The Happiness Hypothesis

Written on February 6, 2011. Written by .

Haidt delivers a very enjoyable overview of positive psychology. It covers a broad range of topics, such as evolutionary theory, flow, behavioral psychology experiments, and even philosophy. This broadness means that the book does not goes as deep into any specific topic as more focused books do. But going deep into a topic usually isn’t as fun as casually discussing it, which is why this book is so good. There are a lot of important perspectives in this book. One is that it explains how aspects of religion and cultural constraints can help people feel more happy. It also talks about the importance of coherence across physical, psychological, and societal levels. And it takes a reasonable stance on the question of Buddhism, which is that it takes the concept of detachment a little too far, even though it is a useful concept. The Happiness Hypothesis is the perfect starting point for learning more about positive psychology.

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