Happiness

Happiness

The Science Behind your Smile

Book - 2005
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Baker & Taylor
Draws on empirical findings in psychology, economics, philosophy, sociology, and evolutionary biology to provide a comprehensive survey of current research and theory on happiness.

Blackwell North Amer
Daniel Nettle uses the results of the latest psychological studies to ask what makes people happy and unhappy, what happiness really is, and to examine our urge to achieve it. Along the way we look at brain systems, at mind-altering drugs, and how happiness is now marketed to us as a commodity. Nettle concludes that while it may be unrealistic to expect lasting happiness, our evolved tendency to seek happiness drives us to achieve much that is worthwhile in itself.

Oxford University Press
In a world obsessed by happiness, this is the first book to look thoroughly at what happiness is and how it works. Bringing together the latest insights from psychiatry, psychology, and philosophy, Daniel Nettle sheds brilliant light on this most basic of human desires.
Nettle examines whether people are basically happy or unhappy, whether success can make us happy, what sort of remedies to unhappiness work, why some people are happier than others, and much more. The book is packed with fascinating observations. We discover the evolutionary reason why negative thoughts are more powerful than positive ones. We read that happiness varies from country to country--the Swiss are much more happy than Bulgarians. And we learn that, in a poll among people aged 42 years old (peak mid-life crisis time) more than half rated their happiness an 8, 9, or 10 out of 10, and 90% rated it above 5. (Like the children of Lake Wobegon, Nettle quips, pretty much everyone is above average in happiness.) Nettle, a psychologist, is particularly insightful in discussing the brain systems underlying emotions and moods, ranging from serotonin, "the happiness chemical"; to mood enhancing drugs such as D-fenfluramine, which reduces negative thinking in less than an hour; to the part of the brain that, when electrically stimulated, provides feeling of benevolent calm and even euphoria. In the end, Nettle suggests that we would all probably be happier by trading income or material goods for time with people or hobbies. But most people do not do so.
Happiness offers a remarkable portrait of the feeling that poets, politicians, and philosophers all agree truly makes the world go round.

Publisher: Oxford, UK ; New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 2005
ISBN: 0192805584 (alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: 152.42 NET
Characteristics: vi, 216 p. : ill. ; 18 cm

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