Martin Seligman revolutionized psychology when he asked a simple question: “Why don’t we use the considerable tools and knowledge psychology has produced to study what makes human flourish?” It seems obvious now, but for more than 100 years, psychology has mainly focused on how humans suffer, and how to alleviate or help that suffering, but Seligman notes “Curing negatives does not create positives.” Positive Psychology, and this book, explore how we can move from a negative to a positive.
Pragmatic Application (9/10)
ABCDE Method (Chapters 12)
Chapter 1: Learned Optimism
Pessimism depends on Learned Helplessness
focus on what you can change when adversity happens
He wants to redefine depression and achievement
The Theory of Personal Control
learned helplessness – the quitting response
Explanatory Style – how we habitually explain to ourselves why an event happens
Chapter 2: Learning to be Helpless
Helpless dogs experiment
The Triad Experiment
2nd exp. to prove behaviorist wrong
Explanatory Style – how we unconsciously explain adversity to ourselves
The Three ways Pessimists self-explain
Bad things are permanent, due to personal flaws, and this baddness affects all areas of life.
Even “normal” pessimism effects our work, life satisfaction, health, and immunization to episodic depression
Task: practice looking at an event through the optimist and Pessimist reality tunnel
Take the pessimism test
Chapter 4: Ultimate Pessimism
Three kinds of Depression
Depression is more prevalent than ever. Das Explanatory style is how we change this.
Chapter 5: How You Think, How You Feel
Ellis and Beck are the fathers of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (This is only a part, diet and exercise protocols are key)
This is a big deal and something I don’t know if anyone has done.
Understanding the human from an evolutionary perspective is the key here
Learned Helplessness and Explanatory Style
-pessimistic explanatory styles plus bad events equal likely depression
-like smoking increases lung cancer chance
-teaching optimism will help prevent depression like not smoking helps prevent lung cancer
-both optimists and pessimists can be ruminaters
-The opposite of rumination is action.
Externalization of Voices is a great tech and one I can do on the podcast.
It’s hard for people to argue with the automatic voices in their heads. This is understandable. Most people are very bad at debating and they resort to ad hominem attacks, and you cant use that tactic when you are arguing with yourself lol.
Chapter 6: Changing From Pessimism to Optimism
Take the test to see where you are at (almost everyone can use this technique in their life)
Start ABC Journal
Accumulate at least 5 ABCs
Begin Disputing one everyday
D- How to Argue with yourself
E – how does the successful disputation make you feel?
Once learned optimism is a habit, the next level is flexible optimism
To be able to move back and forth between the clarity of pessimism and the usefulness of optimism