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Articles by Derrick Carpenter

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (Book Review)
April 28, 2010 – 10:00 am | 7 Comments
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (Book Review)

Connected, written by Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD and James Fowler, PhD, is a wonderfully engaging review of research and anecdotes that illuminate the incredible—and often overlooked—influence that our social networks have on our lives. A …

(Book Review) Positively Happy by Sonja Lyubomirsky and Jamie Kurtz
November 22, 2009 – 2:22 pm | 2 Comments
(Book Review) Positively Happy by Sonja Lyubomirsky and Jamie Kurtz

Another workbook in the series presented by Robert Biswas-Diener’s Positive Psychology Services, Positively Happy: Routes to Sustainable Happiness is a superb workbook.  Sonja Lyubomirsky and Jamie Kurtz have culled positive psychology’s best researched methods …

No-Thinking Zone
September 22, 2009 – 3:42 pm | One Comment
No-Thinking Zone

I over-think. A lot. I bet many of you can relate.
My over-analysis rarely takes me to a higher state of being. In many cases, I get caught in spirals of “What if…?” and “If …

Fireflies and Flourishing in Numbers (IPPA Insights)
June 23, 2009 – 12:08 pm | 10 Comments
Fireflies and Flourishing in Numbers (IPPA Insights)

While walking to join a few friends yesterday evening at dusk, I passed through a lush green park in the center of Philadelphia. I was lost in my own head, contemplating the many interesting topics presented at the First World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). As I stepped softly through the grass in the approaching darkness of the evening sky, a light suddenly caught my eye. Waist-level beside me, hovering in the summer air, was a firefly.

Green Psychology
April 22, 2009 – 10:00 am | 5 Comments
Green Psychology

Today marks the 40th annual celebration of Earth Day in the United States. It is a good opportunity to tie together a few positive psychology themes with Mother Nature. We must learn to be good stewards of the environment and take care of the natural world around us so future generations may reap the same benefits.

Bonding and Brewing
February 25, 2009 – 11:00 am | 3 Comments
Bonding and Brewing

Why endure such a long and intense procedure all for a silly beverage? The answer is simple. I wasn’t brewing alone. Brewing was really just an excuse for some quality male bonding.

Great Expectations of Change
January 22, 2009 – 6:48 am | 7 Comments
Great Expectations of Change

As the United States ushers in a new political leader, many people across the world have high hopes for change, whether that be in an improved state of the world economy, substantial progress towards global peace, or a greater sense of purpose to get them out of bed tomorrow morning. Whatever the desired change may be, many people are wondering whether their high expectations can possibly be met.

The Gift of Giving
December 22, 2008 – 10:23 am | 6 Comments
The Gift of Giving

A few weeks back, I overheard a friend bemoan the lack of pure altruism in the world. Pure altruism is the act of doing something good to increase another person’s well-being for which the giver receives no benefit. As many of us prepare for holiday season highlighted by traditions of giving, I felt it might be a good time to give the old philosophical search for pure altruism a closer look. The lack of pure altruism among humans is a truly beautiful thing.

My Country, Darwin, and My Mom: Meaningful Human Connection
November 25, 2008 – 7:00 am | 6 Comments
My Country, Darwin, and My Mom: Meaningful Human Connection

On the night of the presidential election, I lounged and chatted on a cozy couch with friends in a Philadelphia apartment…. … Within moments… there were hundreds of people joyfully and peacefully making their way down the middle of the road. Just watching them, hugging as they went, and listening to the buzz of energy audible through the closed window sent chills down my spine. There was a profound sense of human connection.

Positive Psychology at the Movies by Niemiec and Wedding (Book Review)
October 22, 2008 – 11:32 am | 6 Comments
Positive Psychology at the Movies by Niemiec and Wedding (Book Review)

Films that intrinsically revolve around the study and exploration of character are a terrific medium for a journey through the VIA character strengths. A new book published this summer, Positive Psychology at the Movies by psychologists Ryan M. Niemiec and Danny Wedding perfectly lays the landscape for this wonderful journey of positive psychology in film.

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