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 39)
Waco, Texas, U.S.
Education BA, Harvard University
MA, Harvard Divinity School
Occupation happiness researcher, bestselling author, corporate speaker
Organization GoodThink, Institute of Applied Positive Research
Known for Positive 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 happiness researcher, author, and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology.[2] He authored The Happiness Advantage[3] and founded GoodThink,Inc.[4][5]


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),[6] and then later co-founded The Institute for Applied Positive Research with his wife Michelle Gielan. The company offers consultancy services, seminars, and presentations on positive psychology intended to improve work performance.[4] The team consists of researchers, speakers, and trainers, who deliver information to organizations.[4]

Achor presented at TEDxBloomington,[7] and promoted his products on a KBTC infomercial.[8]

His most recent book is Before Happiness, published by Crown in September 2013.[9] 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 [10] providing evidence that changing one's mindset about stress changes the physical effects of stress.

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]

A children's book Ripple's Effect was authored with Amy Blankson to bring positive psychology concepts to children (specifically mirror neurons and the ripple effect).[12]


  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. ^ Achor, Shawn (2010). The Happiness Advantage. Random House. ISBN 9780307591562. 
  4. ^ a b c "About Us". Good Think, Inc. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ Shawn Achor. "Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work - Talk Video -". 
  6. ^ Schawbel, Dan (October 9, 2013). "Shawn Achor: What You Need To Do Before Experiencing Happiness - Forbes". Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work". TED. May 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Happiness Advantage". KBTC-TV. Archived from the original on November 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ Achor, Shawn. Before Happiness. Crown Publishing Group. New York, NY. 2013
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^
  12. ^

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