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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

'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

'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

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

Publishers Weekly, starred review

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