McLEAN, Va., December 11, 2002 ( – The “positive psychology” movement of recent years offers new insights into what makes people happy, according to a USA Today report. Although the article reveals nothing new to readers with a smattering of classical philosophy or theology, modern psychologists are amazed by the findings.  University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman, author of the new book, Authentic Happiness, says, “the happiest people spend the least time alone. They pursue personal growth and intimacy; they judge themselves by their own yardsticks, never against what others do or have.” Materialism is “toxic for happiness,” says University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener.  “Life satisfaction occurs most often” when people are in “flow”—that is, “engaged in absorbing activities that cause them to forget themselves, lose track of time and stop worrying,” says Claremont psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. “Forgiveness is the trait most strongly linked to happiness,” says University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson: “It’s the queen of all virtues, and probably the hardest to come by.”  Gratitude, humility and altruism are also cited by a Harvard psychologist.  To read the USA Today article, see:   For a reminder that all these ideas have been present in the Greco-Judeo-Christian tradition for millennia see:


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