Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile

Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile

by Daniel Nettle
4.5 2
ISBN-10:
0192805584
ISBN-13:
9780192805584
Pub. Date:
07/01/2005
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
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Happiness The Science Behind Your Smile 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book made me smile
Guest More than 1 year ago
This brief but scholarly and entertaining little book is not the expected 'self-help book' - or is it? Daniel Nettle explores studies collecting data on people¿s views of whether or not they are happy (polls), on brain systems (biology), on anti-depressants, hallucinogens, and dopamine (biochemistry), and on the media/marketing blitz of recipes for achieving happiness. It is all very concise, non-biased, and informative.But by far the most helpful and sensible information contained in this book is Nettle's quiet explanation of how we as humans are geared to determine 'happiness' on comparisons with our fellow beings: is my income as big as theirs, my car/house/lifestyle, business success and yes, even sexual achievement as gratifying as my neighbors'? It often boils down to a polarity between 'wanting' and 'liking' - the decision is ultimately ours. Nettle contends that in constantly pursuing happiness (or questioning why our levels don't meet expectations), the most we can hope for is 'what psychologists call subjective well-being'. He then closes with rays of hope that with increased scientific and biochemical investigation, the goal of happiness just may be closer at hand.Nettle quotes Hawthorne: 'Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.' A well-written, necessary book for today's society. Grady Harp