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The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom | [Jonathan Haidt]

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

This is a book about 10 "Great Ideas". Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations - to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives.
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Publisher's Summary

This is a book about 10 "Great Ideas". Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations - to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives.

©2006 Jonathan Haidt; (P)2007 Gildan Media

What the Critics Say

"I don't think I've ever read a book that laid out the comtemporary understanding of the human condition with such simple clarity and sense." (The Guardian, UK)
"A delightful book...by some margin the most intellectually substantial book to arise from the 'positive psychology' movement." (Nature)
"Fascinating stuff, accessibly expressed." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (2101 )
5 star
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4.0 (1214 )
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3 star
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2 star
 (62)
1 star
 (46)
Performance
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  •  
    Lorenza 01-24-12
    Lorenza 01-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    60
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    Story
    "Hypnotic ramble"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I expected a modern guide to creating more happiness in every day life, but when author concluded Chapter 3 by including Prozac in the list of things that can give you happiness, decided this book is not about the kind of happiness I'm looking for.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jonathan Haidt again?

    No


    How could the performance have been better?

    The voice of the reader is too monotone. It sounds like you're listening to an audio Bible.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom and disappointment


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 01-19-12
    Diana 01-19-12 Member Since 2015

    Diana

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    Story
    "A Review of What Everyone Else Said About Happines"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book made me unhappy because it was about what everyone else said and did not contain original ideas. What Budda said, somebody else said is not so interesting. I am interested in what the author himself thinks.


    What could Jonathan Haidt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    original content


    How could the performance have been better?

    no change


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Happiness Hypothesis?

    see above


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaime AUSTIN, TX, United States 01-01-12
    Jaime AUSTIN, TX, United States 01-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Interesting information, but too technical"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it only to those that can handle a good amount of technical jargon and presentation. The book had interesting points, but I often got lost and had to rewind due to my brain tuning out the technical speak. Additionally, even though this book was raved about in a trusted book club, I don't understand what all the commotion was about. Maybe most of the information just wasn't new to me.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    The concepts were mostly easy to follow, but only because I have a background in neurobiology and psychology. The concepts were too technical for the general population, and for those that are not detail oriented.


    What does George K. Wilson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nothing.


    Do you think The Happiness Hypothesis needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. I don't know what else the author would tell us, and whatever he did try to say would likely be too technical. I.e. information is often less compelling if it's not delivered well. I doubt that the author would deliver well additional information in a follow-up book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guilherme Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 12-29-11
    Guilherme Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 12-29-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator makes me sleep zzzz"

    The history seems good but the narrator didn't let me finish the book. I'll try some Redbull before listening this book again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Spring, Texas, United States 12-28-11
    David Spring, Texas, United States 12-28-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Interesting book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The book offers an interesting view into how we find happiness and gives you something to think about.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Orlando, FL, United States 12-25-11
    Helen Orlando, FL, United States 12-25-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting But Be Aware of the Bias"

    Haidt has done some really interesting research and the book has some real gems that, but be aware of the lens through which Haidt perceives the world. In the first half of the book he uses political examples that would have one thinking that all hypocrisy and demonization in the United States comes from the political right. Towards the end of the book he acknowledges that he is politically liberal and goes on to summarize that the politcal right in the U.S. is better at holding community together while the left is better at standing up for the individual. Haidt would benefit from getting out of his ivory tower and seeing that there is a world where the exact opposite argument could be made more cogently.

    His lens is shared by many of our academic institutions and one can only wonder what people will think of our age when they look back in 50 or 100 years and wonder how it was that we didn't use the knowledge at our fingertips more productively. Considering how much I otherwise enjoyed this book, it was disappointing that Haidt's bias and blind spots threw into question the book's broader credibility.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Chewton, Australia 12-21-11
    Nicholas Chewton, Australia 12-21-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
    3
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    "Brilliant. Wonderful. Intelligent"
    Would you listen to The Happiness Hypothesis again? Why?

    Yes and I do. Anyone who can call themselves a Jewish atheist is my kind of guy. But seriously, if you are tired of New Age invocations to find yourself as though you'd lost yourself somewhere, then this is for you. Grounded, solid, knowledgable, humorous, compassionate and he doesn't preach or invite you to feel part of a bigger anything. This is a book that should be read (or heard) by anyone, irrespective of whether they feel they have something to learn about the human condition, especially if they think they have nothing to learn about the human condition. And if your religious or ascribe to a force out there, don't read this, you might be tempted to finally accept that it is you.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Me


    What does George K. Wilson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hmm, that's a little harder to comment on. I am Australian and he definitely sounds like the American equivalent of someone trying to speak with a plumb in their mouth. At first, I thought he was completely the wrong reader because one had the feeling that he didn't empathise with the content but I got over this and now quite like his voice. Not a big issue.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Happiness Hypothesis?

    To get on with it, stop fussing so much, stop blaming and tearing what little hair I have left out. To accept my humanity and I mean the fact that I am an animal who walks upright and has being telling himself that what goes on in my head is beyond me. It isn't.


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, get this into schools ASAP

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria 12-14-11
    Victoria 12-14-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really helped me"

    I have been a "spiritual seeker" for the past 30 years. Mostly, I have studied Eastern philosophy. Not so much Western thinking. In fact, I sort of "poo-poo'd" Western thought because "striving", "achieving", etc., all seemed like an anathema to my Eastern way of thinking. Psychology and science just all felt sort of "meh" to me.

    However, something has been missing for me and I have found myself increasingly anxious and agitated with "just being in the moment". In reading this wonderful book, I found out WHY. I now feel so much more balanced and feel like I am finally sailing out of the doldrums of my mind.

    This book has given me a greater understanding of my own mind and the mind of my fellow human beings. Strangely, understanding Western thinking has made me a more compassionate person. Understanding some of our basic drives and even (gasp) "brain function" has made me more open and kind. I always thought it would be Eastern thought that would accomplish this. However, it was a deeper understanding of SCIENCE which tempered me (a surprise!) But I do want to point out that this book, by no means, just concentrates on Western thought. It's just that FOR ME, there was a lot of missing information. I had a lot of "holy sh**!" moments while listening.

    This book has changed my life and the way I view the world. Not only that, but I feel like I've grown up a little. And wised up a LOT.

    Great book. Great reading of the book. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian PALO ALTO, CA, United States 10-13-11
    Brian PALO ALTO, CA, United States 10-13-11
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    "Really Interesting"

    A great blend of psychology and philosophy. Really thoughtfully put together. Narrator is a little robotic, but totally bearable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barker Seddon, New Zealand 09-12-11
    Barker Seddon, New Zealand 09-12-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Lost for words"

    I regret this review will be of little help for most but my heading says it all. I can't believe this was given such a high rating by so many people.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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