UMass Dartmouth professor's book offers insight on the power of positivity in relationships

Professor Mahzad Hojjat's "Positive Psychology of Love" explores the intersection of close relationships and positive psychology

With the arrival of the holiday season, relationships amongst families and friends can be tested with shopping, traveling, cooking, decorating, and making time for loved ones. UMass Dartmouth Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Mahzad Hojjat is the co-editor, with psychologist and Professor of Psychological Health Duncan Cramer (Loughborough University, England), of "Positive Psychology of Love," which explores how the areas of close relationships, such as love, friendship, social support, and forgiveness relate to positive psychology.

"Looking at the aspects of romantic love, friendship, and communication in our close and intimate relationships through the lens of positive psychology changes the focus from the causes and effects of sickness and disease to the causes and effects of health and happiness," said Dr. Hojjat. "Positivity is what makes us thrive. It is what makes life worth living."

Positive psychology is a relatively new area of research that has garnered the attention of researchers and the public in recent years by focusing on what makes people healthy, instead of what makes people sick. Dr. Hojjat's book, which will be translated into Chinese in August 2015, contains writings from a number of international contributors dissecting the importance of close relationships in our health, growth, happiness, and well-being.

"Hojjat and Cramer rounded up all the top researchers on love and asked them for their best thoughts on the topic. My big takeaway from this impressive work, 'Positive Psychology of Love', is that when we love deeply we are better human beings," said Shane Lopez, who serves as Research Director of The Clifton Strengths Institute.

"In 'Positive Psychology of Love', Hojjat and Cramer have done a splendid job of assembling a cast that includes some of the best scientists in the field of relationships. Guided by sound theory and solidly anchored in scientific research, each chapter provides a synthesis of research at the intersection of love and positive psychology from a variety of perspectives. A must-read for anyone interested in relationships and/or positive psychology," said Robert J. Vallerand, who serves as President of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Dr. Hojjat received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology and Personality in 1998 from Yale University under the supervision of Robert Sternberg. She has researched and taught seminars on various topics within the field of close relationships for the last twenty years. Her research interests include romantic love, relationship conflict and satisfaction, betrayal and forgiveness in friendships and romantic relationships. In addition to "Positive Psychology of Love," she has a number of publications in the field of close relationships including a co-edited book with Robert Sternberg, entitled Satisfaction in Close Relationships (Guilford, 1997).

Departments : Directory Psychology Dept, Features