© 2019

Scientific Pollyannaism

From Inquisition to Positive Psychology


About this book


This book argues that the story of the orphan girl Pollyanna (namely, her strategy of playing the “glad games” to manage loss, abuse, and social prejudice) serves as a framework for critiquing historical forms of Western scientific Pollyannaism. The author examines Pollyannaism as it relates to the sciences, demonstrating how the approach has been used throughout modern Western history to enforce happiness and to criticize negative human emotional states. These efforts, carried out by scientists and popularized as scientific, focus on negating the role of the environment and on promoting varied forms of emotional control. Ultimately, the book emphasizes strategies used to compel individuals into becoming Pollyannas about science itself.


Scientism Mainstream Psychology American Psychology American Psychological Association Behaviourism John Watson Radical Behaviourism Neo-liberalism Positive Thinking Positive Psychology Movement Productivity Social Oppression Post-colonialism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Psychology Pacifica Graduate InstituteCarpinteriaUSA

About the authors

Oksana Yakushko, PhD, is Department Chair and faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA, USA.

Bibliographic information