Albert Ellis: Unsung hero of positive psychology

Bernard, M. E.; Froh, J. J.; DiGiuseppe, R.; Joyce, M. R. and Dryden, Windy. 2010. Albert Ellis: Unsung hero of positive psychology. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(4), pp. 302-310. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The contributions of Albert Ellis to the understanding of human happiness including his suggestions for living a happier life have not been represented in the field of positive psychology. This article presents Ellis’ theoretical constructs associated with his conception of happiness (dual nature of human psyche, self-actualization, purpose and goals of life and short- and long-term happiness). Eleven of Ellis’ rational principles of living (e.g. self-interest, self-direction, self-acceptance, commitment to absorbing activities, hedonism) are presented. When consistently applied in practice, they may help people to experience frequent positive affect, less frequent and intense negative emotions and high life satisfaction. It will show how Ellis’ ABC-DE scientific method can be used with individuals to lessen unhappiness. Suggestions are provided for research into associations between rationality and happiness as well as the impact of different rationality-based interventions on happiness.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


August 2010Published

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Date Deposited:

22 Nov 2011 11:02

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2017 08:37

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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