Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealthby Published 09 Sep 2008
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Utilizing sophisticated methodology and three decades of research by the world's leading expert on happiness, Happiness challenges the present thinking of the causes and consequences of happiness and redefines our modern notions of happiness.
shares the results of three decades of research on our notions of happiness covers the most important advances in our understanding of happiness offers readers unparalleled access to the world's leading experts on happiness provides "real world" examples that will resonate with general readers as well as scholars Winner of the 2008 PSP Prose Award for Excellence in Psychology, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers
Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth Reviews
I was between a 3 and 4 on this one. The views on happiness deserve a 4 because they are very well-articulated and well-researched. Certainly this book is full of great information on the factors that influence happiness. The authors present a well-rounded, data-based view of happiness, but they do so in a fairly tame, academic style. Sometimes it seems like they go almost too far to avoid seeming biased, but their overall position is one of advocating for overall psychological wealth (happiness) by doing things that on average tend to promote psychological wealth. I am sure they would have gotten an "A" on this if they had turned it in for a scientific class, but probably a "C" or so in creative writing. I am sure most people would benefit from reading this, but don't expect to get too excited by the writing style.
Based on scientific research instead of "feel-goody gobbledygook." It is a very useful book to read. Some surpising insights; that happiness is not a destination, that happiness is helpful and functional, that we need relationships, that too much happiness (euphoria) can be harmful. The most useful section I found was where AIM (Attention, Interpretation, and Memory) is discussed.
Happiness by Ed Diener
Reading Positive Psychology books may change my life and, according to their studies, the life of those around me. In fact we are even trying to “Pay it forward”: I have created a facebook group and page : “Happiness is a choice. Make it “- you can join us
This is a new book I read on Positive Psychology, as the title clearly points out. It is written by father and son, one- the “Jedi” of Positive Psychology and the other Obi One Kenobi- I am joking- one was called Jedi, the other was The Indiana Jones of the field.
The authors mention the study of nuns, about which I had already read in Happiness, The Science behind your Smile by David Nettle
The nuns were very good “participants „ in the study, because they lived in the same circumstances, like in a laboratory, with the same diet, program, living conditions. There was no need to take into account drug use, or other habits which might have accounted for difference in results.
The nuns wrote autobiographies, which were studied, with psychologists looking for terms like: happiness, joy, bliss. Those nuns who were expressing their experiences in positive terms lived longer than the rest.
There is a surprise in this book: money matters for happiness. I had learned in the other psychology books that I had read that money doesn’t matter, at least from one point on. After one reaches a middle income, the further gains in wealth do not contribute to the level of happiness. Reading Diener I am puzzled, because the emphasis seems to have shifted. Even in this book, there is a caveat: it is one of the elements of well being, some poor people are happy, but it comes as a bit of a shock, after indulging in the feeling: it doesn’t work so well for us lately, financially we do not prosper, but notwithstanding this issue, we’ll be all right, money is not a stumbling block. I remember Nettle, in the Science behind your smile emphasizing the relative prosperity. We are unhappy because we want to keep up with Joneses, we are programmed to want things, but if we all agreed to step down, limit the number of things we get, we could all be happier and things along these lines.
From the Diener perspective, it seems that studies show that money count, the rich people are happier. True, there are other things that matter, they have studied people in Calcutta (Kolkata today) and found poor people who were not unhappy, but the most happy people live in the richest countries and vice versa the unhappiest in the poorest.
“The ingredients of psychological wealth…some components of true wealth:
• Life satisfaction and happiness
• Spirituality and meaning in life
• Positive attitudes and emotions
• Loving social relationships
• Values and life goals to achieve them
• Physical and mental health
• Material sufficiency to meet our needs
Flaubert was wrong in his assertion that happiness is stupid and selfish…happiness is often good for you and society…
I read this for an article I'm writing (about "Happiness"), and my friend Robert co-wrote it with his father. They are both psychologists and/or study positive psychology. It is a great summary of the available scientific research on happiness, and a lot of it was interesting, but it wasn't exactly what i was looking for as a reader, though I don't doubt that the book wasn't entirely written for my demographic.
Fascinating information and fun to read.