Seeing it All
Seeing it All
The Light and Dark Sides of Positive Emotion
This edited volume sets out to provide a comprehensive portrait of the nature of positive emotion, including both its healthy as well as its unhealthy features and consequences, which we have conceptualized as the “light” and “dark” sides of positive emotion, respectively. In this introductory chapter, we lay out the tapestry that underlies this mission and unites the distinct chapters in this volume. We begin by introducing the recent cultural and scientific zeitgest about happiness, appealing to a broad interest in better understanding positive emotion. Next, we discuss the importance of recent work that has highlighted the “light side” or adaptive value of positive emotions for our social, cognitive, physical, and psychological health. We then argue that another, perhaps darker side, of positive emotion is gaining increasing momentum concerning the contexts and determinants by which positive emotion may also lead to maladaptive processes and outcomes. We conclude by discussing how this body of work calls for a comprehensive and integrative portrait of positive emotion that considers both sides, which this edited volume aspires to provide.
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