Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

 From Wikipedia:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (born September 29, 1934, in Fiume, Italy – now Rijeka, Croatia) is a Hungarian psychology professor, who emigrated to the United States at the age of 22. Now at Claremont Graduate University, he is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College.

He is noted for both his work in the study of happiness and creativity and also for his notoriously difficult name, in terms of pronunciation for non-native speakers of the Hungarian language, but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow and for his years of research and writing on the topic. He is the author of many books and over 120 articles or book chapters. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology. Csikszentmihalyi once said “Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason.” His works are influential and are widely cited.

Check out his ted talk: Csikszentmihalyi  @ ted

Quotes:

But religions are only temporarily successful attempts to cope with the lack of meaning in life; they are not permanent answers.

Children careen from one flow moment to another, animated by a sense of joy, equipped with a mindset of possibility, and working with the dedication of a West Point cadet. They use their brains and their bodies to probe and draw feedback from the environment in an endless pursuit of mastery.

Left to their own devices, children seek out flow with the inevitability of a natural law. So should we all.

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Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

From Wikipedia:

Dan Ariely (born April 29, 1967) is an Israeli American professor of psychology and behavioral economics. He teaches at Duke University and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight. Ariely’s talks on TED have been watched 2.8 million times. He is the author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, both of which became New York Times best sellers.

TED bio:

Despite our best efforts, bad or inexplicable decisions are as inevitable as death and taxes and the grocery store running out of your favorite flavor of ice cream. They’re also just as predictable. Why, for instance, are we convinced that “sizing up” at our favorite burger joint is a good idea, even when we’re not that hungry? Why are our phone lists cluttered with numbers we never call? Dan Ariely, behavioral economist, has based his career on figuring out the answers to these questions, and in his bestselling book Predictably Irrational (re-released in expanded form in May 2009), he describes many unorthodox and often downright odd experiments used in the quest to answer this question.

Ariely has long been fascinated with how emotional states, moral codes and peer pressure affect our ability to make rational and often extremely important decisions in our daily lives — across a spectrum of our interests, from economic choices (how should I invest?) to personal (who should I marry?). At Duke, he’s aligned with three departments (business, economics and cognitive neuroscience); he’s also a visiting professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His hope that studying and understanding the decision-making process can help people lead better, more sensible daily lives.

He produces a weekly podcast, Arming the Donkeys, featuring chats with researchers in the social and natural sciences.

“If you want to know why you always buy a bigger television than you intended, or why you think it’s perfectly fine to spend a few dollars on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or why people feel better after taking a 50-cent aspirin but continue to complain of a throbbing skull when they’re told the pill they took just cost one penny, Ariely has the answer.”

Daniel Gross, Newsweek

TED intro to the talk:

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.

It’s become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely tells us why.

When it comes to the mental world, when we design things like health care and retirement and stock markets, we somehow forget the idea that we are limited. I think that if we understood our cognitive limitations in the same way that we understand our physical limitations … we could design a better world.”
—Dan Ariely

Here goes:

 

My view:

Funny, interesting & solid delivery.

… and “most people” are irrational.. indeed. I remember one of the first “talk’s” (Google Tech Talk actually) I saw.. David Rock stressed: Rational is overrated.

rating: 5/6

  • 5/6 on delivery
  • 5/6 on content

Martin Seligman: The new era of positive psychology

From TED bio:

Why you should listen to him:
Martin Seligman founded the field of positive psychology in 2000, and has devoted his career since then to furthering the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. It’s a fascinating field of study that had few empirical, scientific measures — traditional clinical psychology focusing more on the repair of unhappy states than the propagation and nurturing of happy ones. In his pioneering work, Seligman directs the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, developing clinical tools and training the next generation of positive psychologists.

His earlier work focused on perhaps the opposite state: learned helplessness, in which a person feels he or she is powerless to change a situation that is, in fact, changeable. Seligman is an often-cited authority in this field as well — in fact, his is the 13th most likely name to pop up in a general psych textbook. He was the leading consultant on a Consumer Reports study on long-term psychotherapy, and has developed several common pre-employment tests, including the Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire (SASQ).

Here it is:

Some important points:

The pleasant life: a life that successfully pursues the positive emotions about the present, past, and future.

The good life: using your signature strengths to obtain abundant gratification in the main realms of your life.

The meaningful life: using your signature strengths and virtues in the service of something much larger than you are.

The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living. The meaningful life adds one more component: using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power, or goodness.

Just as the good life is something beyond the pleasant life, the meaningful life is beyond the good life.

Pleasure is the least consequential… engagement and meaning are much more important.

—————

So we need to aim for the good & meaningful life. The pleasant life has lowest priority, but will be the icing on the cake.

My view:

rating: 5/6

  • 5/6 on delivery
  • 6/6 on content

Martin Seligman

From Wikipedia:

Born August 12, 1942 (age 69)
Albany, New York
Nationality American
Education Ph.D. in Psychology at University of Pennsylvania
Alma mater Princeton University
Occupation Psychologist, educator, and author
Employer University of Pennsylvania
Organization Department of Psychology
Title Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology

Martin E. P. “Marty” Seligman (born August 12, 1942) is an American psychologist, educator, and author of self-help books. His theory of learned helplessness is popular among scientific and clinical psychologists.

According to Haggbloom et al.’s study of the most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, Seligman was the 13th most frequently cited psychologist in introductory psychology textbooks throughout the century, as well as the 31st most eminent overall.

Seligman is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Psychology. He was previously the Director of the Clinical Training Program in the department. He is the director of the university’s Positive Psychology Center. Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association for 1998. He is the founding editor-in-chief of Prevention and Treatment Magazine (the APA electronic journal) and is on the board of advisers of Parents magazine.

Seligman has written about positive psychology topics such as The Optimistic ChildChild’s PlayLearned OptimismAuthentic Happiness, and Flourish.

Quotes:

The pleasant life: a life that successfully pursues the positive emotions about the present, past, and future.

The good life: using your signature strengths to obtain abundant gratification in the main realms of your life.

The meaningful life: using your signature strengths and virtues in the service of something much larger than you are.

The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living. The meaningful life adds one more component: using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power, or goodness.

Just as the good life is something beyond the pleasant life, the meaningful life is beyond the good life.

Pleasure is the least consequential… engagement and meaning are much more important.

It … came as a shock to us to discover that there are no less than six virtues that are endorsed across every major religious and cultural tradition. … Wisdom and knowledge, Courage, Love and humanity, Justice, Temperance, and Spirituality and Transcendence.

To be a virtuous person is to display, by acts of will, all or at least most of the six ubiquitous virtues: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence.

Work life is undergoing a sea change in the wealthiest nations. Money, amazingly, in losing its power. … Our economy is rapidly changing from a money economy to a satisfaction economy.

A composer can have all the talent of Mozart and a passionate desire to succeed, but if he believes he cannot compose music, he will come to nothing. He will not try hard enough. He will give up too soon when the elusive right melody takes too long to materialize.

Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair…

Self-esteem cannot be directly injected. It needs to result from doing well, from being warranted.

In your own life, you should take particular care with endings, for their color will forever tinge your memory of the entire relationship and your willingness to re-enter it.

People who believe they cause good things tend to like themselves better than people who believe good things come from other people or circumstances.

There is one aspect of happiness that’s been well studied, and it’s the notion of flow. Ask yourselves, when for you does time stop? When are you truly at home, wanting to be no place else?