The Happiness Hypothesis

The Happiness Hypothesis

Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
6
Rate this:
"For the reader who seeks to understand happiness, my advice is: Begin with Haidt." --Martin E. P. Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness
In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world's philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims--like "do unto others as you would have others do unto you," or "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"--can enrich and even transform our lives.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2006.
ISBN: 9780465028023
0465028020
Characteristics: xiii, 297 p. : ill.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

m
maithm221
Sep 26, 2016

"If you are in passionate love and want to celebrate your passion, read poetry. If your ardor has calmed and you want to understand your evolving relationship, read psychology. But if you have just ended a relationship and would like to believe you are better off without love, read philosophy"
Jonathan Haidt
This one of my favorite quotes on the book

s
spantell
Sep 02, 2015

Poorly written and overly simplistic. I do not agree with several of his ideas. Do not recommend.

ksoles Aug 23, 2014

In "The Happiness Hypothesis," Jonathan Haidt engagingly presents a myriad of social-psychological studies on state of mind. He covers ten ideas that recur in major historical texts including reciprocity, love/attachment and the pursuit of happiness, ultimately producing a highly readable, practical volume about human existence. Although Haidt occasionally over-simplifies his points, he does provide an exhaustive reference list for further reading and he certainly succeeds in creating a comprehensive overview of research on happiness.

The book's main analogy parallels an elephant and a rider: the elephant represents emotion, our subconscious disposition and inclinations whereas the rider symbolizes our conscious mind. Though the rider strives to steer and control the elephant, the elephant has it's own mind, one created by both evolution and culture. The conflict between the two leads to a divided self, one that unjustly criticizes others and gives into the temptation of positional goods such as bigger houses and fancier cars.

Haidt neither promotes apathy regarding one’s development of greater happiness, nor does he offer any easy answers. He does however discuss the advantages of meditation, cognitive-behavioural therapy and even medication. Additionally, he reveals features of daily life that increase happiness most dramatically: minimal disturbing noise, a shorter commute to work, greater autonomy in work/life, minimal shame in appearance and action, and an extended social network. Haidt concludes that we all have a genetic set-point; some people simply channel happiness with greater ease than others. But everyone should try to change the things within our reach, make some effort at changing the less mobile structural restraints and attempt to accept our dispositional nature.

r
richibi
May 07, 2013

wonderful insights into the scientific underpinnings of happiness, but with the, unavoidably I guess, underwhelming conclusion that the Golden Rule is still the very best, learn to love your neighbour

i
idmarsh
Jul 24, 2012

Fascinating study of the psychology of happiness. Written in an accessible but intelligent style -- not too heavy on the self-help, but still applicable and useful. Especially the metaphor of the rider and the elephant. Highly recommended.

j
jsmapr1
May 17, 2012

This is a fantastic book that looks at the intersection between philosophical theory of a the good life and psychology research on what makes us happy. The author was a student of philosophy himself, so, unlike a lot of other works, he is clearly sympathetic to the field of philosophy while still critically evaluating some claims.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top