Book description

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eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
File size4.9 Mb
Release date 08.04.2004
Pages count816
Book rating4.22 (131 votes)
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Christopher Peterson's and Martin Seligman's Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) is supposed to be the "positive" antidote to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, more popularly known as the DSM, now in its fifth incarnation DSM-5. Whereas the DSM-5 is a catalog of all the mental problems a person could be said to have, the CSV is supposed to be a catalog of all the mental strengths a person could be said to have. The CSV is part of a larger effort to get people not only to overcome their disorders but to understand and better realize their strengths and therefore their potential as human beings.

To give you an example for how this would work, Readers are asked to go to, sign up (it's free), take this very long survey called the "VIA Survey of Character Strengths," and then read what their top five strengths are. After that, they can read about those strengths in this book, the CSV and find better ways to make use of those strengths in their daily lives. My top strengths, for instance, are "love of learning," "curiosity," "creativity," "humor," and "open-mindedness." I am also a teacher. Here is a simple way I can integrate these strengths into my teaching. I can learn about the subject I teach as much as possible through study ("love of learning"), I can discover new things about my students through asking questions and allowing exercises where students open up ("curiosity"), I can research news methods for teaching more effectively ("creativity"), I can make fun of myself and my blunders, and general incongruities in life and work and so on, as they come up in the classroom ("humor"), and I can be receptive and understanding to my students and their expression, giving them first the benefit of the doubt ("open-mindedness"). It is also, of course, possible for me to integrate these strengths into my relationships and into my play.

Readers of this book are also encouraged, after they have better incorporated their natural strengths into their lives, to cultivate another strength. For example, I could do more to increase "Kindness/Generosity" as a strength, by displaying kindness in various situations to students and colleagues. And of course in other areas of life.

I highly recommend the book.

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