The Science of Happiness: How Our Brains Make Us Happy and What We Can Do to Get Happier

The Science of Happiness: How Our Brains Make Us Happy and What We Can Do to Get Happier

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by Stefan Klein
     
 

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Clinical psychologists have been dealing with miserable feelings since their discipline was established. In the last 30 years, neuroscientists have made major headway in the understanding of the sources of anger, depression, and fear. Today, whole industries profit from this knowledge—producing pills for every sort of pathological mood disturbance. But until

Overview


Clinical psychologists have been dealing with miserable feelings since their discipline was established. In the last 30 years, neuroscientists have made major headway in the understanding of the sources of anger, depression, and fear. Today, whole industries profit from this knowledge—producing pills for every sort of pathological mood disturbance. But until recently, few neuroscientists focused on the subject of happiness. Now, in The Science of Happiness, leading German science journalist Stefan Klein ranges widely across the latest frontiers of neuroscience and neuropsychology to explain how happiness is fostered in our brains and what biological purpose it serves (and, importantly, how we can control our negative feelings and emotions). In addition, he explains the neurophysiology of our passions (the elementary rules of which are hardwired into our brains), the power of consciousness, and how we can use it. In a final section, Klein explores the conditions required to foster the "pursuit of happiness." A remarkable synthesis of a growing body of research that has not heretofore been brought together in one accessible book, The Science of Happiness will ultimately help each of us understand our own quest for happiness—and our fostering of it, as well.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A leading German science journalist explores the nature of happiness through the latest research in brain science in this instructive study. Positive and negative feelings, he says, are generated by different mental systems; thus, people whose right frontal lobe dominates tend to be more pessimistic, while those with a stronger left lobe are predisposed to optimism and self-confidence. Despite genetic programming, the author says, the brain is "malleable," and anyone with a desire for happiness is able to perceive and experience more pleasurable emotions. Drawing on complex experiments with animals, he suggests specific strategies to overcome depression, including engaging in activities, especially physical activities or simple tasks that easily offer a sense of success; and writing down negative thoughts, then marshaling the evidence against them. Klein looks at the complex relationship between income and satisfaction and the importance of self-determination and social connections. The surest path to happiness, Klein is convinced, is to know oneself. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569243282
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
03/24/2006
Edition description:
Translatio
Pages:
297
Sales rank:
757,793
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Stefan Klein, PhD, was science editor of Der Spiegel, one of Germany’s leading newsmagazines, from 1996–1999, and a staff writer with Geo magazine from 1999–2000, and he has also written for all of Germany’s leading newspapers and magazines. Now a freelance writer in Berlin, he is considered one of the most influential science writers in German-speaking Europe. In 1998 he won the Georg von Holtzbrink Prize for Scientific Journalism. He is also the author of The Diaries of the Creation. He lives in TK. Translator Stephen Lehmann is the humanities librarian at the University of Pennsylvania. He co-translated Nietzsche's Human, All too Human and is the co-author of Rudolf Serkin: A Life. He lives in Swarthmore, PA.

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The Science of Happiness: How Our Brains Make Us Happy and What We Can Do to Get Happier 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not a huge fan of this book, although I don't like saying mean things about other authors' books. My problem with it is that I think he's taking too much artistic license in his interpretation of scientific information. He's supposed to be a journalist, not an abstract painter. I understand that he's trying to write an entertaining page turner, but I'd rather have him stick to the facts a little more closely.