Speaker to discuss gratitude and spiritual strivings

August 25 2008

TERRE HAUTE - Gratitude and its scientific effects will be the topic of speech by a University of California at Davis professor at Indiana State University in early September.

Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at UC-Davis will be speaking as part of a Visiting Scholar's Program sponsored by the Center for the Study of Health, Religion and Spirituality. The talks are free and open to the public.

"Dr. Emmons is a nationally known figure in the areas of Psychology of Religion and Positive Psychology -- the branch of psychology that focuses on human strengths and flourishing rather than pathology and problems," said Tom Johnson, co-director of the Center for the Study of Health, Religion and Spirituality. "More practically, his talk on gratitude will include information on what the positive benefits of gratitude are and different ways that people can try and increase their expression and experience of gratitude."

At 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 in Tirey Hall's Heritage Ballroom, Emmons will speak on "Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier." The great religious traditions all emphasize gratitude as an appropriate response to life and Emmons will speak about the science supporting the benefits of an attitude of gratitude.

Then at noon on Sept. 12 in Hulman Memorial Student Union, Dede III, Emmons will speak on "Gods and Goals: Spiritual Strivings as Purposeful Action." While strivings are broad goals that help organize people's lives, Emmons will examine the role of spiritual strivings as they relate to well-being and self-determination.

Free continuing education credits for Indiana licensed psychologists and certificates of attendance for clergy, chaplains, and other professionals will be available.

Emmons received his Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Illinois. His primary interests are the psychology of gratitude and the psychology of personal goals, and how each is related to positive psychological processes, including happiness, well-being, and personality integration. He is editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology, and author of "The Psychology of Ultimate Concerns," "The Psychology of Gratitude," "THANKS! - How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier" and "Words of Gratitude for Mind, Body, and Soul." Copies of his books will be available for purchase.

The Visiting Scholar's Program brings internationally known figures to Terre Haute for several days to give public and professional talks, lecture in classes, and interact with local students, health care providers, faculty, and the general public. The CSHRS Visiting Scholars Program is made possible by a distinctive programs grant from ISU, supported by the Lilly Endowment and the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

For more information visit www.indstate.edu/psych/cshrs or contact Johnson at 812-237-2449.

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Contact: Tom Johnson, Indiana State University, co-director of Center for the Study of Health, Religion and Spirituality, at 812-237-2449 or tjohnson1@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or jennifer.sicking@indstate.edu

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Gratitude and its scientific effects will be the topic of speech by University of California at Davis professor Robert Emmons at Indiana State University in early September.

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