It is with great sadness that I just learned that Chris Peterson (Christopher)passed away yesterday. Chris was a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, often considered one of the founding fathers and lead the VIA Character Strengths project along with Martin Seligman.
One of the 100 most cited psychologists in the world, Chris was a renouned professor of psychology at University of Michigan, author of A Primer in Positive Psychology; contributing expert in Psychology Today — and so many more accolades in his professional contributions.
Nearly every ‘tool’ in my coaching toolbox has some learning, scientific backing that has come from the work of Chris Peterson and that of his many colleagues.
This past January, I was blessed to participate in a Master course on wellbeing developed and taught by Chris and offered by Mentor Coach. It was a rich, eight-week primer on much of the latest research, learnings and wisdom from the world of positive psychology. It was truly a gift to learn directly from Chris who was at the forefront of the whole positive psychology movement. Chris was supremely generous, knowledgeable, kind and funny.
Chris had a mantra: “Other People Matter” which encompassed all the research and learnings and implications about the impact that family, relationships and other social connections have on our wellbeing. To that end, I am sure that Chris would want people to remember the importance of nurturing relationships in our lives.
He will be greatly missed by everyone in the field of positive psychology around the world and will be remembered for his outstanding contributions to the field.
Addendum: as the tribute articles start to pour in, here is one I came across:
The Atlantic: “Very Nice Guy and Important Psychologist Dies”