Happiness: The Science behind Your Smile

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9780192805591: Happiness: The Science behind Your Smile

Bringing together the latest insights from psychiatry, psychology, and philosophy, Daniel Nettle sheds light on happiness, the most basic of human desires. Nettle examines whether people are basically happy or unhappy, whether success can make us happy, what sort of remedies to unhappiness work, why some people are happier than others, and much more.
The book is packed with fascinating observations. We discover the evolutionary reason why negative thoughts are more powerful than positive ones. We read that happiness varies from country to country, for example, the Swiss are much more happy than Bulgarians. And we learn that, in a poll among people aged 42 years old--peak mid-life crisis time--more than half rated their happiness an 8, 9, or 10 out of 10, and 90% rated it above 5. Nettle, a psychologist, is particularly insightful in discussing the brain systems underlying emotions and moods, ranging from serotonin, to mood enhancing drugs such as D-fenfluramine, which reduces negative thinking in less than an hour; to the part of the brain that, when electrically stimulated, provides feelings of benevolent calm and even euphoria. In the end, Nettle suggests that we would all probably be happier by trading income or material goods for time with people or hobbies, though most people do not do so.
Happiness offers a remarkable portrait of the feeling that poets, politicians, and philosophers all agree truly makes the world go round.

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About the Author:


Daniel Nettle is Lecturer in Biological Psychology at the Open University. He is the author of Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity, and Human Value and co-author of Vanishing Voices (with Suzanne Romaine). He lives in the U.K.

Review:


"Provocative.... The author unearths a few everyday characteristics shared by people who say they are happy, including good health, a feeling of autonomy, and social connectiveness. To that list, one might add browsing through this thought-provoking book."--O: The Oprah Magazine


"Buy the couch or go for the resort vacation? Scientists around the world have explored such questions to learn what makes the human animal happy. In 'Happiness,' Daniel Nettle translates recent studies on brain systems, dopamine, anti-depressants, hallucinogens and the marketing of happiness.... He also quotes Nathaniel 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.'"--Los Angeles Times


"The glib, pop-psych title of biological psychologist Daniel Nettle's book belies a provocative argument: Our unending quests for life's big and little perks--a new iPod, a tenured professorship--have little or no impact on our happiness. Most of Happiness is devoted to assailing popular myths about happiness.... But, as if to compensate for reducing these assumptions to ashes, Nettle presents an unexpected jewel: Understanding the irrational characteristics of happiness makes it easier to manipulate ourselves into being happy."--San Francisco Chronicle


"For your summertime science reading, there's Daniel Nettle's 'Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile'.... Nettle picks through the latest research in psychology, psychiatry and philosophy to tell us who the happiest people are around the world and why; how negative thoughts served evolving humans; and how the brain systems behind emotions and moods really work."--los Angeles Times Book Review


"In this enjoyable, thought-provoking book, Nettle digs into the subject with great insight and just a bit of cheeky irreverence.... With absolute clarity and admirable brevity, Nettle explores the pursuit of happiness and, happily, makes good sense of it all."--Publishers Weekly


"Nettle's presentation of evolutionary, societal, and brain chemistry-related forces that influence how we define and try to achieve greater happiness makes for a thought-provoking read." --Library Journal


"From page one, Nettle takes a commanding, level-headed approach to his subject, turning out accessible cleverness and even intermittent cheekiness. Nettle recognizes the prevailing backbone of happiness--our constant need to outdo and out-consume--as a fairly sizable sham. And he predicts our perception of happiness is so closely tied to competition with others that there will always be a disparity between what we have and what we think we want."--Ottawa Citizen


"Engagingly and accessibly written."--Buffalo News


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Daniel Nettle
Editorial: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2006)
ISBN 10: 0192805592 ISBN 13: 9780192805591
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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What exactly is happiness? Can we measure it? Why are some people happy and others not? And is there a drug that could eliminate all unhappiness? People all over the world, and throughout the ages, have thought about happiness, argued about its nature, and, most of all, desired it. But why do we have such a strong instinct to pursue happiness? And if happiness is good in itself, why haven t we simply evolved to be happier? Daniel Nettle uses the results of the latest psychological studies to ask what makes people happy and unhappy, what happiness really is, and to examine our urge to achieve it. Along the way we look at brain systems, at mind-altering drugs, and how happiness is now marketed to us as a commodity. Nettle concludes that while it may be unrealistic to expect lasting happiness, our evolved tendency to seek happiness drives us to achieve much that is worthwhile in itself. What is more, it seems to be not your particular circumstances that define whether you are happy so much as your attitude towards life. Happiness gives us the latest scientific insights into the nature of our feelings of well-being, and what these imply for how we might live our lives. Nº de ref. de la librería AOP9780192805591

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Descripción Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What exactly is happiness? Can we measure it? Why are some people happy and others not? And is there a drug that could eliminate all unhappiness? People all over the world, and throughout the ages, have thought about happiness, argued about its nature, and, most of all, desired it. But why do we have such a strong instinct to pursue happiness? And if happiness is good in itself, why haven t we simply evolved to be happier? Daniel Nettle uses the results of the latest psychological studies to ask what makes people happy and unhappy, what happiness really is, and to examine our urge to achieve it. Along the way we look at brain systems, at mind-altering drugs, and how happiness is now marketed to us as a commodity. Nettle concludes that while it may be unrealistic to expect lasting happiness, our evolved tendency to seek happiness drives us to achieve much that is worthwhile in itself. What is more, it seems to be not your particular circumstances that define whether you are happy so much as your attitude towards life. Happiness gives us the latest scientific insights into the nature of our feelings of well-being, and what these imply for how we might live our lives. Nº de ref. de la librería AOP9780192805591

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Descripción Oxford University Press, USA, 2006. Estado de conservación: New. 2006. 1st Edition. Paperback. What is happiness? What makes us happy? Why do we strive for happiness? And how might we achieve it? Daniel Nettle explores the origins and purpose of our pursuit of happiness, and uses the results of recent psychological studies to find answers to these questions and more. Num Pages: 224 pages, 10 halftones and figures. BIC Classification: JMM; JMR; PDZ; VFD. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 169 x 121 x 15. Weight in Grams: 196. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780192805591

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