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Standing on the shoulders of giants : notes on early positive psychology (psychofortology)

  • Journal Title: South African Journal of Psychology
  • Volume: Volume 35
  • Issue:  Issue 1
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: p.21  - 45
  • Authors:  D.J.W. Strumpfer;
  • ISSN: 00812463
  • Abstract:  Psychofortology is an alternative designation for positive psychology, and fortology (Latin fortis = strong) an antonym for pathology. The strengths paradigm has ancient origins. In this article brief reviews are presented of contributions made during the first eight decades of the twentieth century by mainly psychologists and psychiatrists. Among the most outstanding were James, Jung, Allport, Murray, Rogers, Frankl, Maslow, Csikszentmihalyi and Antonovsky; in all, some 40 forerunners are mentioned. By way of integration, their concepts are classified in terms of J. M. Digman's (1997) higher order personality factors a (socialisation process) and ß (personal growth), as well as spirituality/religiousness. A preponderance of the personal growth category was noticeable, particularly from the late 1950s until the early 1970s. The relative neglect of socialisation and interdependencies deserves to be remedied in fortological theory and research.
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