. Whereas the definition of
“applicable” depends upon an individual’s sources and
life circumstances, objective analysis supplies some
steering in distinguishing between targets that
improve and targets that detract from well-being.
Method targets which are personally expressive,
associated to intrinsic wants, and freely chosen are
more likely to encourage sturdy dedication, profitable
achievement, and elevated well-being and life
OPTIMIZATION Optimization refers to all the alternatives
and actions that result in profitable objective achievement.
Optimization overlaps with lots of the
processes described in Chapter eight. Purpose achievement
includes self-regulation, monitoring of progress,
perception in private management and competence, and talent
to delay short-term gratification within the service of
pursuing long-term targets. The optimization aspect
additionally contains the significance of repeated observe
and energy in growing abilities mandatory for objective
COMPENSATION Compensation refers to growing
different means for attaining and sustaining
targets when beforehand efficient means are blocked.
Compensation methods may contain discovering new
means and sources, activating unused sources,
or counting on others for assist and help. A scholar
who loses a profitable summer time job that pays half of
her yearly faculty bills may take out a scholar
mortgage, dip additional into her financial savings, or ask her dad and mom
for extra monetary assist to compensate for the drop
in monetary sources.
In an empirical take a look at of the SOC mannequin, Freund
and Baltes (2002) developed a self-report questionnaire
to evaluate individuals’s endorsement of SOC. Wellbeing,
character, and cognitive type had been additionally
assessed. Research contributors ranged in age from 14
to 89 years. Gadgets measuring choice centered on
the readability, significance, and prioritizing of private
targets, and on the diploma of objective dedication.
Optimization objects requested about expenditure of
effort, objective planning, and modeling one’s conduct
after the methods utilized by profitable others.
Compensation was measured by statements regarding
efforts to search out different technique of objective achievement,
renewed effort and dedication, and searching for
assist from others when preliminary paths to objective achievement
had been blocked.
Two of the examine’s noteworthy findings associated
SOC to age and well-being. In step with the sample
of findings from knowledge analysis, endorsement
of SOC methods elevated with age from younger to
center age after which confirmed a lower in late
maturity. Center age seems to be the height
interval of refined ability in utilizing SOC behaviors for
efficient life administration. Every part of the
SOC mannequin was considerably associated to Ryff’s six-part
measure of psychological well-being (see Chapter 2).
This measure relies on the eudaimonic conception
of well-being, and evaluates an individual’s diploma
of self-acceptance, private development, sense of function,
environmental mastery, autonomy, and optimistic
relationship with others. Freund and Baltes additionally
discovered a robust optimistic relationship between SOC
methods and better ranges of optimistic feelings.
The SOC mannequin seems to be an informative framework
for eager about the determinants of wellbeing
throughout the life span (see Baltes & Freund,
2003b, for a evaluate of different SOC confirming research).
The SOC mannequin specifies the final abilities mandatory
to attain private targets and compensate for
setbacks, and acknowledges the significance of targets in
relation to well-being. The SOC mannequin each attracts
from and affirms the foremost findings of objective analysis
described in Chapters 7 and eight.
You will have observed that the SOC mannequin does
not specify what targets an individual ought to select to
pursue. Moderately, it focuses solely on means. As Baltes
and Freund notice, “Criminals and Mafia bosses . . . can
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220 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
be masters of SOC” (2003a, p. 30). In different phrases,
the mannequin doesn't tackle questions on what
targets are good or virtuous, or what means for objective
achievement are acceptable and fascinating from
an moral or an ethical perspective. Baltes and his
colleagues argue that it's the function of knowledge to find out
what targets and what means are an important
and morally fascinating. “Knowledge supplies a
selector regarding which targets and means are
of elementary significance within the life course and,
as well as, are ethically and morally fascinating”
(Baltes & Freund, 2003a, p. 34). In different phrases,
due to the breadth and depth of their understanding
of life and advantage, clever individuals could be
anticipated to commit themselves to personally significant
targets that contribute each to their very own good
and to the widespread good.
In abstract, a very good life, from the attitude
of knowledge in motion, could also be described as infusing
efficient life administration methods with the information
and advantage of knowledge. Within the phrases of Baltes
and Freund (2003a, p. 33), “. . . we suggest that
knowledge, the information of the elemental pragmatics
of life, be considered as a fascinating finish state
of human growth that may be lived and
carried out via selective optimization with
Deal with Concept: Knowledge
or Self-Management as Grasp Virtues?
It's straightforward to consider knowledge as a grasp advantage. The
growth of knowledge would appear to incorporate a
concomitant growth of different virtuous behaviors
resembling compassion, kindness, humility, equity,
and prudence. In actual fact, we consider clever individuals
as clever, largely as a result of they embody a number of
virtues. It's considerably tougher to consider a single
different advantage that has this foundational high quality.
Nevertheless, Baumeister and Exline (1999) argue that
self-control may additionally be a candidate for grasp
advantage standing. They describe self-control because the
“ethical muscle” behind many virtuous behaviors.
Their thesis is constructed on numerous interrelated and
empirically-grounded arguments (see Chapter eight for
a evaluate of self-control analysis).
Baumeister and Exline are amongst an growing
variety of psychologists who imagine that explorations
of morality and advantage have been uncared for by
psychologists. Advantage and morality are extremely necessary
private qualities which may be extra defining of
a person’s id than the traits studied by character
psychologists. For instance, they notice that
individuals regard ethical traits resembling honesty, trustworthiness,
and constancy, as among the many most fascinating
qualities for a possible partner.
One necessary perform of morality and advantage
is to facilitate the event and upkeep of
harmonious relationships, that are critically
necessary to the well-being of people and society.
Main analysis opinions conclude that the necessity
to belong is among the most elementary human
motives, the achievement of which is a basis for
well-being (e.g., Baumeister & Leary, 1995). A significant
obstacle to relationship concord happens when
individuals pursue self-interested wants on the expense
of their relationships. This may contain relations
between people, or between people and the
broader society. The essential function of morality inside
cultures, and advantage inside people, is to regulate
egocentric pursuits for the sake of the better widespread
good. A lot of what we regard as virtuous conduct
and far of what we find out about profitable relationships
includes placing wants of others forward of
your individual. Restraining self-interest means exerting
self-control. Baumeister and Exline imagine that selfcontrol
is the psychological basis for many
virtues and that the alternative of advantage, specifically sin
and vice, outcome from failed self-control.
As Baumeister and Exline notice, self-control
failure appears clearly concerned within the Seven Lethal
Sins described in Christian theology: gluttony,
sloth, greed, lust, envy, anger, and satisfaction. Every of
these sins and vices exemplifies one or one other
type of failed management: gluttony by self-indulgence
and extreme pursuit of enjoyment; sloth or laziness
by failed initiative and self-motivation; greed, lust,
and envy by egocentric and exploitive dealings with
others centered on gratifying solely particular person
wants; anger by lack of emotional restraint and
impulse management; and satisfaction by self-aggrandizement
on the expense of others.
The relation of sin to failed self-control finds a
counterpart within the connection between advantage and
the exertion of self-control. For instance, prudence
refers to reasoned motion guided by consideration of
long-term implications reasonably than speedy wants
or alternatives. Delay of gratification and staying
on track with a long-term objective in thoughts are central
options of self-control and self-regulation. Equally,
justice requires management of self-interest in upholding
requirements of conduct aimed on the widespread good.
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 221
The advantage of temperance (which refers to exercising
emotional restraint and avoiding excesses) additionally
clearly requires self-control.
Along with its hyperlinks with particular virtues,
self-control and self-regulation additionally assist clarify
how advantage could information conduct. Recall from
Chapter eight that self-regulation includes monitoring
and altering conduct in relationship to a typical.
Utilized to non-public targets this implies establishing
a objective, monitoring progress, and altering
actions and the self over time to attain a objective.
Baumeister and Exline argue that advantage’s function in
conduct matches this identical common sample. Most of us
aspire to be morally accountable individuals. Every of us
has ethical requirements that can be utilized to watch
our ongoing conduct. If we preserve some degree of
self-awareness, we all know the extent to which our
actions are constant or inconsistent with our requirements.
Emotions of guilt are clear alerts of inconsistency.
Self-control is required with a view to conform
to our personal requirements, reasonably than giving in to temptations
or momentary emotional impulses. It's this
self-control that retains conduct in keeping with ethical
requirements that Baumeister and Exline imagine is the
“ethical muscle” underlying advantage; thus, advantage is
depending on self-control. “Vice signifies failure of
self-control, whereas advantage includes the constant,
disciplined train of self management. Self-control can
pretty be considered the grasp advantage” (Baumeister
& Exline, 1999, p. 1189).
The Seek for That means
Viktor Frankl (1976/1959) was an early psychiatrist
who argued that discovering which means in life was important
for survival. Frankl’s argument was primarily based on his
experiences as a prisoner in a number of Nazi loss of life
camps throughout World Conflict II. His observations satisfied
him that surviving the horrors of the camps
depended, largely, upon individuals’s potential to
make sense of their expertise; that's, their potential
to search out some sustaining which means and hopeful imaginative and prescient
for the longer term. The truth that many within the loss of life
camps did discover such which means was testimony to
people’ potential to search out meaningfulness, even within the
face of immense struggling. Following Frankl’s lead,
many psychologists have come to treat the pursuit
of which means as a central characteristic of human life
(e.g., Baumeister, 1991). People are “which means
makers” within the sense of searching for and creating an
understanding of the particular and broader functions
of life (Bruner, 1990).
The significance of which means could replicate a connection
to fundamental human wants. In his ebook,
Meanings of Life, Roy Baumeister (1991) describes
4 wants that underlie the pursuit of which means: function,
worth, self-efficacy, and self-worth. These 4
wants assist clarify the premise for individuals’s motivation
to search out which means in life, however they don't specify the
particular sources of want satisfaction. The sources of
want satisfaction (and thus, of which means) are, to some
extent, interchangeable. Baumeister offers the instance
of profession ladies who depart work to have youngsters.
If elevating youngsters turns into a big supply
of private which means, the will to return to their
careers could fade. The life which means concerned in a
profession has been changed or interchanged with that
of elevating youngsters. This interchangeability additionally
applies to faith, though Baumeister acknowledges
that the majority spiritual individuals would discover ridiculous
or offensive the concept their faith is
interchangeable with one other. Baumeister’s level is
that, at a conceptual degree, all religions appear to serve
related psychological functions, regardless of beliefs within the
distinctive optimistic qualities of “my” faith expressed
by adherents.
The necessity for function refers to a want for
course in life. Organizing life across the pursuit
of personally vital targets and best finish states
are main methods individuals fulfill their want for function
(see Chapter 7). Engaged on, making progress
towards, and attaining necessary targets and beliefs
are necessary sources of which means. A second want is
for worth. The necessity for worth is fulfilled by discovering
justifications for actions that affirm the optimistic worth
of 1’s life. Folks wish to imagine their actions are
“proper” or “good” as judged by a system of values.
Values and codes of conduct present requirements for
judging proper, fallacious, ethical and immoral acts and
present guideposts for evaluating particular actions
and the general high quality of life.
A 3rd want is for a way of self-efficacy.
Folks have to really feel that they've management over the
issues that occur to them in order that life doesn't
appear chaotic, capricious, and past their management.
Assembly challenges and undertaking targets are two
main ways in which individuals develop emotions of selfefficacy.
Management could take the type of altering the
atmosphere to satisfy particular person wants and targets, or
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222 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
altering the self with a view to adapt to the atmosphere
when the atmosphere can't be modified
(see Rothbaum, Weisz, & Snyder, 1982, and the
introduction to Chapter eight on this textbook). An
necessary type of management, significantly related to
faith and spirituality, is interpretive management. As
Baumeister notes, with the ability to perceive why
issues happen is a vital supply of which means.
Even when we can't change the end result, discovering
significant interpretations for all times occasions contributes
to a way of management and supplies a foundation for adaptation
to life’s challenges. For instance, accepting
the truth of loss of life could also be simpler for individuals who
imagine life and loss of life are a part of God’s plan and
that heaven awaits them after they die.
Self-worth is the fourth foundation for which means.
Self-worth displays individuals’s want for optimistic selfevaluation
and vanity (see Chapter 9). In contrast to
values, that are tied primarily to morality, a way
of self-worth could also be primarily based on a wide range of nonmoral
qualities and actions. Skills, accomplishments,
recognition and admiration from others, and
favorable social comparisons (i.e., doing higher than
others) could all contribute to a way of self-worth.
The 4 wants present a mind-set
in regards to the psychological foundations of a significant
life and the function faith performs in addressing
what Emmons (1999a) referred to as individuals’s “final
issues”—the highest-order meanings of human
existence. From Baumeister’s perspective, life is
more likely to be skilled as significant when individuals
have a robust sense of function, clear values for
making ethical judgments, beliefs in their very own selfefficacy/
management, and a optimistic sense of self-worth.
In distinction, a much less significant or meaningless life
outcomes from the lack of sustaining function, confusion
about values, lack of perceived management, and
emotions of low self-worth. That means and meaningfulness
exist at completely different ranges, from the comparatively concrete
and here-and-now actions of every day life to the
summary and enduring (everlasting) meanings of human
existence. Faith and spirituality supply satisfaction
of every the 4 wants on the highest degree of which means.
As Baumeister notes, faith defines the aim
of life, supplies a code of ethical values, gives
interpretive management by explaining the which means and
origins of life, and supplies a foundation for self-worth
inside a spiritual framework (e.g., affirmation by
fellow believers, God’s love of the devoted).
As talked about above, Baumeister regards religions
as being, to some extent, interchangeable in
their potential to fulfill the 4 wants for which means.
Regardless of variations in beliefs, doctrines, and practices,
main world religions and non secular traditions
seem to share a standard set of core options, and
appear to serve a standard set of human wants.
Anthropologist Joseph Campbell has in all probability accomplished
greater than anybody to advertise an understanding of
the common facets of faith for a broad cultural
viewers. In his finest promoting books, The Energy of
Delusion (1988) and Myths to Stay By (1993), and his
extensively watched and praised PBS collection on the
Energy of Delusion with Invoice Moyers, Campbell has
described the common questions of existence
addressed by Japanese and Western religions, and the
energy of faith’s solutions to information and remodel
individuals’s lives.
Faith supplies solutions to elementary
questions regarding human existence. How did
life and the universe start? What occurs after
you die? What's the function of life on earth? What
ethical values ought to information human actions?
Actually faith is just not the one foundation for addressing
these questions. Science, nature, and humanitarian
philosophies can also present solutions. It's
additionally true that some share of persons are merely
not taken with, or don't imagine that there
are solutions to, life’s final mysteries. But, survey
analysis means that the overwhelming majority of
People tackle these questions from a non secular
or spiritual perspective (see Gallup & Lindsay,
1999, for opinions and Chapter 6 in Spilka, Hood,
Hunsberger, & Gorsuch, 2003). In nationwide surveys
over the past 50 years, between 90 and 95% of
People mentioned they believed in God or the next
energy and almost 90% say they pray. Practically 70%
are members of a church or synagogue and 40%
report common attendance. Polls additionally present that
60% of People mentioned faith was crucial
of their lives and one other 26 to 30% report that
faith is pretty necessary. Spiritual affiliations in
america are dominated by the Protestant
and Roman Catholic faiths. Summarizing knowledge from
the U.S. Census Bureau, Spilka and his colleagues
(2003) report that in 1999, the breakdown of non secular
affiliations was as follows: 55% of People
recognized themselves as Protestants; 28% as
Roman Catholics; 2% as Jewish; 6% as “different”; and
eight% reported no spiritual affiliation. Apparently,
the proportion of individuals in america
who imagine in God is increased than in most
European nations (see Desk 10.Four). All these
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 223
TABLE 10.Four Percentages of individuals in varied nations who imagine in God
and have had spiritual experiences
Nation Perception in God (%) Spiritual expertise (%)
United States 95 41
Czech Republic 6 11
Denmark 57 15
France 52 24
Nice Britain 69 16
Hungary 65 17
Eire 95 13
Italy 86 31
Netherlands 57 22
Northern Eire 92 26
Norway 59 16
Poland 94 16
Russia 52 13
Spain 82 19
Sweden 54 12
Supply: Spilka, B., Hood, R. W., Jr., Hunsberger, B., & Gorsuch, R. (2003). The psychology of faith: An
empirical method. New York: Guilford Press. Copyright The Guilford Press. Reprinted by permission.
statistics communicate to the significance of faith in
American particular person and cultural life.
Faith and Spirituality: The Range
of Views
Defining faith and spirituality are formidable duties.
On the operational degree, researchers usually bypass definitional
complexities by counting on world self-report
measures (see Tsang & McCullough, 2003, for a evaluate
of measurement points). Folks is likely to be requested to fee
their diploma of religiousness, report on their frequency
of church attendance, or point out their denominational
affiliation. Even supposing these world measures
are sometimes discovered to bear vital relationships to
well being and well-being, they don't inform us a lot about
what it means to be spiritual, nor do they distinguish
spirituality from different issues in life. For instance, a
particular person may go to church primarily as a result of it’s a
congenial social exercise and never due to spiritual
commitments or concern with spirituality.
Empirical research affirm the range of views
amongst social scientists, clergy, and lay-persons regarding
what it means to be spiritual (e.g.,
Zinnbauer et al., 1997). For instance, Pargament and
his colleagues (Pargament, Tarakeshwar, Ellison, &
Wulff, 2001) requested faculty college students and clergy
members to fee the diploma of religiousness for 100
profiles of hypothetical individuals. Every profile represented
a special mixture of 10 cues, resembling
church attendance, frequency of prayer and meditation,
feeling God’s presence, financial donations to
a church, information of church doctrines, private
advantages from spiritual beliefs (consolation, help,
and which means), and altruistic acts of giving. Each
particular person within the examine confirmed a comparatively constant
reliance on sure cues in making her or his
judgments. Nevertheless, there was little consensus
amongst or between college students and clergy on precisely
which cues point out a “spiritual particular person.” Amongst
college students, private advantages had been utilized by a slim
55% majority and amongst clergy, 86% relied on
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224 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
church attendance as an necessary cue in score a
individuals’ diploma of religiousness. With these two
exceptions, religiousness meant very various things
to completely different particular person contributors.
Researchers have struggled to develop definitions
which are particular sufficient to seize what's
distinctive and distinctive about faith and spirituality,
however broad sufficient to use to all or most religions.
Given the range of views, it's clear that
no single definition of faith and spirituality will
be passable to all students or particular person spiritual
practitioners. This state of affairs is succinctly
captured in a ceaselessly cited quote by
Yinger (1967): “any definition of faith is probably going
to be passable solely to its creator” (p. 18).
Nevertheless, empirical and conceptual work within the
psychology of faith has expanded dramatically
over the past decade. Distinguished researchers within the
subject have begun to search out some widespread floor in
the number of definitions supplied by particular person
researchers and theorists (e.g., Emmons, 1999a,
1999b; Hill & Pargament, 2003, Hill et al., 2000;
Pargament, 1997; Zinnbauer, Pargament, & Scott,
1999; Zinnbauer et al., 1997).
On the heart of current conceptualizations is the
relationship between faith and spirituality. Inside
psychology, because the basic work of William James
(1985) (The Styles of Spiritual Expertise), faith
has been considered having each an institutional
which means and a person which means. As an
establishment, faith is an organized set of beliefs,
practices, doctrines, and locations of worship (e.g.,
church buildings or synagogues) related to the completely different
world religions and their denominations. The
particular person which means of faith issues the private
facet of religion, outlined by an individual’s distinctive relationship,
experiences, and actions with the thing of
her or his religion (e.g., God, a spiritual doctrine, a revelation,
God’s love, and Final Reality).
In current instances, the complementary and overlapping
relationship between the person and
institutional facets of faith has been outlined as
extra dichotomous, significantly in American tradition
(Hill et al., 2000; Zinnbauer et al., 1999). You have got
in all probability heard somebody say that she or he is “non secular,
however not spiritual.” Spirituality has, extra and
extra, come to outline the subjective, particular person
facets of non secular expertise, whereas faith refers
to the mounted doctrines and practices of organized religions.
The separation of faith and spirituality
was significantly outstanding inside American tradition
through the 1960s. The “counter-culture” that emerged
from the youthful days of the baby-boomer era
was extremely essential of established establishments,
together with faith. Faith turned related to
dogma, authoritarianism, blind religion, and conformity.
Many child boomers left established religions in
obvious settlement with humanistic psychologists,
like Abraham Maslow (1968), who argued that non secular
issues could possibly be pursed exterior of conventional
religions. Lots of the “New Age” philosophies that
developed throughout this era appealed to child
boomers’ non secular wants and want for development with out
formal ties to conventional religions. Many psychologists
imagine that the separation of spirituality and
faith inside well-liked tradition has led to an unlucky
polarization (e.g., Hill & Pargament, 2003; Hill
et al., 2000; Zinnbauer et al., 1999). Particular person spirituality
is considered “good” and institutional faith
as “dangerous,” from the attitude of an individual’s particular person
character and growth. Some psychologists
have even regarded faith as an obstacle to
non secular understanding (see Hill et al., 2000;
Zinnbauer et al., 1999, for opinions).
The necessity to discover the interrelationship of
spirituality and faith is usually recommended by empirical
research displaying that most individuals, not less than throughout the
United States, take into account themselves each spiritual
and non secular. This was clearly proven in a examine by
Zinnbauer and colleagues (1997). The 346 contributors
within the examine represented a wide range of spiritual
backgrounds and ranged in age from 15 to 84, with
a imply age of 40. One measure within the examine requested
contributors to decide on one among 4 statements that
finest outlined their religiousness and spirituality
(Zinnbauer et al., 1997). The alternatives had been: “I'm
non secular and spiritual; I'm non secular however not spiritual;
I'm spiritual however not non secular; I'm neither
non secular nor spiritual” (p. 553). A powerful majority of
the contributors (74%) endorsed the spiritual and
non secular assertion; 19% described themselves as
non secular however not spiritual; Four% as spiritual however not
non secular; and three% as neither non secular nor spiritual.
Members had been additionally requested in regards to the relationship
between religiousness and spirituality. Solely a small
share (6.7%) indicated that religiousness and
spirituality had been fully completely different, with no overlap
in which means, or endorsed a perception that they had been
the identical idea and overlapped fully
(2.6%). General, this examine suggests two main conclusions.
First, most individuals do distinguish between
religiousness and spirituality. Second, a majority of
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 225
individuals determine themselves as each spiritual and
non secular.
Zinnbauer and his colleagues additionally investigated
variations between the 74% of people that recognized
themselves as non secular and spiritual (SR group)
and the 19% of people that thought-about themselves
non secular however not spiritual (SnR group). Apparently,
the SnR group match the final profile of child
boomers. In comparison with the SR group, they grew up
with dad and mom who attended church much less ceaselessly,
had been extra educated and individualistic, had been much less
more likely to maintain orthodox or conventional Christian
beliefs, had been extra more likely to be agnostic and maintain
non-traditional “New Age” beliefs, and had been considerably
extra more likely to have a unfavourable conception of
religiousness as reflecting a have to really feel superior to
others, or as one thing individuals pursue for extrinsic
causes (resembling social picture and standing). The SR
group was related to church attendance, frequency
of prayer, and orthodox spiritual beliefs.
These outcomes are usually in keeping with a current
examine that discovered that the character and social perspective
profiles of “spiritual-but-not-religious” individuals
had been very completely different than those that held extra conventional
spiritual beliefs (Saucier & Skrzypinska,
2006). Taken in whole, these findings recommend each
variations and commonalities in individuals’s understanding
of faith and spirituality. The newest
work within the psychology of faith acknowledges
the numerous variations, however focuses on what faith
and spirituality appear to have in widespread for the
majority of individuals.
Defining Faith and Spirituality
Current conceptualizations try to tie collectively
reasonably than separate the which means of faith and
spirituality (see Hill & Pargament, 2003; Hill et al.,
2000; Pargament, 1997, 1999; Zinnbauer et al.,
1999). Pargament’s (1997) work, summarized in his
insightful ebook, The Psychology of Faith and
Coping, seems significantly influential in current
definitions of faith and spirituality. Pargament’s
evaluation begins with a seemingly easy
query: What makes faith particular? What's the
important high quality that distinguishes faith from
different domains and issues of life? Based mostly on his
evaluate and synthesis of earlier work, Pargament
concluded that it's the distinctive substance and performance
of faith that makes it particular. Substantively,
the defining essence of faith is the sacred. The
sacred refers to issues set other than extraordinary life
due to their connection to God, the holy, the
divine; to transcendent forces, Final Truths and
Final Actuality. The sacred evokes a way of awe,
respect, reverence, and veneration. It encompasses
the beliefs, practices, and emotions regarding a
increased being and supreme reality of existence.
Along with its sacred substance, faith is
additionally distinguished by its distinctive perform in individuals’s
lives. Faith isn't just a set of beliefs and practices;
it additionally includes how these beliefs are used to
reply life’s most profound questions and address
life’s most tough challenges. Faith addresses existential
questions in regards to the which means of life and
its inevitable ache, tragedies, struggling, injustices, and
the finality of loss of life. Folks’s spiritual beliefs exert
highly effective affect on the methods wherein they cope
with these elementary issues of existence and
discover significance and which means in life.
Pargament makes an attempt to mix substance and
perform in his definition of faith and spirituality.
He defines faith as “a seek for significance in
methods associated to the sacred” (1997, p. 32), and
spirituality as a “seek for the sacred” (1997, p. 39).
“Search” incorporates a useful view of faith
and spirituality as a method to handle life’s most
necessary questions. “Sacred” identifies the particular
substance of this search that distinguishes faith and
spirituality from different life domains. On this conception,
faith is the broader idea as a result of it contains
each sacred and secular functions (Pargament, 1999;
Pargament & Mahoney, 2002). The “seek for significance”
in a spiritual context (i.e., methods associated to
the sacred) overlaps with secular routes and means.
Faith serves a wide range of functions, not all of which
are sacred in nature. For instance, many individuals
discover caring, supportive relationships via their
church buildings. They may additionally discover such relationships in
non-public golf equipment or neighborhood organizations. Church
relationships are “associated” to the sacred however not essentially
sacred themselves. “Significance” is supposed to
embrace the numerous particular person variations within the which means
of this time period, together with these associated to the 4 wants
for which means described earlier. Via faith, individuals
may search peace of thoughts, a way of price, selfcontrol,
intimacy, caring relationships, life course, or
private development. Once more, these types of significance
could or might not be considered sacred.
The distinctive and distinctive perform of
faith is outlined by spirituality. The “sacred”
connects the seek for significance to the particular
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226 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
understandings related to a spiritual perspective.
Persons are non secular to the extent “. . . that they
are looking for, know, expertise, or relate to
what they understand as sacred” (Pargament &
Mahoney, 2002, p. 648). The immaterial world of
the sacred stands basically distinction to the profane
world of fabric objects and forces. Nevertheless,
profane objects could turn out to be sacred in the event that they
are imbued with sacred which means. Pargament calls
this transformation of which means sanctification,
which is described as “the notion of an object
as having non secular significance and character”
(Pargament & Mahoney, 2002, p. 649). Virtually any
extraordinary object can tackle sacred symbolic which means.
Meals within the type of a wafer is a scared sacrament
in many non secular ceremonies. Water utilized in
baptism is considered Holy water when blessed by
a priest. Many People take into account the American
flag to be a sacred image deserving reverence.
Respect for the flag is embodied in legal guidelines that
punish its destruction and desecration.
When secular objects are imbued with sacred
meanings or when secular ends are pursued although
sacred means, persons are more likely to be extra respectful,
protecting, and caring. For instance, a satisfying
marriage is a objective for many individuals, whether or not or not
they're spiritual. Nevertheless, married couples who
consider their marriage in spiritual or sacred phrases
have remodeled their relationship into one with
sacred significance. Apparently, one examine discovered
that couples who considered their marriage as sacred
reported better marital satisfaction, extra constructive
problem-solving, much less battle, and better dedication
to the wedding, in comparison with couples who
ascribed a decrease diploma of sacredness to their marriages
(Mahoney et al., 1999).
In Pargament’s conception, faith is just not restricted
to organized religions, and spirituality is just not
restricted to perception in God. There are a number of pathways
within the seek for the sacred. As Pargament and
Mahoney put it “. . . the sacred could be discovered on earth
in addition to in heaven” (2002, p. 649). The seek for
the sacred would come with things like mediation;
the transcendent beliefs which are a part of the
Alcoholics Nameless Twelve-Step program; Native
American Indians’ reverent and non secular view of animals
and the atmosphere; Scientology; and a range
of different private searches centered on the sacred.
Religious practices dedicated to the sacred are equally
various. Amongst these talked about by Pargament and
Mahoney (2002) are praying, participating in conventional
spiritual practices, studying the Bible, and watching
spiritual tv applications, listening to music,
appreciating artwork, and interesting in social actions and
instructional alternatives which are directed towards
sacred targets.
Pargament (1999) doesn't regard faith
and spirituality as universally good. His definitions
enable for the numerous makes use of and abuses of
sacred means and ends, from the tyranny and
oppression of faith-based governments to the
schemes of some spiritual teams that con individuals
out of their cash via false guarantees and
devious means. The worth of spirituality and faith
clearly rely on their explicit kind
and use. Like some other complicated system of beliefs
and practices, individuals can use them for each
constructive and harmful functions, and may
expertise each unfavourable and optimistic outcomes
(see Exline, 2002).
Faith/Spirituality and Nicely-Being
Given the range of religions and types of spirituality,
it will be considerably shocking to discover a common
relationship between faith/spirituality and
well-being. That is significantly true contemplating that
most research make use of world measures of selfreported
religiousness, resembling frequency of church
attendance and spiritual affiliation. These world
assessments don't get on the particular facets of
individuals’s spiritual orientation, depth of dedication,
or the perform of faith/spirituality of their lives.
Nevertheless, numerous main opinions by outstanding
researchers have concluded that faith does have
a small, however constant optimistic relationship to measures
of well being and well-being. On common, spiritual
persons are discovered to be happier and extra glad
with life (Argyle, 2001; Diener & Clifton, 2002;
Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999; Myers, 2000a,
2000b; Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Research that
measure levels of non secular involvement, resembling
“closeness to God,” “non secular strivings”, or “non secular
dedication,” usually discover that increased ranges of
spiritual dedication are associated to increased ranges of
life satisfaction (Argyle, 2001; Emmons, 1999b;
Myers, 2000a). The optimistic connection of faith
and happiness is considerably stronger among the many aged.
Apparently, for youngsters and adolescents, spiritual
involvement is related to much less
delinquency, much less alcohol and drug abuse, and a
decrease incidence of early sexual exercise.
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 227
Of their Handbook of Faith and Well being,
Koenig, McCullough, and Larson (2001) present an
intensive evaluate of the connection between spiritual
involvement and well being outcomes. Psychological
well being outcomes included the presence or absence of
melancholy, suicide, anxiousness problems, alcohol and
drug abuse, delinquency, and marital instability.
Bodily well being outcomes included longevity and the
presence or absence of coronary heart illness, hypertension,
and most cancers. General, the preponderance of proof
supported optimistic advantages of non secular involvement.
Essentially the most constant outcomes are discovered for bodily
well being. Outcomes for psychological well being have been considerably
combined, and a few research have discovered remoted
unfavourable results. Nevertheless, the psychological well being
proof is mostly optimistic, main Koenig and
colleagues (2001) to conclude that “. . . for the huge
majority of individuals, the obvious advantages of religious
spiritual perception and practices in all probability outweigh
the dangers” (p. 228) (see additionally Worthington, Kurusu,
McCullough, & Sandage, 1996).
4 main variables are sometimes used to
assess religiousness/spirituality in analysis (George,
Ellison, & Larson, 2002). These are: church attendance
and participation in spiritual actions (prayer
and examine teams), affiliation with a significant faith
and/or denomination (e.g., Protestant, Lutheran,
Methodist, and many others.), non-public spiritual practices resembling
prayer, meditation, and Bible studying, and using
faith to deal with irritating and difficult life
occasions. Of their evaluate, George and her colleagues
(2002) notice that of those 4 variables, attendance
at spiritual providers exhibits the strongest optimistic
correlations with bodily and psychological well being and
with longevity. Individuals who attend church on an everyday
foundation (as soon as per week or extra) have been discovered
to take pleasure in higher total well being, recuperate extra shortly
from illness, and stay longer than much less frequent
church attendees. Research that observe the course of sickness
over time discover that spiritual coping is probably the most
highly effective predictor. That's, individuals who depend on
their spiritual beliefs as a method of dealing with sickness
recuperate extra shortly, and usually tend to
survive their sickness, and to recuperate from main medical
procedures (e.g., coronary bypass surgical procedure).
To be convincing, the faith–well being connection
wants to stay after different well being prediction variables
are factored out or managed (George et al., 2002;
Koenig & Cohen, 2002; McCullough & Laurenceau,
2005; Powell, Shahabi, & Thoresen, 2003). Potential
competing variables would come with, age, intercourse, race,
marital standing, smoking, weight problems, present medical
situations, social class, degree of training, and stress
from social circumstances (resembling poverty). Current
research have discovered sizable impact of religiousness
nonetheless stays after the results of those variables have
been statistically managed. For instance, a welldesigned
longitudinal examine discovered a 23% decrease loss of life
fee amongst individuals who attended church as soon as per week
or extra (Strawbridge, Cohen, Shema, & Kaplan, 1997).
This examine examined the well being histories of over 5,000
grownup neighborhood members for almost three many years
(28 years). The decrease fee of mortality amongst frequent
church attendees remained after the standard predictors of
survival (assessed firstly of the examine) had been
factored out. A lot of different large-scale longitudinal
research additionally affirm that the connection between
frequent church attendance and an extended and more healthy
life stays, even after different well being and longevity
predictors are managed (see Koenig & Cohen, 2002;
Koenig et al., 2001, for current opinions).
What may clarify the well being advantages of faith?
Researchers have advised numerous doable
mechanisms and pathways. The literature
evaluating the potential mediators of faith and
well being is in an early stage of growth. The components
mentioned right here should be considered as potential,
reasonably than well-established, empirically validated
explanations. Of their evaluate, George and colleagues
(2002) centered on improved well being practices,
elevated social help, availability of psychosocial
sources, and an enhanced sense of which means in life
as main mediating components serving to to clarify the
faith–well being relationship. Every of those will probably be
explored additional within the sections that comply with.
HEALTH PRACTICES Some religions embrace clear prescriptions
for good well being. For instance, the Mormon
faith explicitly prohibits smoking, ingesting, and
intercourse exterior of marriage. Many different religions promote
a sacred view of the physique as “temple of the
soul.” This perception could encourage care and concern
about sustaining good bodily and psychological wellbeing
by giving private well being a particular and sacred
significance. Assist for the function of faith in good
health-care practices comes from research displaying
that, on common, common church attendees smoke much less
and are much less more likely to abuse alcohol and different medicine.
SOCIAL SUPPORT The caring and supportive relationships
that develop via church membership
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228 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
could also be one of the vital vital sources of well being
advantages. Faith and church attendance can present
a steady and long-term foundation for sturdy help
from others who share the identical non secular dedication.
Spiritual help may present numerous
advantages, resembling sensible assist in time of want, an
enduring supply of consolation, and a buffer in opposition to the
results of stress in instances of disaster. Hill and Pargament
(2003) notice that social help is likely to be enhanced
by its spiritual foundation. We could take particular consolation in
figuring out that persons are praying for us, or from a
perception that God is working via others on our
Spiritual/non secular beliefs can present a foundation for a
transcendent sense of private price, efficacy, mastery,
and function in life. Folks with sturdy non secular
strivings report increased ranges of satisfaction, a better
sense of function in life, and better ranges of wellbeing
(e.g., Emmons, Cheung, & Tehrani, 1998).
Research have linked spiritual affiliation to optimism
and hope (Koenig & Cohen, 2002). Optimistic feelings
resembling pleasure are ceaselessly related to attendance
at church and different spiritual actions (Argyle,
2001). Taken collectively, and in mild of Fredrickson’s
broaden-and-build principle of optimistic feelings
(Chapter three) and the function of optimistic attitudes in coping
and well being (Chapter 9), these findings recommend
that spiritual beliefs could present an necessary
supply of private power that promotes well being and
enhances individuals’s coping sources. As well as, as
we famous earlier, faith/spirituality gives a novel
and particular supply of which means in regards to the final
questions of human existence. A sacred understanding
of life and loss of life could also be a very
highly effective supply of power and which means when confronting
a life-threatening occasion or sickness.
Spiritual Orientation
Spiritual involvement usually appears to have optimistic
advantages. Nevertheless, this conclusion requires a number of
qualifications. First, the examine of faith has
been largely restricted to North American samples that
are dominated by Protestants and Catholics and their
varied denominations. There are few empirical research
of Center Japanese (e.g., Muslim, Hindu) or Far
Japanese religions (e.g., Shintoism, Buddhism). Additional,
individuals of Jewish religion in america have
obtained little analysis consideration. Whether or not present
findings apply to all, most, or just some spiritual traditions
remains to be an open query. Secondly, the “common”
advantages of faith should not the entire story. A
balanced presentation should additionally level out the potential
misuses of faith and the chances for unfavourable
outcomes (see Exline, 2002). All through historical past
and the up to date world, all method of mayhem
and atrocities have been dedicated within the title of
faith and with “God on our facet.” Students could
by no means type out the paradoxes of faith. For psychologists,
Peterson (2006) in all probability summed up the
prevalent sentiment when he commented that distinguishing
between “good” and “dangerous” faith is
“. . . harmful territory into which I care to not
enter” (p. 291). Nevertheless, on the particular person degree, psychologists
have encountered puzzling and contradictory
results of faith of their empirical research. In an
try to account for these different outcomes,
researchers have centered on variations in individuals’s
orientation towards their faith.
Gordon Allport was an early psychologist who
investigated the puzzling relationships between faith
and prejudicial attitudes. In his basic ebook,
The Nature of Prejudice, Allport concluded that “The
function of faith is paradoxical. It makes prejudice
and it unmakes prejudice. Whereas the creeds of the
nice religions are universalistic, all stressing brotherhood,
the observe of those creeds is ceaselessly
divisive and brutal” (1958, p. 413). That's, most religions
preach tolerance and compassion towards others,
however these teachings don't essentially have an effect on the
prejudices of non secular followers. The empirical foundation
for this paradox includes perspective surveys displaying
that churchgoers are typically extra prejudiced in opposition to
varied teams (e.g., African People, Jews) than
individuals who don't attend church. Main opinions of
perspective research affirm the optimistic correlation
between church attendance and prejudiced attitudes
(e.g., Batson, Schoenrade, & Ventis, 1993; Wulf,
1997). Allport famous that if faith itself was the
explanation for prejudice, then probably the most spiritual individuals
must be probably the most prejudiced (Allport & Ross,
1967). Nevertheless, he identified that out there research
didn't help this conclusion. Many research
advised that individuals who attended church ceaselessly
had been much less prejudiced than rare attendees.
If we take frequency of church attendance as a
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 229
measure of non secular dedication and publicity to
spiritual affect, then probably the most spiritual seem
to be the least prejudiced amongst these with spiritual
affiliations. Since Allport’s unique work, this
latter level has turn out to be a supply of controversy
amongst researchers (see Chapter 14 in Spilka et al.,
To unravel the faith–prejudice relationship,
Allport distinguished between an intrinsic and
extrinsic spiritual orientation. This distinction has to
do with the differing means, ends, and features of
individuals’s particular person spiritual beliefs and practices.
The extrinsic orientation describes individuals who
“use” their faith for non-religious functions, such
as to interact in a congenial social exercise or to
preserve a good social standing in the neighborhood.
The intrinsic orientation describes those that “stay”
their faith and embrace its elementary teachings.
Allport and Ross (1967) developed a scale to
measure these two orientations and reported that, as
a gaggle, extrinsically oriented individuals had been considerably
extra prejudiced than individuals with an intrinsic
orientation. Within the concluding dialogue of their
examine, Allport and Ross (1967) summarized the
intrinsic–extrinsic distinction and the way it explains the
obvious paradox of faith and prejudice, as
quoted beneath.
Extrinsic Spiritual Orientation.
“. . . An individual with an extrinsic spiritual
orientation is utilizing his spiritual views to
present safety, consolation, standing, or
social help for himself—faith is
not a price in its personal proper, it serves
different wants, and is a purely utilitarian
formation. Now prejudice too is a ‘helpful’
formation; it too supplies safety,
consolation, standing, and social help. A life
depending on the helps of extrinsic
faith is more likely to be depending on the
helps of prejudice, therefore our optimistic
correlations between the extrinsic
orientation and intolerance” (Allport &
Ross, 1967, p. 441).
Intrinsic Spiritual Orientation.
Persevering with to cite Allport and Ross,
“Contrariwise, the intrinsic spiritual orientation
is just not an instrumental system. It
is just not a mere mode of conformity, nor a
crutch, nor a tranquilizer, nor a bid for
standing. All wants are subordinated to an
overarching spiritual dedication. In
internalizing the whole creed of his faith
the person essentially internalizes
its values of humility, compassion,
and love of neighbor. In such a life
(the place faith is an intrinsic and dominant
worth) there is no such thing as a place for rejection,
contempt or condescension towards
one’s fellow man” (Allport & Ross, 1967,
p. 441).
Initially centered on prejudice, the intrinsic–
extrinsic orientation measure has turn out to be one among
probably the most ceaselessly used assessments of religiousness.
A number of revised variations of the unique scale
have been developed (e.g., Gorsuch & McPherson,
1989; Hoge, 1972). Analysis suggests that folks’s
spiritual orientation is a vital variable within the
relationship between faith and well-being,
significantly relating to psychological well being (see Batson
et al., 1993; Worthington et al., 1996, for examples).
Whether or not religiousness enhances or has no
impact on psychological well being and different well-being
variables (resembling high quality of household life, drug
abuse, and vanity) appears to rely partially
on the intrinsic–extrinsic orientation. The next
intrinsic orientation is mostly related to
optimistic outcomes. For instance, a current examine
discovered a optimistic affiliation between intrinsic religiousness
and life satisfaction, however no affiliation
between extrinsic religiousness and satisfaction
(Salsman, Brown, Brechting, & Carlson, 2005).
Increased levels of optimism and social help
amongst intrinsically spiritual individuals partially
accounted for the improved life satisfaction.
Folks with an intrinsic spiritual orientation had been
extra optimistic in outlook and loved better
social help from others, in comparison with individuals
with a extra extrinsic orientation.
Quest Spiritual Orientation. Although extensively
accepted, Allport’s unique conception and measure
of intrinsic–extrinsic spiritual orientations is
not with out its critics (see Pargament, 1997, for a
detailed evaluate; Spilka et al., 2003, Chapter 14).
Concerning faith and prejudice, subsequent
researchers famous that an intrinsic orientation is
solely associated to decreased prejudice if an individual’s
spiritual beliefs and neighborhood condemn prejudice
towards sure teams (e.g., gays and
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230 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
lesbians). If prejudice is just not prohibited, or if prejudice
is given spiritual sanction, the intrinsic orientation
is related to elevated, reasonably than
decreased prejudice (e.g., Herek, 1987). Batson
and his colleagues have addressed this subject by
growing a 3rd dimension of non secular orientation
they name “quest spiritual orientation” (Batson
et al., 1993), they usually constructed a 12-item scale
to measure this orientation. A quest spiritual orientation
refers to a posh, versatile, and tentative
view of faith and spirituality. Extra
emphasis is positioned on the seek for spiritual
truths than on acquiring or accepting clear-cut
solutions. Folks with a quest orientation recognize
and are keen to confront and wrestle to
perceive the complexities of faith and the
world. They're skeptical and uncertain about easy
or “ultimate” solutions to life’s greatest questions. A
sturdy quest spiritual orientation has constantly
been related to decrease ranges of prejudice and
a excessive diploma of sensitivity to the wants of others
that promotes serving to these in want (Batson et al.,
1993). Different research recommend that individuals who have
each a versatile orientation towards their faith
(excessive quest orientation) and powerful spiritual dedication
(excessive intrinsic orientation) have higher
bodily well being and adjustment to unfavourable life
occasions (McIntosh & Spilka, 1990).
Attachment Concept and Relationship
to God
Folks’s relationship to God, the divine, the non secular,
and the transcendent is extremely private. This
relationship could take a wide range of types resembling
feeling “God’s presence and love,” the “wrath of
God or of nature,” a way of awe and marvel, reverence
and respect, safety and luxury, inspiration,
concern, guilt, and anxiousness. Kirkpatrick (1992)
famous these completely different photographs of God and the divine
are fairly just like completely different photographs individuals have of
their dad and mom. Inside developmental psychology,
attachment principle has described the character of
the attachment between dad or mum and baby as an
necessary index of a wholesome household and a basis
for later growth. Kirkpatrick proposed
that it is likely to be informative to view God as an
attachment determine. He didn't imply to scale back God
to the “father determine” described within the Freudian
conceptualization of faith. Faith gives a
distinctive and sacred basis for all times, effectively past
the safety and luxury advised by a
Freudian view of God as a symbolic, benevolent
father. However, like a safe and loving attachment to
dad and mom, a safe relationship with God can also
perform as a basis for exploring life and its
many challenges. Pargament described it this fashion:
“Armed with the information that safety can
at all times be present in God’s loving arms, the spiritual
particular person could really feel better confidence venturing
out on the planet, looking for different types of significance”
(Pargament, 1997, p. 355).
An attachment perspective suggests
particular person’s relationship with the divine may present
some correspondence with parental attachment. A
safe relationship with dad and mom may set the
stage for a safe, optimistic relationship with
God. In the same vein, insecure and conflicted
relationships with dad and mom may result in both a
compensating safe attachment to God or to a
relationship to the divine that can be insecure and
conflicted. Research help a big connection
between childhood parental attachments and
grownup spiritual attachments (e.g., Birgegard &
Granqvist, 2004; Granqvist, 2002; Kirkpatrick &
Shaver, 1990). Research additionally present that folks’s
self-identified attachment type is said to measures
of well-being. Kirkpatrick and Shaver requested a
pattern of neighborhood adults to pick which of
three attachment types finest described their very own
relationship to God. The three types had been
described as quoted beneath (with labels eliminated
for examine contributors).
Safe Attachment. “God is mostly heat and
conscious of me. He at all times appears to know when
to be supportive and protecting of me, and when to
let me make my very own errors. My relationship with
God is at all times comfy, and I'm very completely satisfied
and glad with it” (Kirkpatrick & Shaver, 1992,
p. 270).
Avoidant Attachment. “God is mostly impersonal,
distant, and infrequently appears to have little or no
curiosity in my private affairs and issues. I ceaselessly
have the sensation that He doesn’t care very
a lot about me, or that He won't like me”
(Kirkpatrick & Shaver, 1992, p. 270).
Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment. “God appears to
be inconsistent in His reactions to me. He generally
appears heat and conscious of my wants, however
generally not. I’m positive that He loves me and cares
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 231
about me, however generally He appears to point out it in
methods I don’t actually perceive” (Kirkpatrick &
Shaver, 1992, p. 270).
In comparison with individuals with a safe spiritual
attachment, the 2 insecure attachment types
(avoidant and anxious/ambivalent) confirmed decrease
self-reported life satisfaction and bodily well being,
and better ranges of tension, emotions of loneliness,
and melancholy. The attachment-based measure of
religiousness was additionally discovered to be a greater predictor
of well-being and psychological well being than a number of
measures of religiousness generally utilized in
Types of Spiritual Coping
Our starting dialogue of faith and spirituality
famous the significance of discovering which means in life,
significantly when confronting challenges such
as severe sickness and loss of life. An previous adage has
it that there are “no atheists in foxholes,” which means
that nearly everybody turns into spiritual and hopes
that God will save them when confronting his or
her personal loss of life. Whereas there in all probability are some atheists
in foxholes, the saying captures the significance
of spirituality and faith in instances of disaster. As a result of
faith addresses life’s important which means, spiritual
beliefs present a doubtlessly highly effective technique of
dealing with life’s existential struggles. Like different
facets of individuals’s spiritual beliefs and orientations,
individuals differ within the explicit type of their
spiritual coping. And simply as sure spiritual orientations
are extra useful than others, types of
coping differ in producing optimistic or unfavourable outcomes.
Kenneth Pargament (1997) has in all probability
accomplished greater than some other psychologist to explain
and consider the assorted methods wherein individuals use
their spiritual beliefs as coping sources. He notes
that spiritual coping is clearly tied to the depth of
individuals’s spiritual dedication. When faith is a
vital a part of individuals’s total orientation
towards life, faith turns into an necessary technique of
Of their preliminary work, Pargament and his colleagues
recognized three distinct types of non secular
coping and problem-solving (Pargament, 1997;
Pargament et al., 1988). The independence of
every type, the inner coherence of the types, and
scales to measure every type had been validated in an
grownup pattern of Presbyterian and Lutheran church
Definitions and pattern scale objects are given
beneath (from Pargament, 1997, pp. 180–182).
Self-Directing Model. On this method, individuals rely
on themselves reasonably than God to unravel their issues.
Folks preserve their church affiliation, however rating low
on measures of religiousness. “When eager about a
problem, I attempt to provide you with doable options
with out God’s assist.” “After I’ve gone via a tough
time, I attempt to make sense of it with out counting on God.”
The self-directing type was related to a heightened
sense of private management in life, increased selfesteem,
and a spiritual quest orientation.
Deferring Model. The deferring type refers to individuals
who put their issues and accountability for
options in God’s fingers. “Moderately than making an attempt to return
up with the best resolution to an issue myself, I let
God resolve easy methods to take care of it.” “When a hard
subject arises, I depart it as much as God to resolve what
it means to me.” This coping type was linked to
extra spiritual orthodoxy (deference to the authority
of church & faith) and an extrinsic spiritual orientation.
Of the three types, this deferring method was
associated to the bottom ranges of private competence,
vanity, and efficient problem-solving. The sturdy
reliance on an exterior supply of coping could contribute
to emotions of helplessness and passivity.
Collaborative Model. On this type, God and the
particular person are energetic companions within the problem-solving
course of. “Relating to deciding easy methods to remedy a
drawback, God and I work collectively as companions.”
“When I've an issue, I speak to God about it and
collectively we resolve what it means.” A collaborative
type was related to a robust intrinsic spiritual
orientation and dedication to spiritual beliefs and
observe. The collaborative method to problemsolving
confirmed optimistic correlations with private
management, competency, and vanity.
Pargament and his colleagues have subsequently
developed a extra complete measure
of non secular coping that captures the various methods in
which individuals use faith in instances of stress and
problem (Pargament, 1997; Pargament, Smith,
Koenig, & Perez, 1998; Pargament et al., 2001). In
the event and validation of an expanded spiritual
coping scale (RCOPE), Pargament and colleagues
(1998, 2001) discovered that coping types might
be categorized as optimistic or unfavourable primarily based on their
relationship to well-being outcomes. Optimistic coping
methods mirrored a safe relationship with
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232 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
God and a perception that deeper meanings could be
present in life (together with tragedies) and in non secular
connections with others. Optimistic coping strategies
included benevolent spiritual value determinations (e.g.,
redefining a irritating state of affairs as useful for non secular
development), collaborative spiritual coping, searching for
non secular help via God’s love and care, searching for
assist from clergy or fellow church members, and
non secular purification (asking God’s forgiveness and
blessing). Detrimental spiritual coping mirrored a
much less safe relationship with God and a extra unsure
and threatening view of the world. Detrimental
coping strategies included unfavourable and punitive spiritual
value determinations (e.g., tragic occasions as God’s punishment
for sin or the work of the satan), reappraisals
of God’s powers (doubt about God’s potential to assist),
non secular discontent (confusion and dissatisfaction
with God), interpersonal spiritual discontent (dissatisfaction
with clergy or church), and deferring spiritual
coping (passively ready for God’s resolution to
the issue).
The influences of optimistic and unfavourable spiritual
coping on well-being outcomes have been
examined in various samples: neighborhood members
coping with the Oklahoma Metropolis bombing; faculty
college students coping with life stresses (such because the loss of life
of cherished one or a failed romance); individuals hospitalized
for medical sickness; older people coping
with serous sickness; and members of the clergy
(Pargament et al., 1988, 1998, 2001). Regardless of the
variety of the crises wherein contributors had been
concerned, outcomes confirmed a constant sample of
good outcomes associated to optimistic coping types and
impartial to poor outcomes for unfavourable coping types.
The vast majority of contributors reported utilizing optimistic
spiritual coping strategies. Optimistic spiritual coping
was usually associated to increased ranges of well-being,
extra spiritual development, much less misery, and higher psychological
well being. Detrimental spiritual coping was correlated
with decrease ranges of well-being and extra emotional
misery and melancholy.
One among Pargament and his colleagues’ research
(2001) in contrast clergy members, church elders,
and rank-and-file church members affiliated with the
Presbyterian Church. Apparently, the affect of
optimistic and unfavourable coping was strongest for the
clergy members. They loved the best advantages
of optimistic coping, but additionally suffered extra deleterious
results of unfavourable coping. The overwhelming
majority of clergy members relied totally on optimistic
coping strategies. Nevertheless, in addition they tended to
use extra unfavourable coping than the opposite two teams
within the examine. The connection between unfavourable coping
and melancholy was significantly sturdy amongst
clergy members, in comparison with church elders and
church members. Why would this be the case?
Pargament and colleagues (2001) recommend that unfavourable
coping could replicate a type of spiritual wrestle,
wherein crises could problem facets of a person’s
spiritual beliefs. Clergy members’ private and
skilled identities as “women and men of God”
are inextricably tied to their spiritual convictions.
Doubt about these convictions is likely to be anticipated to
trigger extra turmoil for clergy members than for
individuals whose commitments should not so deep and
whose lives and identities should not so invested in
faith. For the clergy members, “. . . these
who encounter non secular struggles in instances of problem
(e.g., feeling that God has deserted
them, anger at God, spiritual doubts) could discover the
coping course of significantly devastating. Spiritual
professionals and leaders may effectively expertise
such painful struggles to be essentially incompatible
with their coaching and profession and thus,
threatening to core facets of their private id”
(Pargament et al., 2001, p. 510).
“Explaining Faith versus Explaining
Faith Away”
The heading of this part is taken from
Pargament’s insightful article titled, “Is Faith
Nothing However . . . .? Explaining Faith versus
Explaining Faith Away” (Pargament, 2002). The
level of the title is to ask whether or not there's something
particular or distinctive about faith and spirituality that
can't be accounted for by psychological, social,
and organic explanations. For instance, if we
take away the results of social help, discovering which means
and function in life, elevated vanity and
competence, and the advantages of optimistic perspective on
immune-system performing from the well being advantages
of faith, is there something left over that outcomes
from spirituality alone? The reply to this query
is maybe one dividing line between non secular and
non-spiritual individuals, or between those that imagine
faith is “nothing however” and people who imagine faith
is a novel dimension of human life.
Psychologists’ reply to this query has
necessary implications for a way faith is studied. If
the results of faith are totally mediated by different
components, resembling social help, then solely these different
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Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 233
components should be studied. Nevertheless, if the sacred
dimension of life makes an unbiased contribution,
psychologists might want to give faith extra
severe and considerate consideration. As we famous, research
that management for identified health-enhancing and
health-detracting components have discovered that the advantages
of faith and spirituality are decreased, however not
eradicated. Such findings are suggestive of the distinctive
results of spirituality. At this level might be
finest to conclude, with Pargament, that the “jury
remains to be out” on this query.
The Values in Motion Undertaking (Peterson & Seligman,
2004) mentioned earlier on this chapter drew closely
on the ethical rules embodied within the main religions
of the world. Whereas one can actually be virtuous
with out being spiritual, faith has supplied
an necessary basis for eager about morality,
advantage, and the distinction between “proper” and
“fallacious” conduct in human affairs. Empirical investigations
of the connection between faith and
advantage are to start with phases of growth.
Survey researchers do discover that faith is said to
extra historically conservative ethical attitudes
towards up to date points. Spilka and colleagues
(2003) evaluate research displaying that, on common, the
extra spiritual persons are, the extra possible they're
to oppose pornography, divorce as an answer to
marital unhappiness, homosexuality and AIDS training,
premarital intercourse, feminism, and rap music.
Spiritual persons are additionally extra more likely to approve of
extra extreme sentences for legal offenders, help
censorship of sexual and violent programming
within the mass media, and to be extra politically conservative.
Clearly, the issue with these “on
common” findings is that many non secular people
maintain fairly liberal political and ethical outlooks.
Based mostly on their spiritual beliefs, many individuals oppose
the loss of life penalty, search extra compassion for legal
offenders, and help intercourse training and AIDS
training. Of their analysis evaluate, Peterson and
Seligman (2004) cite research supporting numerous
optimistic associations between faith and virtuous
behaviors resembling wholesome relationships, forgiveness,
kindness, compassion, altruism, and volunteering in
neighborhood service actions. Nevertheless, in addition they
notice that the final relationship between spiritual
beliefs and advantage is sophisticated by particular person variety
within the faith–morality connection and the way
particular person researchers measure religiousness. As we
noticed in our earlier dialogue, the results of faith
and spirituality rely closely on the actual,
individualized type of individuals’s spiritual beliefs and
their degree of non secular dedication.
That mentioned, analysis has begun to discover the
connection between advantage and faith and to
study how advantage features in particular person and
social life, whether or not or not it has a spiritual foundation.
Forgiveness and gratitude are among the many most closely
researched virtues in current analysis. Each determine
prominently in world religions as important parts
of a spiritual life. In search of God’s forgiveness
for sin and giving thanks for God’s love, grace, and
blessing are widespread parts of many non secular
traditions and teachings.
Most researchers see the worth of forgiveness in phrases
of its potential potential to offset the debilitating results
of the anger and hostility related to a want to
avenge the hurtful act of one other (Fincham &
Kashdan, 2004; McCullough, Pargament, & Thoresen,
2000; McCullough & Witvliet, 2002; Worthington,
1998). Being insulted, betrayed, taken benefit
of, or wronged by others are inevitable, painful
facets of the human expertise. The anger and
resentment created by interpersonal transgressions
can destroy relationships and droop us in obsessive
rumination over the offense. For instance, appreciable
analysis means that dangerous marriages
are typified by must “get even,” resulting in an limitless
cycle of reciprocating unfavourable feedback and
actions (Gottman, 1994, 1998; Reis & Gable, 2003).
Forgiveness has the potential to restore relationships
and undo the unfavourable feelings associated to revenge
and resentment.
Though there is no such thing as a consensual definition of forgiveness,
a number of opinions level to core options shared
among the many main conceptualizations (Fincham &
Kashdan, 2004; McCullough et al., 2000; McCullough &
Witvliet, 2002; Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Fincham
and Kashdan argue that “on the heart of varied
approaches to forgiveness is the concept of a freely chosen
motivational transformation wherein the will to
search revenge and to keep away from contact with the transgressor
is lessened, a course of generally described as an
‘altruistic reward’ ” (p. 618). Most researchers additionally agree
that forgiveness is distinct from associated ideas such
as excusing (concluding that the damage was not the
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234 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
transgressor’s fault or intention), condoning (reframing
the act as not likely being an offense), denial (not confronting
the offense), and forgetting (permitting reminiscence
of the offense to fade) (Enright & Coyle, 1998).
Reconciliation can be considered as completely different than forgiveness
as a result of it includes a mutual effort to revive a
relationship by each the offender and the offended
(McCullough & Witvliet, 2002).
Researchers disagree about whether or not forgiveness
requires optimistic emotions and actions towards
the transgressor (e.g., elevated kindness, compassion,
making contact), or whether or not the absence of
unfavourable responses is enough (e.g., decreased
revenge, hostility, and avoidance). Analysis suggests
that the optimistic and unfavourable responses could also be
unbiased dimensions of forgiveness that result in
completely different outcomes, and that these outcomes could also be
associated to phases of forgiveness. For instance, Enright
and his colleagues (1998) view forgiveness as a
developmental course of involving phases or levels
of forgiveness that may be evaluated based on
their diploma of genuineness. An act of forgiveness
could also be heartfelt or disingenuous. Real forgiveness
requires compassion, benevolence, and love for
the offender, along with a relinquishment of the
proper to revenge, resentment, and indifference.
A ultimate definitional complication issues the
distinction between laypersons’ and psychologists’
understandings of forgiveness. Whereas laypersons’
understanding of forgiveness overlaps significantly
with psychologists’ conceptions, there are additionally necessary
variations (Kantz, 2000; Kearns & Fincham,
2004). Recall that psychologists categorical the opinion
that forgiving somebody doesn't imply the identical factor
as merely excusing, condoning, denying, forgetting,
or reconciling the damage. Kearns and Fincham (2004)
discovered that, opposite to psychologists’ definitions, 28%
of laypeople believed forgetting in regards to the offense
was an necessary attribute of forgiveness and 28%
thought reconciliation was a big potential
end result of forgiveness.
The burgeoning analysis literature presents a
sophisticated image of the outcomes of forgiveness.
That is partly as a result of researchers outline and measure
forgiveness in numerous methods (Thompson & Snyder,
2003). Some opinions recommend that forgiveness usually
results in small, however constant optimistic outcomes
in well being and well-being (e.g., McCullough & Witvliet,
2002), whereas others argue that such conclusions
are untimely (e.g., Fincham & Kashdan, 2004).
All researchers acknowledge the tentative nature of
conclusions on this new space of analysis and the necessity
to know the numerous components mediating the results
of forgiveness. For instance, the the explanation why individuals
forgive are necessary to the results of forgiveness. In
one examine, individuals who forgave out of a way of obligation
reasonably than love confirmed no lower in anger
and associated physiological responses resembling blood
stress (Huang & Enright, 2000). Right here, we are going to
evaluate research that exemplify the potential of forgiveness
to scale back the deleterious results of hostility
attributable to a private offense.
Anger and hostility are strongly implicated in
heart problems (Friedman & Rosenman,
1974). Proof that forgiveness is likely to be an antidote
for the unfavourable results of hostility is proven in
a current examine by Witvliet, Ludwig, and Vander Laan
(2001). On this examine, a wide range of physiological
measures had been taken as faculty undergraduates
imagined forgiving and unforgiving responses to a
real-life offense. Within the forgiveness creativeness
train, college students had been requested to empathize with
the humanity of the offender and grant forgiveness.
Within the unforgiveness situation, they mentally
rehearsed the damage of the offense and nursed their
grudge in opposition to the offender. College students within the unforgiveness
situation confirmed considerably extra cardiovascular
reactions (coronary heart fee & blood stress
will increase), exhibited extra sympathetic nervous
system arousal (pores and skin conductance), and reported
extra unfavourable feelings (e.g., anger, unhappiness) than
college students within the forgiveness creativeness situation.
In distinction, the forgiveness creativeness train
produced decrease physiological reactivity, extra optimistic
feelings, and better emotions of management.
Though solely a short-term examine, these outcomes
affirm the potential well being advantages of forgiveness.
Forgiveness appears significantly necessary as a
doable restore mechanism for the inevitable battle
that happens in relationships. As we have now famous
many instances, caring relations with others are one among
the extra vital components in our well being and happiness.
Research help the contribution of forgiveness
to marital high quality and the connection between
forgiveness and different relationship components, such
as increased total relationship satisfaction, better
empathy for one’s accomplice, stronger dedication to
the connection, and fewer rumination about previous
offenses and about whether or not the offending accomplice
apologized (Fincham & Seaside, 2004; Fincham,
Seaside, & Davila, 2004; Finkel, Rusbult, Kumashiro, &
Hannon, 2002; McCullough & Worthington, 1997;
ISBN 1-256-51557-Four
Optimistic Psychology, by Steve R. Baumgardner and Marie Okay. Crothers. Printed by Prentice Corridor. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Training, Inc.
Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 235
McCullough et al., 2000; Paleari, Regalia, & Fincham,
2005). Forgiveness appears to each categorical and
improve shut, caring, and wholesome relationships. Let’s
discover this reciprocal affect a bit additional:
Forgiveness as an expression of marital high quality has
been demonstrated in research displaying particular variables
that predict individuals will forgive each other.
Particularly, sturdy dedication to the connection,
excessive ranges of satisfaction and closeness, excessive ranges
of emotional empathy for the offending accomplice, and
low ranges of rumination in regards to the offense by the
offended accomplice are all variables that predict
particular person will forgive a cherished one for a severe transgression.
On the flip facet, the optimistic results of
forgiveness are proven within the type of enhanced marital
high quality, elevated chance of future forgiveness,
and the statement that forgiveness contributes to the
restoration of closeness after a transgression happens
(e.g., McCullough et al., 1998; Paleari et al., 2005).
Like forgiveness, gratitude is deeply embedded in
most spiritual traditions, however defies straightforward definition.
Gratitude is extensively considered a advantage and ingratitude
as a vice (Bono, Emmons, & McCullough,
2004). Research present that emotions of gratitude are
among the many extra generally skilled optimistic
feelings, making us really feel completely satisfied, contended, and
joyful (Bono et al., 2004; Emmons & McCullough,
2004). Expressions of gratitude can vary from a
well mannered and compulsory “thanks” in on a regular basis life to
an appreciation and thankfulness for all times itself. A
outstanding characteristic of gratefulness is an appreciation
for the improved well-being that derives from
one other supply (e.g., an individual, God, or nature).
Emotions and expressions of gratitude would appear
significantly sturdy when the profit obtained was
freely given and when the benefactor incurred some
value and sacrifice (Emmons & Shelton, 2002).
McCullough, Kilpatrick, Emmons, and Larson
(2001) supplied one of many first conceptualizations
of gratitude. These researchers outline gratitude as
ethical have an effect on as a result of each the origins and penalties
of gratitude are oriented towards the wellbeing
of one other particular person. That's, gratitude arises
from advantage and concern with doing the best factor.
Additionally it is a prosocial act that sustains and reinforces
the observe of advantage due to the optimistic penalties
for each the benefactor and the beneficiary.
Gratitude is distinct from different ethical feelings, like
disgrace and guilt, as a result of these feelings imply we
have fallen in need of our ethical requirements and dedicated
some transgression in opposition to one other. In distinction,
gratitude derives from being the recipient of
useful acts from one other.
McCullough and his colleagues imagine gratitude
serves three ethical or social features: Gratitude can
perform as an ethical barometer, an ethical motive, and a
ethical reinforcer. As an ethical barometer, gratitude alerts
a change in a single’s social relationships, as each the
recipient (the one that obtained the type act) and
the benefactor (the one that supplied the type act)
acknowledge their roles in one another’s well-being.
Optimistic emotions are the barometer or index of this
change. As an ethical motive, gratitude could serve to
energize gratefulness amongst recipients of type acts, in
a reciprocating, “treat-kindness-with-kindness” mindset.
Recipients of a selected type act can also begin
pondering of different type issues accomplished for them by different
individuals, which can encourage them to precise gratitude
to these benefactors. As an ethical reinforcer, gratitude
could gasoline the benefactor’s want to proceed serving to
others sooner or later. In different phrases, receiving heartfelt
thanks from somebody creates optimistic feelings, and
thereby serves as highly effective reinforcement, resulting in
elevated chance of future useful acts. An analysis
of empirical proof related to the three features
of gratitude discovered average help for gratitude
as an ethical barometer, weak help for the ethical
motive perform, and really sturdy help for gratitude
as an ethical reinforcer (Bono et al., 2004; Emmons &
McCullough, 2004; McCullough et al., 2001).
Deal with Analysis: Growing
Nicely-Being by Counting Your Blessings
Since gratitude is related to optimistic emotions,
might well-being be enhanced by asking individuals to
take into consideration and maintain observe of their blessings? This
was the query examined by Emmons and
McCullough (2003) in three separate research. Of their
first examine, faculty college students had been assigned to one among
three situations.
Within the grateful situation, college students got
the next directions: “There are a lot of issues in
our lives, each massive and small, that we is likely to be grateful
about. Assume again over the past week and write
down on the traces beneath as much as 5 issues in your life
that you're grateful or grateful for” (Emmons &
McCullough, 2003, p. 379). On this situation, college students
talked about things like the helpfulness of buddies,
ISBN 1-256-51557-Four
Optimistic Psychology, by Steve R. Baumgardner and Marie Okay. Crothers. Printed by Prentice Corridor. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Training, Inc.
236 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
having nice dad and mom, and thankfulness to God for his
assist in their life.
Within the hassles situation, the next directions
got: “Hassles are irritants—issues that
annoy or trouble you. They happen in varied domains
of life, together with relationships, work, faculty, housing,
funds, well being, and so forth. Assume again over
right now and, on the traces beneath, checklist as much as 5 hassles
that occurred in your life” (Emmons & McCullough,
2003, p. 379). Hassles talked about by the scholar contributors
included issues like dwindling funds for
faculty, a messy kitchen that nobody would clear,
poor take a look at efficiency in a school class, and lack of
appreciation from buddies.
Directions for the occasions situation had been as
follows: “What had been a number of the occasions or circumstances
that affected you previously week? Assume
again over the previous week and write down on the
traces beneath 5 occasions that had an affect on you”
(Emmons & McCullough, 2003, p. 379). Occasions talked about
included attending a pageant, studying a brand new
ability, taking a visit and cleansing up one’s place of
College students additionally accomplished well-being measures
that included scores of temper, total well-being,
bodily well being signs, and the expertise of 30
completely different optimistic and unfavourable feelings. College students in
every situation (grateful, hassles, or occasions) accomplished
all measures as soon as every week over a interval
of 10 weeks. In a second examine, college students had been once more
assigned to both a grateful situation or a hassles
situation, however a downward comparability situation
was substituted for the occasions situation. For downward
comparisons, contributors had been requested to assume
of how wherein they had been higher off than others. In
this second examine, college students recorded their responses
every day, over a 2-week interval.
In comparison with college students within the hassles and occasions
situations, college students within the grateful situation
appeared to reap numerous well-being advantages.
They reported being extra grateful; mentioned they felt
higher about life basically; skilled extra optimistic
feelings; reported fewer unfavourable feelings;
and had been extra optimistic in regards to the future. Within the
10-week examine, college students additionally reported fewer well being
issues and will increase in each the quantity and
high quality of sleep skilled. Maybe due to its
quick period, well being advantages weren't discovered within the
2-week every day diary examine.
In a 3rd examine, grownup contributors with
neuromuscular ailments had been recruited via
a college neuromuscular illness clinic.
Members stored every day diaries for 21 days and
had been assigned to both a grateful situation (as in
earlier research) or a “no-manipulation” situation
wherein solely the well-being measures had been
accomplished. Stories from spouses or vital
others had been additionally gathered to assist validate the
self-reports of contributors. Outcomes confirmed that,
in comparison with the no-manipulation group, contributors
assigned to the grateful situation reported
increased total subjective well-being, extra optimistic
views of the longer term, extra frequent optimistic
feelings, a discount in unfavourable feelings, extra
sleep, sleep of improved high quality, and a stronger
sense of connection to others. These adjustments
had been corroborated by the experiences of others who
noticed improved well-being amongst contributors in
the grateful situation, as in comparison with contributors
within the no-manipulation situation.
Of their conclusion, Emmons and McCullough
recommend that, as a result of grateful expressions enhance
optimistic feelings, gratitude is likely to be an necessary
contributor to the upward spiral of well-being
described in Fredrickson’s broaden-and-build principle
of optimistic feelings (see Chapter 2). That's, gratitude
has the potential to advertise optimistic feelings,
restore relationships, and offset the poisonous results of
revengeful hostility. These results are constant
with Fredrickson’s concept that optimistic feelings construct
psychological and social sources for wholesome and
adaptive functioning.
We started this chapter by describing the
monumental effort to develop a classification system
of human virtues and strengths of character
(the “Values in Motion” Undertaking). The aim of
this effort was to offer a language for describing
the “good,” in human conduct and what goes
proper in individuals’s lives, with a view to steadiness psychology’s
long-standing concentrate on the “dangerous” and what
goes fallacious. The Diagnostic and Statistical
Guide of Psychological Problems catalogues the numerous
psychological and emotional issues that plague
human beings. Psychological well being professionals have
developed a wide range of therapies to deal with psychological
problems. In some ways, the VIA mission is an
analogous effort, however one that's centered on wellbeing
and happiness. The VIA mission goals
to delineate the optimistic behaviors that underlie
well-being and happiness. On this regard, practising
forgiveness and gratitude are examples of
interventions analogous to psychotherapy, however
meant to advertise a life on the optimistic facet of
zero, reasonably than to deal with sickness.
ISBN 1-256-51557-Four
Optimistic Psychology, by Steve R. Baumgardner and Marie Okay. Crothers. Printed by Prentice Corridor. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Training, Inc.
Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character 237
Chapter Abstract Questions
1. Why have psychologists tended to keep away from the
examine of morality and advantage?
2. How did the Values in Motion Undertaking researchers
develop and choose their checklist of 6 virtues and 24
character strengths?
three. What's the distinction between knowledge and
“ebook studying,” intelligence, technical information,
or being “good?” What does it imply to be
Four. What three pursuits are clever individuals skillful at balancing,
based on Sternberg’s steadiness principle?
5. What do Baltes and his colleagues imply when
they describe knowledge as knowledgeable information of
the “elementary pragmatics of life?”
6. How does knowledge relate to happiness, in accordance
to analysis by Baltes and his colleagues? Are
clever individuals happier?
7. What function does knowledge play within the SOC mannequin
of efficient life administration, based on Baltes
and his colleagues?
eight. What are the arguments supporting self-control
as a grasp advantage? How is failed self-control evident
within the “Seven Lethal Sins,” based on
Baumeister and Exline?
9. How could faith fulfill the 4 wants (described
by Baumeister) that underlie a significant life
(function, worth, self-efficacy, and self-worth)?
10. What does it imply when somebody describes
themselves as “non secular, however not spiritual?”
What has analysis proven in regards to the share
of people that make and determine with this
11. How does Pargament outline faith and spirituality?
What's the defining characteristic of every; and
why is faith thought-about the broader idea?
12. What common conclusions are drawn from
analysis investigating the connection between
faith and well-being? Of the 4 measures
used to measure religiousness, which is the
strongest predictor of well-being?
13. How could the connection between well being and
faith be defined (three components)?
14. In accordance with the basic work of Gordon Allport,
how does the excellence between intrinsic and
extrinsic spiritual orientation assist remedy the religious-
prejudice puzzle?
15. How could an attachment to God serve a perform
just like attachment to oldsters?
16. a. What's the distinction between optimistic and
unfavourable coping types, based on Pargament
and his colleagues?
b. What “spiritual wrestle” may trigger clergy
members to make use of extra unfavourable coping types
than rank-and-file church members, in accordance
to Pargament and his colleagues?
17. What's the distinction between “explaining faith
versus explaining faith away,” in accordance
to Pargament?
18. Why do researchers imagine forgiveness could
launch individuals from the damaging results of unfavourable
feelings like anger and revenge and likewise assist
restore and improve relationships? What does preliminary
analysis recommend about these prospects?
19. a. How could gratitude perform as an ethical barometer,
an ethical motive, and an ethical reinforcer,
based on McCullough and his colleagues?
b. What optimistic outcomes had been related to
gratitude amongst faculty college students and adults
affected by neuromuscular ailments within the
current examine by Emmons and McCullough?
Key Phrases
values in motion mission 208
knowledge 209
braveness 209
humanity 211
justice 211
temperance 211
transcendence 211
steadiness principle 215
knowledge as knowledgeable
information 216
SOC Mannequin: choice,
optimization, and
compensation 218
function 221
worth 221
self-efficacy 221
interpretive management 222
self-worth 222
faith (Pargament) 225
spirituality (Pargament) 225
sanctification 226
intrinsic versus extrinsic spiritual
orientation 228
quest spiritual orientation 230
attachment principle 230
optimistic coping types 231
unfavourable coping types 232
forgiveness 233
gratitude 235
ISBN 1-256-51557-Four
Optimistic Psychology, by Steve R. Baumgardner and Marie Okay. Crothers. Printed by Prentice Corridor. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Training, Inc.
238 Chapter 10 • Advantage and Strengths of Character
Net Sources
Values in Motion Undertaking
www.viastrengths.org/index.aspx?ContentID=1 That is
the website online for the Values in Motion Undertaking. Comply with
the hyperlinks to VIA Measurement Devices and also you
can register (free) to take an extended or transient model of the
character power inventories. You do have to offer
demographic data that's used alongside along with your
responses in a web based examine of character strengths.
Genuine Happiness
www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu That is Martin
Seligman’s website on the College of Pennsylvania. The
identical VIA Undertaking measures of character strengths are
out there on this website. There's additionally a measure of forgiveness.
You have to log in, create a password, and supply
demographic data to take the checks and
have them scored for you. A profile of scores on all
checks is computed and could be accessed at anytime.
Psychology of Faith
virtualreligion.internet/vri/psych.html This website supplies
a lot of hyperlinks to analysis and researchers
within the psychology of faith, from basic works by
William James to current research.
www.apa.org/about/division/div36.html That is the
website online for Division 36, Psychology of Faith of
the American Psychological Affiliation. Incorporates
details about conferences and present analysis.
facultymembers/pargament.html This website online is by
Kenneth Pargament (Bowling Inexperienced College), one
of the highest researchers within the psychology of faith.
It supplies itemizing of his previous and up to date analysis.
Gratitude and Forgiveness
html This website for Michael McCullough supplies
entry to analysis articles on gratitude and forgiveness,
a gratitude questionnaire, and hyperlinks to Robert
Emmons and different researchers on this space.
Instructed Readings
Baumeister, R. F. (1991). Meanings of life. New York:
Baumeister, R. F., & Exline, J. J. (1999). Advantage, character,
and social relations: Self-control as an ethical muscle.
Journal of Character, 67, 1165–1194.
Baltes, P. B. (1997). On the unfinished structure of
human ontogeny: Choice, optimization, and compensation
as foundations of developmental principle.
American Psychologist, 52, 366–380.
Emmons, R. A. (1999). The psychology of final issues:
Motivation and spirituality in character. New
York: Guilford Press.
Hill, P. C., & Pargament, Okay. I. (2003). Advances within the conceptualization
and measurement of faith and spirituality.
American Psychologist, 58, 64–74.
Koenig, H. G., & Cohen, H. J. (Eds.). (2002). The hyperlink
between faith and well being: Psychoneuroimmunology
and the religion issue. New York: Oxford College Press.
Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2001).
Handbook of faith and well being. New York: Oxford
College Press.
Linley, P. A., & Joseph, S. (Eds.). (2004). Optimistic psychology
in observe. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
McCullough, M. E. (Ed.). (1999). Forgiveness: Concept,
analysis and observe. New York: Guilford Publications.
Pargament, Okay. I. (1997). The psychology of faith and
coping: Concept, analysis and observe. New York:
Guilford Publications.
Paulus, D. L., Wehr, P., Harms, P. D., & Strasser, D. H.
(2002). Use of exemplars to disclose implicit varieties of intelligence.
Character and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28,
Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character
strengths and virtues: A handbook of classification.
Washington, DC: American Psychological Affiliation/
New York: Oxford College Press.
Spilka, B., Hood, R. W., Jr., Hunsberger, B., & Gorsuch, R.
(2003). The psychology of faith: An empirical
method. New York: Guilford Press.
ISBN 1-256-51557-Four
Optimistic Psychology, by Steve R. Baumgardner and Marie Okay. Crothers. Printed by Prentice Corridor. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Training, Inc.






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