Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile

Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
4.76 X 6.82 X 0.59 inches | 0.53 pounds

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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.

"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