Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think

Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think


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Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think by Paul Dolan

“Bold and original.” —Daniel Kahneman, PhD, bestselling author of Thinking Fast and Slow 

There are a slew of books on the market dictating programs for achieving happiness, but Happiness by Design is the first to explain that happiness ultimately depends upon our experience of pleasure and purpose over time—and everyone has their own optimal balance. Combining the latest insights from economics and psychology, renowned behavior expert Paul Dolan, PhD, shows readers how to integrate his ground–breaking paradigm into a practical plan for deciding, designing, and doing the things that bring them true happiness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780147516305
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/14/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,193,789
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

PAUL DOLAN, PHD, is Professor of Behavioral Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He lives with his family in Brighton.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

A note to the reader ix

A little warm-up xiii

Introduction: stuttering into happiness xv

Part 1 Developing Happiness

1 What is happiness? 3

Happiness as evaluation 3

Happiness as feelings 5

The pleasure-purpose principle 7

The PPP for life 18

2 What do we know about happiness? 23

Experience sampling 24

German days 25

American episodes 30

Other evidence on happiness 35

The measure matters 41

3 What causes happiness? 45

From widgets to happiness 45

Above and below the surface 51

Behavioral spillovers 56

The shifting sands of attention 60

Attending to happiness 68

4 Why aren't we happier? 71

Mistaken desires 72

Mistaken projections 82

Mistaken beliefs 92

Reallocating attention 99

Part 2 Delivering Happiness

5 Deciding happiness 103

Pay attention to your own feedback 103

Pay attention to the feedback of others 114

Don't try too hard 120

Happier by deciding 122

6 Designing happiness 125

Priming 127

Defaults 130

Commitments 131

Social norms 136

Designing habits 141

Happier by designing 143

7 Doing happiness 145

Pay attention to what you are doing 145

Pay attention to who you are doing it with 154

Don't get distracted 155

Happier by doing 167

8 Decide, design, and do 169

Dither less 170

Distribute more 176

Efficient production 188

Conclusion 189

Acknowledgments 195

Notes 199

Index 229

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Outstanding, cutting-edge, and profound.  If you’re going to read one book on happiness, this is the one.”
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb, bestselling author of The Black Swan and Antifragile 

Happiness by Design is the best kind of psychology book: the ideas are fascinating, understanding them will make your life happier and more meaningful, and Dolan expresses them beautifully. Whether you’re a novice or a voracious consumer of happiness research, Happiness by Design hits all the right notes.”
—Adam Alter, bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink
“Dolan gives a comprehensive overview of the science of happiness and useful tips to achieve it. In his quest to explain what makes us happy, Dolan touches on a powerful idea: happiness need not be pursued, simply rediscovered. In other words, sources of pleasure and purpose are all around us, if only one knows where to look.”
Scientific American

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