Customer Reviews


66 Reviews
5 star:
 (54)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine insight
This, in many ways, is the "self-help" book for people who don't read self-help books.

Its conclusions probably won't surprise anyone - the way to find happiness is mostly just what Socrates, Jesus, Buddha et al suggested - be nice to people, do a job that satisfies you, stop chasing after material wealth, etc.

All of which might lead you to think...
Published on 20 Aug. 2007 by Amazon Customer

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little superficial
Generally a useful book if you want a broad idea of some of the issues that evolutionary science is addressing. The Author is clearly a brilliant man, however I found the book a little patronising in the way it dealt with deeper issues of ancient wisdom. Kind of putting the words in ancients' mouths. I found the book very useful as a source of various issues rather than a...
Published 11 months ago by Zafreen Qureshi


‹ Previous | 1 2 37 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best non-fiction that I have read this year, 11 Sept. 2009
By 
G. C. Brown "Neither them nor us" (Co. Down, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
Fascinating, insightful and scholarly analysis of what we can learn about psychology, happiness, morality and religion from ten great ideas of ancient wisdom when probed with the tool of modern scientific studies.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Here's wisdom to make you Happy., 10 Nov. 2009
By 
Mr. Philip Terry (Dumfries, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
A book full of fascinating insights into the world's ancient religions and philosophies - and how their wisdom can modify our psychological thinking. There are many exciting accounts of psychlogical experimentation in today's world. The theme of the 'elephant and rider' as two inextricably linked aspects of ourselves is a winner! A joy to read - and truly thought-provoking!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent study of the meaning of life, 6 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
A psychologist looks to address the question of the meaning of life and draws on the work that's relevant - ancient philosophy, religions of all kinds, and modern scientific/psychological studies.

There's much to learn from this book about leading an enjoyable and rewarding life, ie a 'meaningful' life, even if Haidt concludes that the questions 'why do we exist?' and so on are questions he is not trying to answer and on which he sheds no light.

There's a prior question about what sort of creature we are, which Haidt thinks of as an 'elephant with a rider' or 'part chimp, part bee' at various times; and in the first chapter as creatures with a mind and a body, with a left brain and a right brain, with a brain composed of different parts (like a building with new extensions), but above all as creatures who work on automatic systems most of the time, then confabulate to justify our actions. No wonder we can be divided and conflicted selves.

Moving on: can we change ourselves? Answer is yes, through cognitive therapy, through meditation, and through Prozac. All can re-orient us and help us feel happier.

Then of course we are social animals, probably geared up (ratio to brain sizing) to live in communities of 100 to 150 people. And 'tit for tat' strategies work for us. But we are much better at finding faults in other than in ourselves - and believe all too readily in the myth of pure evil - most evil coming from threatened self-esteem and idealism.

Moving on to what makes us happy: making progress, rather than arriving; avoiding the things we don't adapt to where they are bad (noise, difficult commuting, not being in control generally) and pursuing them where they are good (plastic surgery). We enjoy the pleasures of the body, need secure attachments, and 'flow' in our activities. Later Haidt summarises as our needing to love and work (as Freud had said).

Haidt also asks 'Is adversity good for us?' (answer at the right age, in the right amount and so on - what we need to do is to make sense of the adversity through a narrative). And studies feelings of transcendence and religion before summing up.

I learned a lot from this book. Some things I would question: Haidt distinguishes between 'attachment' based love and 'passionate' love - but he has no explanation to offer of the latter (beyond saying it activates the brain in the same way as heroin and cocaine). He points out that we are geared for success, not happiness - but this too could do with more discussion. And I'm not sure how convincing it is to write off whole professions as not offering 'vital engagement' in life. (And indeed why does this concept of 'vital engagement' suddenly appear at the end of the book only?)

All that said, however I would very strongly recommend this book to others.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb, 11 Oct. 2009
By 
K. H. Makansi (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
I have just finished reading the Happiness Hypothesis which I thought was excellent in just about every respect. I loved it. It was exquisitely well researched and so eloquent for a book written by an academic. Haidt's personal interests clearly extend far beyond psychology and it shows (it's also rare in the current cut throat academic world). I look forward to rereading chapters and coming back to passages and ideas in the years to come. The book covers so many of life's most controversial and important topics (and ones that nearly everyone has an opinion on) and is able to combine both a cogent layman's yet unbiased perspective of the academic research out there and relate these to religion and traditional philosophy. After 12 years in finance and a master's degree in Math's and Economics I find myself eager to take Haidt's psychology course in Virginia, which given I have two kids and a wife and live in Europe isn't likely to happen! :)

This book was so good it led me to write the author a letter to commend him on this amazing feat. I've read many popular psychology books and this is by far the best one out there. Without exaggeration, it will challenge the way you think and perceive the world including your relationship with religion, love and what's good and bad in life. It will help you instil wisdom in your children and guide them to a life of happiness over prestige and material wealth. It will tempt one to try Prozac and certainly had me looking up places where I could take some basic lessons in Meditation (and purchase a book on cognitive Therapy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little superficial, 2 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
Generally a useful book if you want a broad idea of some of the issues that evolutionary science is addressing. The Author is clearly a brilliant man, however I found the book a little patronising in the way it dealt with deeper issues of ancient wisdom. Kind of putting the words in ancients' mouths. I found the book very useful as a source of various issues rather than a comprehensive guide to them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bible for living happily!, 20 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
This book opens the curtains of the mind revealing a way to live a better, happier life. The author talks sense, in understandable language and backed with scientific evidence from the last 100 years. It is clear, concise and appropriate. No self-help book that I've read comes anywhere near the excellence of this one. I recommend it whole heartedly and without reservation. Brilliant!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I'd read this 35 years ago, 22 April 2008
By 
T. Miles "Telbert" (Forest Hill, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
...I might never have divorced my first wife.

This is an excellent book that explains so much of my life. I am going to buy a copy for each of my children so that they might understand themselves better and avoid some of the stupid mistakes I have made and a good few religious blind alleys. (But on the other hand if I had read it thirty years ago they would never have been born.)

It is a book I will read and read again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars happiness hypothesis, 15 Jan. 2010
By 
T. Lowe - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
A fascinating book whose contents are aptly described on the front cover. I bought three more copies as Xmas presents- one for each of our sons.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read, 3 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
9.50 / 10. A simple, but deep and effective book. Extremely interesting, covers many schools of thought that you may have encountered but in an ever so slightly different way that gives a truly pleasant experience and in my opinion will leave all it's readers happier, whether its be 0.0001% or 100% is another issue....... Well worth a read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really made a difference, 11 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science (Paperback)
This book is written in a way that makes the content very easy to understand.
I like the way the book combines ancient spiritual ideas and modern scientific research to really cut through to the core of what you need to know if you have ever struggled with anxiety or depression.
I have often felt overwhelmed by all the different advice and self help books there are out there that claim to help people who are depressed. I felt this book was a one stop shop which covered all the most important theories, allowing me to focus my attention on one or two techniques and practices that are so far, really helping.
Great book if you want to get past all the bull and just get stuck straight into feeling better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 37 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science
£6.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews