Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD

University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman is the father of Positive Psychology and former president of the American Psychological Association. He is a leading authority on resilience, optimism, pessimism, and well-being. In 1998, Dr. Seligman launched the positive psychology movement in his presidential address to the American Psychological Association, challenging the field to proactively study what makes life worth living. Since then, the field has attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in research grants and has provoked tens of thousands of studies, which have led to meaningful, positive changes in business, education, government, healthcare, military, and other settings.

Dr. Seligman is the recipient of many awards, including the American Psychological Association (APA) Award for Lifetime Contributions to Psychology (2017), the Tang Award for Lifetime Achievement in Psychology (2014), the APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution (2006), the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Research in Psychopathology (1997), the Distinguished Contribution Award for Basic Research with Applied Relevance from the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology (1992), the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for Applications of Psychological Knowledge from the American Psychological Society (1995), and the William James Fellow Award for Contributions to Basic Science from the American Psychological Society (1991).

Dr. Seligman currently serves as the Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center, Director of the Penn Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program, and the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has written more than 350 scholarly publications and 30 books which have been translated into more than 50 languages.


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