By: Robert Sellers, Department of Psychology
Monday, December 17, 2012
It is with tremendous sadness that the department of psychology announces the sudden loss of our dear friend and colleague Professor Christopher Peterson. Chris was a fixture within the department of psychology for more than 25 years. During that time, his contributions to the department were immeasurable. He was a gifted teacher who loved deeply his students and was committed to doing everything that he could to ensure that they became the best person they could be. Chris was also a brilliant researcher whose work in the areas of attribution and positive psychology were transformational to the point of foundational. As a citizen of the department and university, Chris was selfless in his willingness to give for the betterment of the broader community. Finally, as a friend and colleague, his kind spirit made coming to work that much more fun. While we will miss him deeply, we will also cherish the time that we had with Chris.
Christopher Peterson was a professor of psychology and organizational studies at the University of Michigan since 1986. He held an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship in recognition of his contributions to teaching, and in 2010, won the Golden Apple Award, the most prestigious teaching award at the University of Michigan. He was also a highly regarded researcher, and among the 100 most widely cited psychologists in the world. His contributions addressed character strengths, and how they pertain to such outcomes as happiness, achievement, and physical well-being. He was a founder member of the field of Positive Psychology, and edited a Positive Psychology book series for Oxford University Press. He authored A Primer in Positive Psychology, published in 2006 by Oxford University Press, as well as the forthcoming Pursuing the Good Life (2012.) He also contributed a popular blog for Psychology Today entitled "The good life: Positive Psychology and what makes life work living."