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ERIC Number: EJ942075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0003-066X
Positive Psychology and War: An Oxymoron
Phipps, Sean
American Psychologist, v66 n7 p641-642 Oct 2011
The author was deeply disturbed by the January 2011 issue of the "American Psychologist," which engendered a series of emotions in the author: first dismay, then anger, and finally a sense of shame about the current state of the profession. This was ostensibly an exposition of "positive psychology" principles and how they are to be applied in a colossal experiment designed to support our military in their fight against the ideology of jihadist Islam. The author found it hard to see what was positive in the presentation. Not one of the authors in this special issue discussed applying positive psychology principles to the reduction of conflict between nations, to the prevention of war, or to the promotion of peace. How about a positive psychology that questions the wisdom of leaders who tell us that the use of force is unavoidable, and seeks instead to help them find alternative, peaceful solutions? A true positive psychology should be primarily addressed to eradicating the disease of war, not to supporting those who fight it.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A