Academic journal article et Cetera

Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile

Academic journal article et Cetera

Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile

Article excerpt

Daniel Nettle. Happiness: The Science behind Your Smile. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

In this book Daniel Nettle, a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Newcastle, explores the origins and purpose of our pursuit of happiness. Among Nettle's observations are the following:

There is an evolutionary aspect to happiness: "Evolution's purposes are served if it can trick us in to working for things that are good for fitness. It can do this by making us believe that those things bring happiness, and that happiness is what we want. It doesn't actually have to deliver happiness in the end. The idea of happiness has done its job if it has kept us trying. In other words evolution hasn't set us up for the attainment of happiness, only its pursuit."

Happiness depends on our frame of reference: "Where we think we are in the pile can be a powerful determinant of how we feel about life. A majority of people, when asked, would prefer to earn $50,000 in world where other earned $25,000 rather than earning $100,000 in a world where other earned $250,000. …

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