science of happiness

31 results back to index


pages: 317 words: 87,566

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, business intelligence, corporate governance, dematerialisation, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, joint-stock company, lifelogging, market bubble, mental accounting, nudge unit, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto

Maybe what we need right now is not more or better science of happiness or behaviour, but less, or at least different. How likely is it that, in two hundred years’ time, historians will look back at the early twenty-first century and say, ‘Ah, yes, that was when the truth about human happiness was finally revealed’? And if it is unlikely, then why do we perpetuate this kind of talk, other than because it is useful to the powerful? Does this mean that the current explosion of political and business interest in happiness is just a rhetorical fad? Will it dissipate, once we’ve rediscovered the impossibility of reducing ethical and political questions to numerical calculations? Not quite. There are two significant reasons why the science of happiness has suddenly become so prominent in the early twenty-first century, but they are sociological in nature.

‘In the past, we had no clue about what made people happy – but now we know’, is how the offer is made. A hard science of subjective affect is available to us, which we would be crazy not to put to work via management, medicine, self-help, marketing and behaviour change policies. What if this psychological exuberance had, in fact, been with us for the past two hundred years? What if the current science of happiness is simply the latest iteration of an ongoing project which assumes the relationship between mind and world is amenable to mathematical scrutiny? That is one thing which this book aims to show. Repeatedly, from the time of the French Revolution to the present (and accelerating in the late nineteenth century), a particular scientific utopia has been sold: core questions of morality and politics will be solvable with an adequate science of human feelings.

But a pattern emerges, nevertheless, in which a science of subjective feeling is offered as the ultimate way of working out how to act, both morally and politically. The spirit of this agenda originates with the Enlightenment. But those who have exploited it best are those with an interest in social control, very often for private profit. That unfortunate contradiction accounts for the precise ways in which the happiness industry advances. In criticizing the science of happiness, I do not wish to denigrate the ethical value of happiness as such, less still to trivialize the pain of those who suffer from chronic unhappiness, or depression, and may understandably seek help in new techniques of behavioural or cognitive management. The target is the entangling of hope and joy within infrastructures of measurement, surveillance and government. Such political and historical concerns open up a number of other propositions.


pages: 222 words: 75,778

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

call centre, crowdsourcing, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

enough times, you’ll find yourself arriving at the same answer that most people do when they repeatedly ask themselves why they are doing what they are doing: They believe that whatever they are pursuing in life will ultimately make them happier. In the end, it turns out that we’re all taking different paths in pursuit of the same goal: happiness. In 2007, I started getting interested in learning more about the science of happiness. I learned that it was a relatively new research field known as positive psychology. Prior to 1998, almost all psychology was about trying to figure out how to get people who had something wrong with them more normal. But most psychologists and researchers never bothered to examine what would make normal people happier. I started reading more and more books and articles about the science of happiness including Happiness Hypothesis and Happier. Initially, it was just a side hobby and interest of mine that had nothing to do with Zappos. And then one day, it hit me. It had everything to do with Zappos.

It’s been interesting to look at the evolution of the Zappos brand promise over the years: 1999—Largest Selection of Shoes 2003—Customer Service 2005—Culture and Core Values as Our Platform 2007—Personal Emotional Connection 2009—Delivering Happiness From my perspective, it seemed to make sense to try to learn more about the science of happiness so that the knowledge could be applied to running our business. We could learn about some of the science behind how to make customers and employees happier. Today, we even offer a Science of Happiness class to our employees. As I studied the field more, I learned that one of the consistent findings from the research was that people are very bad at predicting what will actually bring them sustained happiness. Most people go through their lives thinking, When I get ___, I will be happy, or When I achieve ___, I will be happy.

Just like we instinctually know how to run, we instinctually think we know what will make us happy. But research has shown that you can perform better in a marathon if you train yourself in ways that may initially seem to go against your gut instinct. Similarly, research in the science of happiness has shown that there are things that can make you happier that you may not realize will actually make you happier. And the reverse is true as well: There are things that you think will make you happy but actually won’t in the long run. I don’t claim to be an expert in the field of the science of happiness. I’ve just been reading books and articles about it because I find the topic really interesting. So I wanted to briefly share some of the frameworks of happiness that I personally found the most useful in helping shape my thinking, with the goal of whetting your appetite to do a little bit of reading yourself so that you can maximize your own personal level of happiness.


pages: 361 words: 111,500

Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Exxon Valdez, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, indoor plumbing, Mikhail Gorbachev, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Transnistria, union organizing

We especially like studies that lend credibility to our own idiosyncrasies, as in, “A new study has found that people with messy desks are smarter” or “A new study has found that moderate daily flatulence improves longevity.” Yes, if this new science of happiness was to be taken seriously, it needed studies. But first, it needed a vocabulary, a serious jargon. The word “happiness” wouldn’t do. It sounded too frivolous, too easily understood. This was a problem. So the social scientists came up with a doozy: “subjective well-being.” Perfect. Not only was it multisyllabic and virtually impenetrable to laypeople, it also could be condensed into an even more obscure acronym: SWB. To this day, if you want to find the latest scholarly research on happiness, you need to Google “SWB,” not “happiness.” Next came other pieces of the jargon puzzle. “Positive affect” is when something feels good; “negative affect” is—you guessed it—when something feels bad. Next, the new science of happiness needed data. Numbers. For what is science if not numbers, preferably large ones with lots of decimal points.

It appeared on maps—located, ironically, at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in what is now modern-day Iraq. European explorers prepared for expeditions in search of paradise by learning Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. I set out on my journey, my search for paradise, speaking not Aramaic but another obscure language, the modern liturgy of bliss spoken by the new apostles of the emerging science of happiness. I brush up on terms like “positive affect” and “hedonic adaptation.” I carry no Bible, just a few Lonely Planet guides and a conviction that, as Henry Miller said, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” And so, on a typically steamy day in Miami (itself some people’s concept of paradise), I pack my bags and depart my home on what I know full well is a fool’s errand, every bit as foolish as the one I tried to pull off as a peripatetic five-year-old.

“You should believe and know that everything is in the hands of God. You will get what Allah has written for you. Yes, you should become a Muslim if you want to know happiness.” The link between religion and happiness is a subject that could fill many bookshelves, and, indeed, it has. I will dip my big toe into this deep, deep reservoir by pointing out one statistic to emerge from the young science of happiness. People who attend religious services report being happier than those who do not. Why? Is it because of some transcendental experience, the religious part of the religious service? Or is it the service part, the gathering of like-minded souls, that explains this phenomenon? In other words, could these happy churchgoers receive the same hedonic boost if they belonged to a bowling league or, for that matter, the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan?


Free Money for All: A Basic Income Guarantee Solution for the Twenty-First Century by Mark Walker

3D printing, 8-hour work day, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, commoditize, financial independence, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, industrial robot, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, market clearing, means of production, new economy, obamacare, off grid, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, universal basic income, working poor

Scientists have found that these numbers correlate to a high degree, suggesting that surveys that rely on self-reports of happiness are measuring what they intend to measure. 24 As mentioned, this is not the place to provide a defense of the science of happiness. True, if there are good reasons to doubt this science then there is reason to doubt the idea that BIG will promote aggregate utility. But skepticism about the science of happiness works both ways. Some may say that there is no reason to think that BIG will increase happiness, and so this undermines one reason to endorse BIG. Of course, this also undermines a reason to resist BIG: the idea that redistribution will make people unhappy. That is, an opponent of the argument cannot consistently say, “there is no reason to suppose BIG will increase happiness, because the science of happiness is illegitimate,” and “we should not adopt BIG because higher taxes will make people unhappy.”

Schkade, “The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures,” Journal of Public NOTES 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 227 Economics 92, 8 (2008): 1833–45; Sonja Lyubomirsky and Heidi S. Lepper, “A Measure of Subjective Happiness: Preliminary Reliability and Construct Validation,” Social Indicators Research 46, 2 (1999): 137–155; Deborah Mattel and Charles Schafer, “An Investigation of Validity of the Subjective Happiness Scale 1,” Psychological Reports 94, 1 (2004): 288–290; E. Diener, “Subjective Well-Being: The Science of Happiness and a Proposal for a National Index,” American Psychologist 55, 1 (2000): 34. Lyubomirsky and Lepper, “A Measure of Subjective Happiness.” R. A. Easterlin, Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Nations and Households in Economic Growth: Essays in Honour of Moses Abramovitz. M. Abramovitz, PA David and MW Reder (New York; London: Academic Press, 1974). For some accessible history on the Easterlin paradox, see David Leonhardt, “Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness After All,” The New York Times, April 16, 2008, section Business, http://www.nytimes. com/2008/04/16/business/16leonhardt.html.

The point that property rights can have profound consequences for freedom even when freedom is negatively conceived is made forcefully by Widerquist, Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No. As he puts it, “A theory of freedom that takes property rights as given is not a theory of negative freedom,” p. 41. 32. Ian Carter, “Positive and Negative Liberty,” 2003, http://stanford. library.usyd.edu.au/entries/liberty-positive-negative/. 33. Diener, “Subjective Well-Being: The Science of Happiness and a Proposal for a National Index,” American Psychologist 55, 1 (2000): 34. 34. A. Huxley, Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited (Canada: Vintage Books, 2007). 35. Ibid. 36. B. Russell, “We Don’t Want to Be Happy,” in Aldous Huxley, ed. C. Watt (London, UK: Psychology Press, 1997). 37. Hurka, Perfectionism. Steven Wall, Liberalism, Perfectionism and Restraint (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998). 38.


pages: 505 words: 127,542

If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Happy? by Raj Raghunathan

Broken windows theory, business process, cognitive dissonance, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fundamental attribution error, hedonic treadmill, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Phillip Zimbardo, placebo effect, science of happiness, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thorstein Veblen, Tony Hsieh, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

., “Cuing Consumerism Situational Materialism Undermines Personal and Social Well-Being,” Psychological Science 23(5) (2012): 517–23. over 80 percent in 2014: For the data from 2014, see p. 44 of findings from The American Freshman Surveys, accessed from www.heri.ucla.edu/monographs/TheAmericanFreshman2014-Expanded.pdf. The statistic from the 1970s is from Dacher Keltner’s introductory lecture for the course “The Science of Happiness” on EDx. The course can be accessed at www.edx.org/course/science-happiness-uc-berkeleyx-gg101x-1 or by searching for “The science of happiness” on search engines such as Google. See also Luxury Fever by Robert Frank for many examples of how the need for superiority is stoked in the pursuit of materialistic yardsticks of success. Materialism scale: M. L. Richins and S. Dawson, “A Consumer Values Orientation for Materialism and Its Measurement: Scale Development and Validation,” Journal of Consumer Research 19(3) (1992): 303–16.

Or, put differently, until recently, if someone had discovered from personal experience that the things that make one happy also promote success, altruism, and meaningful productivity, he would have had a very difficult time convincing others of it. But thanks to the sheer weight of emerging scientific evidence, it’s much easier now to see how and why the determinants of happiness lead to other benefits as well. In other words, adoption of happiness “habits” has been slow until now because we had little scientific evidence of its “win-win-win-win.” With the emergence of the new “science of happiness”—positive psychology—however, this is all set to change. The second part of my answer has to do with perhaps the most important megatrend that has characterized the evolution of human beings in the past few decades. Perhaps due to the convergence of a number of factors—including unprecedented levels of peace, incredible technological advancements, and increasing access to information—the average person living in developed nations enjoys a far better standard of living than that which even the kings and queens of yore enjoyed.

Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper & Row, 1990); D. Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness (Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2009); J. Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (New York: Basic Books, 2006); Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want (New York: Penguin, 2008). See also E. Diener, “Subjective Well-being: The Science of Happiness and a Proposal for a National Index,” American Psychological Association 55(1) (2000): 34; and E. Diener, and S. Oishi, “The Desirability of Happiness Across Cultures,” unpublished manuscript, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2006. even many economists: See R. Layard, Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (London: Allen Lane, 2005). See also J. E. Stiglitz, A. Sen, and J. P.


pages: 401 words: 112,784

Hard Times: The Divisive Toll of the Economic Slump by Tom Clark, Anthony Heath

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, Gini coefficient, hedonic treadmill, hiring and firing, income inequality, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unconventional monetary instruments, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor

The misery of the jobless was undoubtedly the chief societal poison during the Depression; but in Chapter 4 we explore the low pay, casual contracts and unpredictable shifts which combined during the recent recession to bring hard times to much of the working population too – and in a manner that is dragging on into the recovery. The next stage of our inquiry moves out of the jobs market and into the communities, the homes and the hearts where the human consequences unfolded. Chapter 5 looks at family life and individual well-being, drawing on the new science of happiness and the oldest statistical indicator of its absence – the suicide rate. Chapter 6 then steps out of the home and onto the streets, to gauge the strength of social networks. Throughout, we ask whether hard times are re-inforcing pre-existing divisions by blighting the vulnerable more. With the American recovery well under way and the British economy finally picking up, too, we consider whether we might soon be able to forget a passing storm.

From the 1990s onward, the ties of community – or, in the jargon, ‘social capital’ – have been shown to bear on everything from the safety of the streets to the life expectancy of the people who live along them.4 The idea that social networks have value is commonsensical at one level; but the formalisation of this insight within sociology has had results just as radical as those of the new science of happiness. Pubs, Alcoholics Anonymous branches and everything in between are these days tallied as a measure of how tight-knit a community is. Just as the value of this traditional asset of American society was coming into view, however, Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone charted the decline of countless forms of civic association in the later decades of the twentieth century, and forced a country to ask whether it was squandering this great inheritance.

We have seen how inequality surged to the point where the real incomes of very many stagnated; and yet, for enough of the people, enough of the time, living standards did rise. For the rest – all those Americans, and latterly Britons as well, whose pay packets did not share in the proceeds of growth – there was a burgeoning range of options for credit. Anglo-American societies did not always seem healthy: Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone recorded the withering of American community life, and the new science of happiness suggested that the rising average wealth of society was doing little to reduce the misery quotient. But the political mainstream regarded these insights as quirky caveats attached to more general principles about the unique efficacy of running things on individualistic lines. The great inflation of the 1970s had, after all, exposed Foot's old order as bankrupt, and so – like the Cold War before it, and the British Empire before that – the New Right's ‘post-post-war’ settlement had slowly developed an air of permanence by the time the slump arrived.


pages: 83 words: 26,097

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations by Dan Ariely

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, IKEA effect, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, science of happiness, Snapchat, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

In a talk full of humor, he shows how you can’t hope to understand humans as separate individuals making choices based on their conscious awareness. Dan Pink The puzzle of motivation Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories—and maybe, a way forward. Dan Gilbert The surprising science of happiness Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. ALSO FROM TED BOOKS When Strangers Meet by Kio Stark When Strangers Meet reveals the transformative possibility of talking to people you don’t know—how these beautiful interruptions in daily life can change you and the world we share.


pages: 297 words: 96,509

Time Paradox by Philip G. Zimbardo, John Boyd

Albert Einstein, cognitive dissonance, Drosophila, endowment effect, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, indoor plumbing, loss aversion, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, twin studies

Onward To be perfectly honest, I won’t just be mentioning the surprisingly wrong answer; I’ll be pounding and pummeling it until it gives up and goes home. The surprisingly wrong answer is apparently so sensible and so widely believed that only a protracted thrashing has any hope of expunging it from our conventional wisdom. So before the grudge match begins, let me share with you my plan of attack. • In Part II, “Subjectivity,” I will tell you about the science of happiness. We all steer ourselves toward the futures that we think will make us happy, but what does that word really mean? And how can we ever hope to achieve solid, scientific answers to questions about something as gossamer as a feeling? • We use our eyes to look into space and our imaginations to look into time. Just as our eyes sometimes lead us to see things as they are not, our imaginations sometimes lead us to foresee things as they will not be.

By the same logic, the careful collection of a large number of experiential reports allows the imperfections of one to cancel out the imperfections of another. No individual’s report may be taken as an unimpeachable and perfectly calibrated index of his experience—not yours, not mine—but we can be confident that if we ask enough people the same question, the average answer will be a roughly accurate index of the average experience. The science of happiness requires that we play the odds, and thus the information it provides us is always at some risk of being wrong. But if you want to bet against it, then flip that coin one more time, get out your wallet, and tell Paul to make mine a Guinness. Onward One of the most annoying songs in the often annoying history of popular music begins with this line: “Feelings, nothing more than feelings.” I wince when I hear it because it always strikes me as roughly equivalent to starting a hymn with “Jesus, nothing more than Jesus.”


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, starchitect, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, Zipcar

You would have to tabulate the psychological effects of driving in traffic, or catching the eye of a stranger on the sidewalk, or pausing in a pocket park, or of feeling crowded or lonely, or of the simple feeling that the city you live in is a good or bad place. You would have to go beyond politics and philosophy to find a map of the ingredients of happiness, if it exists at all. * * * The cheers in that Vancouver ballroom echoed in my ears for the five years I spent charting the intersection of urban design and the so-called science of happiness. The quest led me to some of the world’s greatest and most miserable streets. It led me through the labyrinths of neuroscience and behavioral economics. I found clues in paving stones, on rail lines, and on roller coasters, in architecture, in the stories of strangers who shared their lives with me, and in my own urban experiments. I will share that search with you, and its hopeful message, in the rest of this book.

These questions take us all the way back to Socrates: What is happiness, really? Now is a great time to take another stab at defining it, because during the decades that the suburban project accelerated, a network of psychologists, brain scientists, and economists devoted themselves to the study of the subject that intrigued the Greeks, stumped the Enlightenment scholars, and provided fodder for those who design cities to this day. A Science of Happiness In the early 1990s the University of Wisconsin psychologist Richard Davidson attempted to isolate the sources of positive and negative feelings in the human brain. Doctors have long noticed that people with damage to the front left side of their brain (the left prefrontal cortex) sometimes, and quite suddenly, lose their sense of enjoyment in life. In this, Davidson saw a clue to the neuroscience of happiness.


pages: 222 words: 54,506

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt

Amazon Web Services, automated trading system, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, Dynabook, Elon Musk, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, new economy, science of happiness, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software patent, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

“We told Jeff that we weren’t interested in selling at any price,” Hsieh wrote in an essay in Inc. magazine. But Bezos returned four years later. Hsieh still didn’t want to sell. Zappos was now profitable, but the economy was in a recession, and Bezos was offering an astounding amount of money, although in the form of stock rather than cash. In April 2009, Hsieh flew to Seattle to talk about the company and its culture, including Hsieh’s philosophy on “the science of happiness—and how we try to use it to serve our customers and employees better.” Bezos suddenly piped up with the question, “Did you know that people are very bad at predicting what will make them happy?” That exact question was the next slide in Hsieh’s PowerPoint presentation. From that point on, Hsieh relaxed, feeling that Bezos did understand his dedication to his company’s culture: both men were more dedicated to customers than to short-term profits.


pages: 678 words: 148,827

Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization by Scott Barry Kaufman

Albert Einstein, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, fear of failure, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, impulse control, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Rosa Parks, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, theory of mind

Jourard, S. M., & Landsman, T. (1980). Healthy personality: An approach from the viewpoint of humanistic psychology. New York: Macmillan; Kaufman, S. B. (2018). Do you have a healthy personality? Scientific American Blogs. Retrieved from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/do-you-have-a-healthy-personality. 8. Compton, W. C., & Hoffman, E. L. (2019). Positive psychology: The science of happiness and flourishing. New York: Sage Publications; Basic Books; Lopez, S. J., Pedrotti, J. T., & Snyder, C. R. (2018). Positive psychology: The scientific and practical explorations of human strengths. New York: Sage Publications; Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York: Free Press; Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000).

Current Directions in Psychological Science, 28(2), 183–188, doi: 10.1177/0963721419827272; Pawelski, S. P., & Pawleski, J. O. (2018). Happy together: Using the science of positive psychology to build love that lasts. New York: TarcherPerigee. 26. Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Very happy people. Psychological Science, 13(1), 81–84. 27. Compton, W. C., & Hoffman, E. (2019). Positive psychology: The science of happiness and flourishing (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 28. Fredrickson, B.L. (2013). Love 2.0: Finding happiness and health in moments of connection. New York: Plume. 29. Hasson, U., Ghazanfar, A. A., Galantucci, B., Garrod, S., Keysers, C. (2012). Brain-to-brain coupling: A mechanism for creating and sharing a social world. Trends in Cognitive Science, 16(2), 114–121; Stephens, G.


pages: 270 words: 64,235

Effective Programming: More Than Writing Code by Jeff Atwood

AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, endowment effect, Firefox, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, gravity well, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Merlin Mann, Minecraft, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, price anchoring, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, science of happiness, Skype, social software, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

It is not surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about wine end up with cellars that aren’t that much better stocked than their neighbors’, and it should not be surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about happiness end up with lives that aren’t that much happier than anyone else’s. Money is an opportunity for happiness, but it is an opportunity that people routinely squander because the things they think will make them happy often don’t. You may also recognize some of the authors on this paper, in particular Dan Gilbert, who also wrote the excellent book Stumbling on Happiness that touched on many of the same themes. What is, then, the science of happiness? I’ll summarize the basic eight points as best I can, but read the actual paper to obtain the citations and details on the underlying studies underpinning each of these principles. 1. Buy experiences instead of things Things get old. Things become ordinary. Things stay the same. Things wear out. Things are difficult to share. But experiences are totally unique; they shine like diamonds in your memory, often more brightly every year, and they can be shared forever.


pages: 211 words: 69,380

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman

experimental subject, fear of failure, hedonic treadmill, Kibera, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, science of happiness, selection bias, Steve Jobs, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, traveling salesman, World Values Survey

It is only months later, back at my home in New York, reading the headlines over morning coffee, that I learn the news that the largest church in the United States constructed entirely from glass has filed for bankruptcy, a word Dr Schuller had apparently neglected to eliminate from his vocabulary. For a civilisation so fixated on achieving happiness, we seem remarkably incompetent at the task. One of the best-known general findings of the ‘science of happiness’ has been the discovery that the countless advantages of modern life have done so little to lift our collective mood. The awkward truth seems to be that increased economic growth does not necessarily make for happier societies, just as increased personal income, above a certain basic level, doesn’t make for happier people. Nor does better education, at least according to some studies. Nor does an increased choice of consumer products.


pages: 221 words: 68,880

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy (Bicycle) by Elly Blue

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, Boris Johnson, business cycle, car-free, hydraulic fracturing, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, job automation, Loma Prieta earthquake, medical residency, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, science of happiness, the built environment, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Besides making us unhappy, stress is an aggravating factor in just about every mental and physical disease there is, particularly the chronic ones that we are struggling with in the U.S. today. The vast majority of us regularly feel unduly stressed out,62 particularly those who live in poverty. In economics, happiness is conveniently measured in units. We expect that money creates more happiness units. A standard finding in the science of happiness, is that this is true—for those living in poverty. Once your income rises above subsistence level, earning yet more money still makes you happier, but in much smaller increments and not nearly as much as having strong family and social relationships. And the diminishing returns continue—once you move beyond a middle class income they nearly dry up entirely. The primary causes of unhappiness?


pages: 202 words: 64,725

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett, Dave Evans

David Brooks, fear of failure, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, invention of the printing press, iterative process, knowledge worker, market design, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Jobs

Dan Goleman is the author of Emotional Intelligence (New York: Bantam, 1995) and the follow-up book Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships (New York: Bantam, 2006) from which we draw the notion of the “wisdom of the emotions.” For an informative and interesting summary of these ideas go to Dan’s Social Intelligence Talks at Google at https://​www.​youtube.​com/​watch?​v=-hoo_​dIOP8k. 3. For more on Dan Gilbert’s ideas on “synthesizing happiness” watch his TED Talk, “The Surprising Science of Happiness,” http://​www.​ted.​com/​talks/​dan_​gilbert_​asks_why_​are_we_​happy and read Stumbling on Happiness (New York: Knopf, 2006). 4. For more on Barry Schwartz’s ideas on choice and choosing watch his TED Talk, “The Paradox of Choice?,” https://​www.​ted.​com/​talks/​barry_​schwartz_on_​the_paradox_​of_choice?​language=en. Chapter 10 Failure Immunity 1. Angela Duckworth’s studies on grit and self-control are summarized in a great article: Daniel J.


pages: 241 words: 75,516

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz

accounting loophole / creative accounting, attribution theory, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, framing effect, hedonic treadmill, income per capita, job satisfaction, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, Own Your Own Home, Pareto efficiency, positional goods, price anchoring, psychological pricing, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, science of happiness, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Harris, Inside America (New York: Random House, 1987). This work is discussed in Lane, p. 29. Here is an example E. Diener, R.A. Emmons, R.J. Larson, and S. Griffin, “The Satisfaction with Life Scale,” Journal of Personality Assessment, 1985, 49, 71–75. And one of the things A central figure in the study of happiness is psychologist Ed Diener. For a sample of Diener’s recent work on the topic, see E. Diener, “Subjective Well-Being: The Science of Happiness and a Proposal for a National Index,” American Psychologist, 2000, 55, 34–43; E. Diener, M. Diener, and C. Diener, “Factors Predicting the Subjective Well-Being of Nations,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1995, 69, 851–864; E. Diener and E.M. Suh (eds.), Subjective Well-Being Across Cultures (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001); and E. Diener, E.M. Suh, R.E. Lucas, and H.L. Smith, “Subjective Well-Being: Three Decades of Progress,” Psychological Bulletin, 1999, 125, 276–302.


pages: 277 words: 79,360

The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 by Jonathan Rauch

endowment effect, experimental subject, Google bus, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income per capita, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Richard Thaler, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

If it’s hard to believe that happiness increases with age, Jonathan Rauch suggests, just wait. Or read this book.” —Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism “Rauch contrasts the happiness people experience in midlife with the happiness they expect, making an important scientific finding come to life with urgency and passion. Beautifully written and a must-read for those who are interested in the science of happiness and for anyone approaching the age of forty.” —Martin Binder, professor of economics, Bard College Berlin About the Author JONATHAN RAUCH, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is the author of several books and many articles on public policy, culture, and government. A recipient of the 2005 National Magazine Award, he’s a contributing editor of The Atlantic.


pages: 249 words: 77,342

The Behavioral Investor by Daniel Crosby

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, availability heuristic, backtesting, bank run, Black Swan, buy and hold, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, compound rate of return, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, endowment effect, feminist movement, Flash crash, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, housing crisis, IKEA effect, impulse control, index fund, Isaac Newton, job automation, longitudinal study, loss aversion, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, Murray Gell-Mann, Nate Silver, neurotypical, passive investing, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, science of happiness, Shai Danziger, short selling, South Sea Bubble, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, stocks for the long run, Thales of Miletus, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, tulip mania, Vanguard fund

If you feel passionately about an investment idea, you probably haven’t thought hard enough about it. Notes 27 Nathaniel Branden, The Psychology of Self-Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding that Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology (Jossey-Bass, 2001). 28 Daniel Crosby, You’re Not That Great (Word Association Publishers, 2012). 29 Dan Gilbert, ‘The surprising science of happiness’ TED Talk (February 2004). 30 Ibid. 31 Lee Ross and Craig Anderson, ‘Shortcomings in the attribution process: On the origins and maintenance of erroneous social assessments,’ in Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic and Amos Tversky (eds.), Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases (Cambridge University Press, 1982), pp. 129–152. 32 2014 NTSB US Civil Aviation Acccident Statistics. 33 Gerd Gigerenzer, Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions (Penguin, 2015). 34 Justin Kruger and David Dunning, ‘Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments,’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77:6 (1999), pp. 1121–34.


pages: 264 words: 76,643

The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations by David Pilling

Airbnb, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Branko Milanovic, call centre, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Hangouts, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, off grid, old-boy network, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, performance metric, pez dispenser, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, science of happiness, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

In the survey, which covers a random sample of more than one million respondents, people are asked, “On the whole, are you i) very satisfied, ii) fairly satisfied, iii) not very satisfied or iv) not at all satisfied with the life you lead?” The paper found that answers to that question were a “robust predictor of election results” and a better guide to voting intention than any other measure including GDP.8 To Bill Clinton, Layard says, “It’s happiness, stupid.” In the new “science” of happiness there are several ways of measuring what researchers call “subjective well-being.” One is to rely on fast-advancing neuroscience. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin has developed ways to measure people’s mood by attaching electrodes to the scalp. When people are shown an amusing video clip, the left side of their brain—associated with happiness—becomes more active. A frightening sequence provokes the opposite reaction.


pages: 244 words: 78,884

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson, Lou Aronica

fear of failure, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, invisible hand, Ralph Waldo Emerson, science of happiness, Silicon Valley

Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness. (Cambridge, Mass: Da Capo Lifelong, 2010). The Joseph Campbell Foundation home page, accessed November 17, 2011, http://www.jcf.org/new/index.php?categoryid=31. Thérèse, India’s Summer (Stamford, CT: Fiction Studio, 2012). Chapter Five: What Makes You Happy? Dan Baker and Cameron Stauth, What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better (Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2003). David Rock, “New Study Shows Humans Are on Autopilot Nearly Half the Time,” Psychology Today, November 14, 2011, accessed December 20, 2011, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-work/201011/new-study-shows-humans-are-autopilot-nearly-half-the-time. “Current Worldwide Suicide Rate,” ChartsBin.com, accessed December 30, 2011, http://chartsbin.com/view/prm.


pages: 254 words: 81,009

Busy by Tony Crabbe

airport security, British Empire, business process, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, fear of failure, Frederick Winslow Taylor, haute cuisine, informal economy, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, low cost airline, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Shai Danziger, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple

Psychic entropy is a concept used in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness (London: Rider/Random House, 1992). 5. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness (London: Rider/Random House, 1992). 6. Paul A. O’Keefe and Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia, “The Role of Interest in Optimizing Performance and Self-regulation,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 53 (July 2014): 70–8. 7. Daniel Gilbert, “The Surprising Science of Happiness,” (TED talk, February 2004), http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy. 8. George Leonard, Mastery: The Key to Success and Long-Term Fulfilment (New York: Plume, 1991). 9. Jane E. Barker, Andrei D. Semenov, Laura Michaelson, Lindsay S. Provan, Hannah R. Snyder, and Yuko Munakata, “Less-Structured Time in Children’s Daily Lives Predicts Self-Directed Executive Functioning,” Frontiers in Psychology, June 17, 2014. 10.


pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing

8-hour work day, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, deskilling, fear of failure, full employment, hiring and firing, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nudge unit, old age dependency ratio, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pensions crisis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, precariat, presumed consent, quantitative easing, remote working, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, transaction costs, universal basic income, unpaid internship, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, young professional

In India, following the libertarian paternalists, a cash transfer scheme targeted at economically insecure women promises them cash when their first child reaches adulthood, on condition that they are sterilised after the birth of a second child. This too creates an ‘architecture of choice’. Making the precariat ‘happy’ Meanwhile, the paternalists who have dominated social policy since the 1990s have refined a utilitarian mentality built around the desire to make people A POLITICS OF INFERNO 141 ‘happy’, to the extent that provision of happiness has become quasi-religious and dignified by being called ‘the science of happiness’. In some countries, including France and the United Kingdom, official statistics are being collected to measure people’s happiness. Let us suppose we have a society in which politicians and their advisers want to make people ‘happy’. The utilitarian rationalisation for inducing labour has grown in sophistication. Calvin sanctified capitalism by saying that salvation came to those who did good works.


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Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal

3D printing, Alexander Shulgin, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, high batting average, hive mind, Hyperloop, impulse control, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning

.,” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 39. 44 percent of all U.S. companies will offer mindfulness: “Corporate Mindfulness Programs Grow in Popularity,” National Business Group on Health and Fidelity, July 14, 2016. 40. Since rolling out their program, Aetna estimates: Joe Pinsker, “Corporations’ Newest Productivity Hack: Meditation,” Atlantic, March 10, 2015. 41. the meditation and mindfulness industry grew to nearly $1 billion: Jan Wieczner, “Meditation Has Become a Billion-Dollar Business,” Fortune, March 12, 2016. 42. At Harvard, Professor Tal Ben Shahar’s: Craig Lambert, ’The Science of Happiness,” Harvard Magazine, January–February 2007. 43. By college, many Millennials have reached: Pfaffenberger, ed., The Postconventional Personality, p. 60. 44. researchers began finding the practice did everything: N. P. Gothe and E. McAuley, “Yoga and Cognition: A Meta-Analysis of Chronic and Acute Effects,” Psychosomatic Medicine 77, no. 7 (September 2015): 784–97; N. R. Okonta, “Does Yoga Therapy Reduce Blood Pressure in Patients with Hypertension?


pages: 321 words: 92,828

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor

Sheth, Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton, 2007). “achieve significantly higher levels”: Kim Cameron et al., “Effects of Positive Practices on Organizational Effectiveness,” Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 47, no. 3 (2011): 266–308. “compassion is good for”: Emma Seppälä, The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success (New York: HarperCollins, 2017). “but then the lid came off”: This Emotional Life: My Transformation from High School Dropout to Surgeon (documentary), PBS, aired January 4, 2011. Rick Ankiel, by contrast, had a charmed life: On the story of the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and his sudden loss of directional control, I especially liked the late Charles Krauthammer’s “The Return of the Natural,” Washington Post, August 17, 2007, not least because Krauthammer tragically lost his own youthful prowess when he broke his neck in a diving accident, resulting in quadriplegia.


pages: 411 words: 95,852

Britain Etc by Mark Easton

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Boris Johnson, British Empire, credit crunch, financial independence, garden city movement, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass immigration, moral panic, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, social software

Kahneman was aware that the pursuit of happiness, although enshrined in America’s constitution, was too easily dismissed as a nebulous and naïve ambition by hard-nosed policy advisors in Washington. Reducing unhappiness, however, was accepted as a legitimate and noble aim. In Britain, the new utilitarians were beginning to grow in confidence: the government was pledged to evidence-based policy and they hoped the science of happiness could become a driving force in determining the political direction of travel. Within Number Ten itself, Tony Blair’s strategy team included enthusiastic advocates of the new utilitarian cause. Geoff Mulgan and David Halpern were quietly encouraging the Prime Minister towards the politics of well-being, but the Labour leader was never totally convinced. The problem was not just that the science was new, but that its findings cut across political ideologies.


pages: 573 words: 115,489

Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow by Tim Jackson

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, Philip Mirowski, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, secular stagnation, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, universal basic income, Works Progress Administration, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

My prosperity hangs on the prosperity of those around me, these traditions suggest, as theirs does on mine.5 In The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama takes this suggestion one step further. Those are happiest, he suggests, who show compassion for others and exercise care for them. Perhaps surprisingly, the claim has some support from modern scientific research. ‘The very act of concern for others’ wellbeing creates a greater sense of wellbeing within oneself’, concludes neuropsychologist Richard Davidson.6 The recent surge of interest in the science of happiness resonates deeply with the focus of this book. This doesn’t mean of course that happiness is the same thing as prosperity. But to the extent that we tend to be happy when things go well and unhappy when they don’t, there is clearly some connection between the two.7 Using both cognitive and neuropsychology, this emerging science has done much to unravel the complex nature of human wellbeing.


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Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari

Airbnb, centre right, failed state, glass ceiling, global pandemic, illegal immigration, mass incarceration, McJob, moral panic, Naomi Klein, placebo effect, profit motive, RAND corporation, Rat Park, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, Steven Pinker, traveling salesman, War on Poverty

Adding Years to Your Life. New York: Hearst’s International Library Co., 1914. ———. Drug Addicts Are Human Beings. Washington, D.C.: Shaw Publishing Company, 1938. ———. Drugs Against Men. Reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1981. ———, ed. The Historians’ History of the World. Vol 3. Encyclopedia Britannica Company, 1926. ———. Luther Burbank. New York, Hearst’s International Library Co., 1915. ———. The Science of Happiness. New York; London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1909. ———. The Survival of the Fittest. New York: R.M. McBride & Co., 1932. Woods, Sally C. “Heroin and Methadone Substitution Treatments.” Unpublished thesis, Liverpool John Moores University, 2005. Yardley, Tom. Why We Take Drugs: Seeking Excess and Communion in the Modern World. London, New York: Routledge, 2012. Documentaries 9 Murders a Day, produced by Charlie Minn (2011).


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Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World—for Better and for Worse by Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, barriers to entry, Black Swan, blood diamonds, borderless world, business climate, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, George Gilder, global supply chain, industrial cluster, intangible asset, job satisfaction, job-hopping, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, Naomi Klein, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Norman Macrae, patent troll, Ponzi scheme, popular capitalism, post-industrial society, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, wealth creators, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

Twitter employs a team of people whose job is to make workers happy (for example, by providing them with cold towels on a hot day). The company’s Web page features workers wearing cowboy hats and boasts that “crazy things happen every day … it’s pretty ridiculous.” Zappos, an online shoe and clothing shop, describes creating “fun and a little weirdness” as one of its core values. Tony Hsieh, the company’s boss, shaves his head, spends 10 percent of his time studying what he calls the “science of happiness,” and once joked that Zappos had issued a class action lawsuit against Walt Disney for describing itself as “the happiest place on earth.” The company practices regular “random acts of generosity,” when workers form a noisy conga line and single out one of their colleagues for praise. The praisee has to wear a hat for a week. The most unpleasant thing about the fashion for fun is that it is mixed with compulsion.


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The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

Mike Snider, Interview: ‘Space Invaders’ Creator Tomohiro Nishikado, May 6, 2009, http://content.usatoday.com/​communities/​gamehunters/​post/​2009/​05/​66479041/​1#.Vr0FTjYrLVo; Henry Allen, “Galaxy of Wars,” Washington Post, September 2, 1980, https://www.washingtonpost.com/​archive/​lifestyle/​1980/​09/​02/​galaxy-of-wars/​ea315a08-a9af-41c9-9666-230d2acbc7e2/. 4. Martin Amis, Invasion of the Space Invaders (London: Hutchinson, 1982), 14; Glenn Collins, “Children’s Video Games: Who Wins (or Loses)?,” New York Times, August 31, 1981, http://www.nytimes.com/​1981/​08/​31/​style/​children-s-video-games-who-wins-or-loses.html. 5. Kent, The Ultimate History of Video Games; Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “The Pursuit of Happiness: Bringing the Science of Happiness to Life,” accessed February 8, 2016, http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/​history-of-happiness/​mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/.; Amis, Invasion of the Space Invaders, 20; Mark O’Connell, “The Arcades Project: Martin Amis’ Guide to Classic Video Games,” The Millions, February 16, 2012, http://www.themillions.com/​2012/​02/​the-arcades-project-martin-amis-guide-to-classic-video-games.html. 6. Amis, Invasion of the Space Invaders, 56–57; Chris Morris, “Five Things You Never Knew About Pac-Man,” CNBC, March 3, 2011, http://www.cnbc.com/​id/​41888021; “The Making of Pac-Man,” Retro Gamer, January 27, 2015, http://www.retrogamer.net/​retro_games80/​the-making-of-pac-man/; Jaz Rignall, “Top 10 Highest-Grossing Arcade Games of All Time,” US Gamer, January 1, 2016, http://www.usgamer.net/​articles/​top-10-biggest-grossing-arcade-games-of-all-time. 7.


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The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature by Steven Pinker

airport security, Albert Einstein, Bob Geldof, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fudge factor, George Santayana, Laplace demon, loss aversion, luminiferous ether, Norman Mailer, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, science of happiness, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, Thomas Bayes, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, urban renewal, Yogi Berra

Psychological Monographs, 58. Dworkin, A. 1979. Pornography: Men possessing women. New York: Penguin. Eco, U. 1995. The search for the perfect language. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. Etcoff, N. L. 1986. The neuropsychology of emotional expression. In G. Goldstein & R. E. Tarter (Eds.), Advances in clinical neuropsychology (Vol. 3). New York: Plenum. Etcoff, N. L. 2008. Liking, wanting, having, being: The science of happiness. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Everett, D. 2005. Cultural constraints On grammar and cognition in Pirahã: Another look at the design features Of human language. Current Anthropology, 46, 621—646. Fairhurst, G. T., & Sarr, R. A. 1996. The art of framing: Managing the language of leadership. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass. Fareh, S., & Hamdan, J. 2000. Locative alternation in English and Jordanian spoken Arabic.


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

Hedonic treadmill: Brickman & Campbell 1971. 5. Social comparison theory: See chapter 9, note 11; Kelley & Evans 2016. 6. G. Monbiot, “Neoliberalism Is Creating Loneliness. That’s What’s Wrenching Society Apart,” The Guardian, Oct. 12, 2016. 7. Axial Age and origin of deepest questions: Goldstein 2013. Philosophy and history of happiness: Haidt 2006; Haybron 2013; McMahon 2006. Science of happiness: Gilbert 2006; Haidt 2006; Helliwell, Layard, & Sachs 2016; Layard 2005; Roser 2017. 8. Human capabilities: Nussbaum 2000, 2008; Sen 1987, 1999. 9. Choosing what doesn’t make you happy: Gilbert 2006. 10. Freedom makes people happy: Helliwell, Layard, & Sachs 2016; Inglehart et al. 2008. 11. Freedom makes life meaningful: Baumeister, Vohs, et al. 2013. 12. Validity of happiness reports: Gilbert 2006; Helliwell, Layard, & Sachs 2016; Layard 2005. 13.