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  • Published: 2 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847943064
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

The Happiness Hypothesis

Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science



An uplifting exploration of ancient wisdom for our modern lives and how it can make us happier


Every culture hands wisdom down through generations. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others. Happiness comes from within. Can these 'truths' hold the key to a happier, more fulfilled life?

In The Happiness Hypothesis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines ten Great Ideas which have been championed across centuries and civilisations and asks: how can we apply these ideas to our twenty-first century lives? By holding ancient wisdom to the test of modern psychology, Haidt extracts lessons on how we can train our brains to be more optimistic, build better relationships and achieve a sense of balance. He also explores how we can overcome the obstacles to well-being that we place in our own way.

In this uplifting and empowering book, Haidt draws on sources as diverse as Buddha, Benjamin Franklin and Shakespeare to show how we can find happiness and meaning in life.

'I don't think I ever read a book that laid out the contemporary understanding of the human condition with such simple clarity and sense.' Guardian

  • Published: 2 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847943064
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt teaches psychology at the University of Virginia. This is his first book for the general reader.

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Praise for The Happiness Hypothesis

'The Happiness Hypothesis is a wonderful and nuanced book that provides deep insight into some of the most important questions in life - why are we here? What kind of life should we lead? What paths lead to happiness? From the ancient philosophers to cutting edge scientists, Haidt weaves a tapestry of the best and brightest. His highly original work on elevation and awe - two long neglected emotions - adds a new weave to the tapestry. A truly inspiring book.'

David M. Buss

I really can't recommend this book enough. It's one of the best and most insightful books I've ever read . . . this book is just amazing for helping you recognize errors in thinking and personal biases that we all experience. It really gets to the roots of what makes people happy and unhappy rather than being some sort of a positive thinking, motivational book. Just outstanding stuff that you can really apply in day to day life.

Joe Rogan

'Jonathan Haidt leaves no doubt about the importance of emotion in the creation of personal meaning. This is a delightful and courageous book.'

Antonio Damasio

Examining the ideas of thinkers like Plato, Buddha and Jesus in light of modern research . . . Haidt, a social psychologist, provides practical advice for parenting, romance, work and coping with the political and cultural divisions.

Psychology Today

'This fresh and original book goes to the heart of what people have found out about happiness, across cultures and times. Enjoyable, important, and eminently readable.'

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The Happiness Hypothesis is a wonderful and nuanced book that provides deep insight into the some of the most important questions in life - Why are we here? What kind of life should we lead? What paths lead to happiness? From the ancient philosophers to cutting edge scientists, Haidt weaves a tapestry of the best and the brightest. His highly original work on elevation and awe - two long-neglected emotions - adds a new weave to that tapestry. A truly inspiring book.

David M. Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire

'Engrossing... (A)n erudite, fluently written, stimulating reassessment of age-old issues.'

Publishers Weekly, starred review

This is a delightful book . . . Haidt's writing embraces spiritual and mystical viewpoints while retaining scientific and rational coherence.

Nature

This unusual book sets itself apart from the self-help category with its extensive scientific references, and intelligent, neutral prose, while the author's illuminating illustration of how the human mind works is both educational and refreshing.

Sunday Times

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt shows in his wonderfully smart and readable The Happiness Hypothesis [that] modern science and history have a lot to say to each other

Washington Post

You know what? Reading it did actually make this reviewer happier.

Arena

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