There is a shift taking place in the status of feeling, within science itself and in the broader culture. The movement in Positive Psychology, spearheaded by Martin Seligman, Dan Gilbert, Sonja Lyubomirsky and others, is an important part of it. George E. Vaillant is a psychoanalyst and research psychiatrist at Harvard University. In Spiritual Evolution, he sets out a sustained defense of emotions and their role in human well being. There is an important difference between negative and positive feelings. Negative feelings include shame, hate, anger, guilt, fear and contempt. Positive feelings include joy, love, compassion, hope, happiness, forgiveness, awe, gratitude and delight.
Vaillant notes that modern science is coming to accept the importance of emotions, even though the tendency in some quarters is still to accentuate the negative. He notes that in 2004, the leading American text The Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, half a million lines in length, "devotes 100 to 600 lines each to shame, guilt, terrorism, anger, hate, and sin; thousands of lines to depression and anxiety, but only five lines to hope, one line to joy and not a single line to faith, compassion and forgiveness."
Via Ana Cristina Pratas