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Starting Points for Positive Sociology

February 26, 2014

By: Margarita Mooney


“Ever since I met Martin Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology, at his home near Philadelphia last fall to discuss what movement for positive sociology might look like, I’ve been pondering:

What unique opportunities exist to build a new positive sociology movement focusing on human flourishing and the common good? How can positive sociology build on the successes and shortcomings of positive psychology? What are the next steps in launching in a positive sociology movement?

To delve into these questions, in November of 2012, I convened a group of eight sociologists (and one psychologist) to meet with Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center.”

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3 Reasons Your Happiness is an Act of Compassion

February 25, 2014

By: Emma Seppala


“The Pursuit of Happiness—it’s an inalienable right and U.S. Constitution. You see it everywhere you look from sitcoms to couples walking by. Yet…have you ever had that gnawing feeling, or gloom and doom sense, that happiness is just…well…not for you?

Well you’re absolutely right. Science agrees. It’s not, and here’s why.”

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Is It Wrong to Plagiarize from an Email?

February 24, 2014

By: Adam Grant


“Last year, before the launch of my first book, I promised my publisher that I would send an email about it to my friends, colleagues, and former students. I spent hours agonizing over the wording of the first draft, wanting to make sure that I wasn’t spamming the people close to me, but sending something they’d be happy to read. After several days of tinkering, I finally sent it out.

A few weeks later, I was in for a surprise. A colleague had written a book, and he sent an email announcing it to his network, using the text from my message… verbatim.”

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Atonement and Resilience

February 19, 2014

By: Margarita Mooney


“How can the concept of resilience be applied to atonement between victims of crime and perpetrators of crime? Last week, I visited a class at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor called The Atonement Project where we discussed that very question.”

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U-M Ross School of Business Announces Speaker Lineup for Inaugural Positive Business Conference

February 18, 2014


Convergence of business executives and academics offers first-of-its-kind conference experience

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Feb. 18, 2014 – The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today unveiled the roster of high-profile speakers that will address attendees at its inaugural Positive Business Conference, which will take place May 15-17, 2014 at the Ross School of Business. C-level executives from companies including Whole Foods Market, Ford and Procter & Gamble will take the stage to share the most inspiring and practical positive business practices currently in place at their organizations. With a number of academics presenting and conducting workshops alongside world class business leaders, the breadth of business topics that will be addressed will make the conference a unique experience for all attendees.

The three-day Positive Business Conference will bring together the diverse perspectives of business professionals, academics, students and industry luminaries. The conference will host sessions with both practical examples of positive business practices being implemented, as well as workshops based on the cutting-edge research underlying the practices. Select Ross faculty will lead interactive workshops on specific approaches to building positive businesses across a range of disciplines.

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Negotiating Your Salary Without Playing Hardball

February 17, 2014

By: Adam Grant


“A few times a week, I get requests for advice on negotiating a job offer. They usually start like this: I’m in the recruiting process, and I just received an offer from the organization that I want to join. I’d like to sign, but I was hoping for a higher salary. What should I do?

According to conventional wisdom, the best way to boost your salary is to get an offer from a competing employer with a higher salary. It’s true that a competing offer gives you leverage, but many people find this strategy distasteful. If you’ve already decided where you want to work, and you’re not well along the way with other employers, it’s disingenuous to start interviewing elsewhere, not to mention a waste of your time.

In many cases, I’ve proposed a different strategy. It requires no hardball negotiating and keeps your integrity intact.”

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The Uniting Principles Glenn Beck Should Have Talked About

February 14, 2014

By: Wayne Baker


Incivility can be fun. It was for Glenn Beck, he recently admitted in a Fox News interview. Looking back on his career at Fox, he apologized for the divisiveness he promoted, wishing that he “could have talked about the uniting principles a little more.” Rather than a conservative warrior in the culture wars, he revealed himself to be a culture war profiteer who enriched himself by supplying the conflict. And he’s not the only one.

Are there uniting principles? Right now, millions of Americans are hoping we can heal our painful divisions. The good news, after extensive nationwide research, is that Americans share a wide range of core values. This newly released research, which I conducted through the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, shows that Americans have common ground around 10 core values. These values are strongly and widely held across demographic, religious, and political lines.

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Hope is a Positive Four-Letter Word

February 13, 2014

By: Margot Murphy


“Hope, in some contexts, implies a lack of proactivity or responsibility for the future – “wishful thinking,” if you will. This week, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on this misunderstanding in two separate conversations on the topics of hope and resilience.”

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