Summary of Learned Optimism

How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

Vintage Books,
First Edition: 1990 more...

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Learned Optimism book summary
Make optimism work for you. Believing that a positive future is possible actually makes it easier to achieve.


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Despite equal talent and drive, it turns out that optimists will succeed where pessimists fear to tread. The good news is that you can learn optimism and lean on it to respond to adversity and inculcate greater resilience. Through descriptions of dozens of studies performed since the ’70s, author Martin Seligman conveys the history and landscape that define "positive psychology," the science he helped to found. He offers cognitive techniques designed to tweak your natural disposition and give you the advantage of optimism. getAbstract recommends this book as a seminal work of positive psychology.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why optimists succeed more than pessimists;
  • How to change and become more optimistic; and
  • Why this matters to you and your children.


Half Empty, Half Full
Three modern forces have converged to cause an epidemic of depression, particularly in rich, free, prosperous America: 1) the greater emphasis on the individual; 2) the erosion of shared social experiences; and 3) the priority on developing high self-esteem. This ...
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About the Author

Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D. is a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and past president of the American Psychological Association. He is a pioneer in the field of positive psychology and the author of Authentic Happiness and The Optimistic Child.

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    Shane Bywater 5 years ago
    Great read - and I bought the book. A rather productive book to share with your staff and work through as a book review.....

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