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Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth

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Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth Cover

ISBN13: 9781405146616
ISBN10: 1405146613
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ed Diener, J. R. Smiley Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, is the world's foremost authority on the science of happiness. His son, Robert Biswas-Diener is a life coach and has been called "the Indiana Jones of psychology" because of his data collection adventures around the world. In this fascinating book the father and son team presents scientific evidence revealing that happiness is not overrated, and is good for people's health, social relationships, job success, longevity, and altruism. Happy people even tend to earn higher incomes. But people can be too happy for maximum success, and the pursuit of ultra-happiness can be detrimental. They advocate an optimal level of happiness in which people do not seek euphoria, but pursue life satisfaction, meaning, and frequent positive emotions, with recognition that some negative emotions are an integral part of a happy life. The authors describe why happiness alone is not enough; people need to be happy for the right reasons. They describe the new concept of Psychological Wealth, which extends beyond material riches, and beyond popular concepts like emotional intelligence and social capital.

The authors describe the evidence on what causes happiness. Although there are genetic influences on happiness, these genetics do not produce an unchanging happiness "set-point." The book describes the authors' data collection around the globe that shows that people are not necessarily "born" happy, but can and do change their levels of happiness.

This book reveals that high income is correlated with happiness, although excessive materialism is toxic to it. The important factor is not so much what one can buy with one’s income, but one's attitudes to it. Diener and Biswas-Diener also show that although religious people on average often are happier, not all religions are equal in this respect. They suggest that positive emotional spirituality – feeling positive emotions such as love and gratitude that connect people with things larger than themselves – is a major ingredient of happiness.

The authors provide a model for a happy approach to life, based on Attention, Interpretation, and Memory (AIM). They also review the happiness forecasting errors people make in forming decisions about future happiness, and offer some ways to avoid those errors. Diener and Biswas-Diener suggest that happiness is about a way of traveling, learning to react in positive ways to the world, rather than simply being a destination or set of circumstances.

Synopsis:

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

Synopsis:

Is being happy beneficial to your health, wealth, and social relationships? Is there an optimal level of happiness for obtaining your goals? Is there a happiness set-point, and can it change? Do you know your level of psychological wealth?

Utilizing his groundbreaking development of the field of subjective well-being, Dr. Ed Diener, ­recognized as the world's leading expert on happiness, challenges our modern assumptions about the causes and consequences of happiness. Ed and his son Robert Biswas-Diener share the results of three decades of research on happiness to help unlock the mysteries of this elusive Holy Grail. In Happiness the father and son team presents scientific evidence revealing that happiness is not overrated, and is good for people’s health, social relationships, job success, longevity, and altruism. They also show why "super-happiness" is not a worthy goal.

About the Author

Ed Diener. Ph.D., is the Joseph R. Smiley Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization.

Robert Biswas-Diener, Program Director at the Center for Applied Positive Psychology (UK) and part-time lecturer at Portland State University, lives in Milwaukie, Oregon. He is known as the “Indiana Jones of positive psychology” for his research on subjective well-being in remote cultures around the world.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Carol Diener.

Part 1: Understanding true wealth.

1. Psychological Wealth: The Balanced Portfolio.

2. Two Principles of Psychological Wealth.

Part 2: Happy people function better.

3. Health and Happiness.

4. Happiness and Social Relationships: – You Can’t Do Without Them.

5. Happiness at Work: It Pays to be Happy.

Part 3: Causes of happiness and genuine wealth.

6. Can Money Buy Happiness?

7. Religion, Spirituality, and Happiness.

8. The Happiest Places on Earth: Culture and Well-being.

9. Nature and Nurture—Is There a Happiness Set-Point, and Can You Change It?

10. Our Crystal Balls: Happiness Forecasting.

11. Taking AIM: Attention, Interpretation, and Memory.

Part 4: Putting it all together.

12. Yes, You Can Be Too Happy.

13. Living Happily Ever After.

14. Measuring Your Psychological Wealth.

Epilogue: About the Science of Happiness.

Further Reading.

References.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

happinessresearch, February 23, 2009 (view all comments by happinessresearch)
Well-Balanced, Scientific Book on Happiness

I was always wondering if Ed Diener would get around to writing a happiness book for the popular read. For those not in the know, Ed Diener is one of the most well-known happiness researchers out there- and has been contributing to the positive psychology field for literally decades by adding piles of his own research papers to the ever growing stack of happiness studies. Based on a lot of his work that I have read, I figured the book would be pretty scientific-minded. And I was right- you'll find no baloney here.

"Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth" contains over 250 pages explaining in layman's terms, more or less, just about everything you ever wanted to know about happiness. Some of the more interesting topics covered include:

-health and happiness
-happiness and social relationships
-happiness at work
-money and happiness
-spirituality and happiness
-the happiest places on earth
-the genetic set point and happiness

Not since "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World" have I found a happiness book that covers so many happiness topics for the reader. While Johnson's book is a LOT shorter, and a sort of "Cliff Notes" version of this book in a sense, get this one if you want a more detailed review of the happiness literature.

Great research findings aside, perhaps the most impressive thing I found in this book was the author's attitude about happiness. Here are people who have spent years researching happiness, and yet they seem to have put it all in a sensible perspective. Consider this:

--happiness is something to shoot for most of the time, but negative emotions serve a useful purpose as well on occasion
--while happiness can be reaching a desirable place, such as having good health, a successful carreer and a great family, don't overlook the process side of happiness in the pursuit of the good life (this is also a major point of another favorite happiness book of mine "Happier: Can You Learn to be Happy?"). In other words, happiness isn't only a destination, but also the journey.
--happiness isn't JUST about feeling good, it is also good for you in a number of other surprising ways

What more can I say? For anyone looking for a detailed, well-balanced, scientific look at happiness, its a great read. Happy trails!

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781405146616
Author:
Diener, Ed
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell
Author:
Biswas-Diener, Robert
Subject:
Social Psychology
Subject:
Happiness
Subject:
Personal Growth - General
Subject:
Emotions
Subject:
Personal Growth - Happiness
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
positive psychology happiness diener psychological wealth well-being well being happy mental health good life emotions relationships contentment fullfillment living
Subject:
Psychology-Mood Disorders and Depression
Subject:
positi
Subject:
ve psychology happiness diener psychological wealth well-being well being happy mental health good life emotions relationships contentment fullfillment living
Copyright:
Edition Description:
WOL online Book (not BRO)
Publication Date:
September 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.26x6.19x1.10 in. 1.33 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Professional Medical Reference
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
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Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth Used Hardcover
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$17.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Wiley-Blackwell - English 9781405146616 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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

"Synopsis" by , Is being happy beneficial to your health, wealth, and social relationships? Is there an optimal level of happiness for obtaining your goals? Is there a happiness set-point, and can it change? Do you know your level of psychological wealth?

Utilizing his groundbreaking development of the field of subjective well-being, Dr. Ed Diener, ­recognized as the world's leading expert on happiness, challenges our modern assumptions about the causes and consequences of happiness. Ed and his son Robert Biswas-Diener share the results of three decades of research on happiness to help unlock the mysteries of this elusive Holy Grail. In Happiness the father and son team presents scientific evidence revealing that happiness is not overrated, and is good for people’s health, social relationships, job success, longevity, and altruism. They also show why "super-happiness" is not a worthy goal.

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