Shawn Achor

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Shawn Achor
Shawn Achor by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Achor in 2017
Born (1978-03-09) March 9, 1978 (age 41)
EducationBA, Harvard University
MA, Harvard Divinity School
Occupationhappiness researcher, bestselling author, corporate speaker
OrganizationGoodThink, Institute of Applied Positive Research
Known forPositive Psychology, finding success through happiness "happiness is a choice, happiness is an advantage, happiness spreads"
Notable work
The Happiness Advantage, The Orange Frog, Before Happiness

Shawn Achor (born March 9, 1978)[1] is an American author, and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology.[2] He authored The Happiness Advantage[3] and founded GoodThink, Inc.[4]


Achor received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and a Master of Arts in Christian and Buddhist Ethics from Harvard Divinity School.


After college and divinity school, Achor worked as a Freshman Proctor and teaching assistant at Harvard University. He was one of the teaching assistants for Tal Ben-Shahar's popular "Happiness" course.

In 2007, Achor founded GoodThinkInc. (GoodThink),[4] and then later co-founded The Institute for Applied Positive Research with his wife Michelle Gielan. The company consists of researchers, speakers, and trainers who offer positive psychology-related services to improve work performance.[5]

Achor presented at TEDxBloomington, and has become one of the most viewed TedTalks with over 17 million views.[6]

Achor's expanded on his original research in The Happiness Advantage[3] in his second book, wrote Before Happiness, which was published by Crown in September 2013.[7] This book features research that Achor conducted with Ali Crum and Prof. Peter Salovey at Yale University at the large Swiss bank UBS, which was published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and provided evidence that changing one's mindset about stress changes the physical effects of stress.[8] His most recent book, Big Potential, was published in 2018 and expands his research beyond the individual by looking at how empowering others helps us all reach our fullest potential.[9] Achor also frequently writes for the Harvard Business Review, with other thirty five articles in both the online and print versions of the journal.[10]

Achor launched a two-part online learning class with the Oprah Winfrey network in 2015 after being interviewed for two sessions of Oprah Winfrey's Super Soul Sunday television series in 2014.[11] Achor was named to Oprah's SuperSoul100 list of visionaries and influential leaders in 2016.[12]

Achor co-authored a children's book Ripple's Effect with Amy Blankson, as a way to bring positive psychology concepts to children.[13]


  1. ^ Frauenheim, Ed (September 12, 2013). "The Power of Positive Tinkering". Achor, 35
  2. ^ Kaminer, Ariel (April 20, 2012). "Returning to College, Without the Beer". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b Achor, Shawn (2010). The Happiness Advantage. Random House. ISBN 9780307591562.
  4. ^ a b Schawbel, Dan (October 9, 2013). "Shawn Achor: What You Need To Do Before Experiencing Happiness - Forbes". Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  5. ^ "About Us". Good Think, Inc. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  6. ^ "Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work". TED. May 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Achor, Shawn. Before Happiness. Crown Publishing Group. New York, NY. 2013
  8. ^ Crum, Alia, Peter Salovey, and Shawn Achor. "Rethinking Stress: The Role of Mindsets in Determining the Stress Response." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 104, no. 4 (2013): 716-733.
  9. ^ Shawn,, Achor,. Big potential : how transforming the pursuit of success raises our achievement, happiness, and well-being (First ed.). New York. ISBN 9781524761530. OCLC 991370109.
  10. ^ Achor, Shawn. "Harvard Business Review - Search Shawn Achor". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Meet the SuperSoul100: The World's Biggest Trailblazers in One Room". O Magazine. 1 Aug 2016. Retrieved 5 Jul 2018.
  13. ^ Shawn Achor; Amy Blankson (2012). Ripple's Effect. Little Pickle Press. ISBN 978-0-9829938-7-3. Retrieved 30 July 2018.

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