×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
     

Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth

by Ed Diener, Robert Biswas-Diener
 

See All Formats & Editions

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Happiness challenges the present thinking of the causes and consequences of happiness and redefines our modern notions of happiness. It shares the results of three decades of research on happiness, and covers the most important advances in our understanding of happiness.” (Adolescence, April 2009)

“Happiness is a process, not a place. That's one of the key concepts that leaps from Happiness: Unlocking The Mysteries Of Psychological Wealth by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas- Diener.” (Diana's Blog: Quirky Words and Book)

Happiness challenges the present thinking af the causes and consequences of happiness and redefines our modern notions of happiness. It shares the results of three decades of research on happiness, and covers the most important advances in our understanding of happiness. It also offers readers access to the world's leading experts on happiness, and provides 'real world' examples that will resonate with general readers as well as scholars.” (Family Therapy)

“In their sweeping new book Diener and his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, distill the results of worldwide research into happiness and come up with an explanation, a recipe, for a sustained state of good feeling, psychological wealth, as they call it.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 2008)

“The authors write in a that is clear and accessible to a general audience; furthermore, they frequently infuse humor into their work. I certainly respect Diener and Biswas-Diener as well as admire the amount effort they have each put into their life's work.” (Metapsychology, November 2008)

"Pioneering researchers Professor Ed and his son Robert Biswas-Diener explain ... why most things we've been told are wrong." (Psychologies, November 2008)

“Ed Diener [says], 'Happiness is not a set of desirable life circumstances. It's a way of traveling.' Diener's new book, written with his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, a life coach, offers guidance for those interested in taking a road trip. As the Dieners synthesize the latest research … they challenge the conventional party line on well-being.” (O Magazine)

"Among the recent glut of books about happiness, this one shines out. Highly readable and entertaining, its authors are perhaps the pre-eminent researchers on the subject … The advice on how to gain an appropriate level of happiness is way ahead of that offered by most self-help books." (New Scientist)

“If you’re looking for one thoughtful, comprehensive book to help you understand the science of happiness better, this is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s also a good read, accessible, concise, and even funny, which isn’t true of all such books, and there’s a lot of information I hadn’t seen elsewhere.” (Happiness Project)

"This book is absolutely a delight to read. [The authors] have made the science very accessible and practical. You will love the stories they weave into the text. The Dieners take us along on their adventures around the world. We tag along as they unlock the mysteries of happiness. As you read the book you come to understand why Diener is known as the ‘Jedi Master of Happiness’ and why Biswas-Diener has been called the ‘Indiana Jones of Psychology.’ Get the book, settle into a comfortable chair, buckle your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride." (Positive Psychology News Daily)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405146616
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
09/28/2008
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
607,078
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This is the most authoritative and informative book about happiness ever written. That’s not surprising, given that its authors are the world’s leading happiness researcher and his psychologist-son, whose vocation is coaching people toward happier lives."
David G. Myers, Hope College, author, The Pursuit of Happiness: Who is Happy, and Why

"A great gift from the leading professional scientist of happiness in the world and his son, the 'Indiana Jones' of positive psychology."
Martin E. P. Seligman, University of Pennsylvania and author, Authentic Happiness

"Want the key to happiness and success in life, choose the right advisor. On the subject of happiness, students, researchers, businesses, and governments have been turning to Ed Diener. Now, in this powerful, ground-breaking book, we have the opportunity to receive the coveted advice of Dr. Diener and his son Robert Biswas-Diener. This book is a must read if you want a practical, enjoyable, and uplifting science-based guide to achieving real psychological wealth."
David J. Pollay, B.A. Yale, M.A.P.P. University of Pennsylvania, President, The Momentum Project, Syndicated Columnist, and Author of The Law of the Garbage Truck

"The collaboration between the foremost authority on happiness research and the “Indiana Jones” of psychology makes for a great mix of interesting examples and solid research. I have never seen a book that does such a good job offering useful practical advice while basing this advice on completely sound empirical research."
Richard E. Lucas, Michigan State University

"This is a happiness book by the world authority, the pre-eminent scholar in the field along with an in-the-trenches coach who teaches and adapts this material every day for practical use with his clients. These folks know happiness from the inside out. The authors separate the wheat from the chaff, and serve up a meal replete with tasty morsels of practical advice on how to live. A joy to read!" 
Michael B. Frisch, Baylor University, author, Quality of Life Therapy

"Finally the definitive book on happiness from the world’s leading expert, Ed Diener, and his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, known as the “Indiana Jones” of Positive Psychology. The authors bring over thirty years of research and practice into this engaging book that reveals the secrets of psychological wealth – your true net work — which includes your attitudes toward life, social support, spiritual development, material resources, and health. This is a landmark book that should be read not only by laypersons but also scholars, educators, business leaders and decision-makers interested in global well-being and human happiness. " 
Jim Clifton, Chairman & CEO, The Gallup Organization

Meet 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews