Christopher Peterson (psychologist)

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Christopher Peterson (February 18, 1950 – October 9, 2012)[1] was the Arthur F. Thurnau professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the former chair of the clinical psychology area. He was science director of the VIA Institute on Character, and co-author of Character Strengths and Virtues for the classification of character strengths.[2] He is noted for his work in the study of optimism, health, character, well-being and one of the founders of positive psychology.[3][4] In 2010, Dr. Peterson won the 2010 Golden Apple Award – the most prestigious teaching award at the University of Michigan.

Bibliography includes

  • Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification, by Christopher Peterson & Martin E.P. Seligman
  • Peterson, C., & Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). The VIA classification of strengths. Cincinnati: Values in Action Institute
  • A Primer in Positive Psychology, by Christopher Peterson (Textbook)
  • Peterson, C., Maier, S.F., & Seligman, M.E.P. (1993). Learned helplessness: A theory for the age of personal control. New York: Oxford.
  • Peterson, C., & Bossio, L.M. (1991). Health and optimism. New York: Free Press.


  1. "Obituaries: Christopher Peterson "Other People Matter": 1950–2012". Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press/Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  3. Peterson, Christopher (2006). A Primer in Positive Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "VIA Institute on Character". Retrieved 2008-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>