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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great summary of current thinking on happiness
Nettle summarises the various studies and statistics available on the subject of what make people happy. Importantly, he has a useful discussion on the types of happiness; feelings of joy, judging oneself to be happy, and realising one's potential. He focuses on the second, and crunches through the studies, also provding useful scientific explanations of how the brain...
Published on 5 Jan 2007 by Avid Reader

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clear, sensible and useful
This book is an enjoyable read, a good survey of the science, and actually useful in thinking about personal happiness. I won't say 'it changed my life', but it will influence the way I think about my wants, needs, and life choices.

I particularly liked the way that it was grounded in an evolutionary approach while holding back from some of the dafter aspects...
Published on 20 July 2005


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great summary of current thinking on happiness, 5 Jan 2007
This review is from: Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile (Paperback)
Nettle summarises the various studies and statistics available on the subject of what make people happy. Importantly, he has a useful discussion on the types of happiness; feelings of joy, judging oneself to be happy, and realising one's potential. He focuses on the second, and crunches through the studies, also provding useful scientific explanations of how the brain works. Three of the most interesting things that stood out for me were that most people are actually happy, control within one's job is more important than income, and there is a distinct (biological) difference between wanting and liking. The latter is the root of addiction (and advertising), and also shows how getting what one wants may not lead to happiness.

I would have been interested in seeing a greater discussion on why the rates of depression are on the rise, yet most people are happy. Is it the case that the extremes of society are getting more pronounced? Or simply, we are more aware of depression than before. I also thought that his view that those who are neurotic (tendency to negative emotions) and introverted (closed to experiences) tend to be less happy was somewhat circular. This is the crux of the issue, that is, what causes what! Does being happy lead one to be less neurotic or the other way around?!

On balance, the book was informative, concise and life-enhancing
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clear, sensible and useful, 20 July 2005
By A Customer
This book is an enjoyable read, a good survey of the science, and actually useful in thinking about personal happiness. I won't say 'it changed my life', but it will influence the way I think about my wants, needs, and life choices.

I particularly liked the way that it was grounded in an evolutionary approach while holding back from some of the dafter aspects of 'sociobiology'. If you are searching for the meaning of life, you could do worse than start here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scientific Approach to happiness - Illuminating, 9 May 2006
By 
R. Gillett "memamu" (Rhyl, North Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The book tries to cover all the ways you could look at happiness from a non-emotional perspective. Are you happier when you're older/younger/slimmer/fatter/married/single? Is it genetic, and are there different kinds of happiness? The book tries to answer all these questions... and it does so with limited success. I found the book hardgoing in one part with too much statistical sociology information.

The part on how your brain works was fascinating, about how the different chemicals in your brain work to keep you happy/sad etc. Overall a good read, enlightening.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sane and entertaining, 21 Jan 2007
By 
Slocum (Lyme Regis) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile (Paperback)
This hand sized paperback by Daniel Nettle has it all: wisdom, wit, useful information, philosophical discourse, groundbraking psychology and, good old common sense. The subject is happiness (of course) and, from the very beginning of the book, some myths and misconceptions are challenged and dispelled and, taking their place appear the well reasoned arguments and conclusions from the author. If you enjoy a brilliant mind at work this book is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE it, 14 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile (Paperback)
This book is wonderful and very uplifting. My only criticism was that, when discussing depression, it is spoken of as something that has been blown out of proportion and over-medicated. As a depression sufferer, I felt slightly misunderstood by this section. However, overall this book is flawless and easy to read. I couldn't distract myself from it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Neither Life or Liberty, 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile (Paperback)
Happiness is like paradise in that you do not notice it until it has gone; the lack of unhappiness indicates pain. Pursuing happiness is thus, unlike life or liberty, fairly pointless.

The book relies on copious studies by tenured academics, but frankly I wonder, whether it might not be better for them to go and do a proper job, for even if they could work out happiness it would add nothing to mine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 27 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile (Paperback)
This book was delivered to me very soon after my order, thank you.
Its very interesting, I enjoyed it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of the subject of "happiness", 15 Aug 2009
This review is from: Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile (Paperback)
The author summarises the research on the subject of "Happiness" very clearly. He also presents three different "types/levels" of happiness and discusses why some people are "happy" and some find it difficult to be so. Very insightful and relevant to our modern life and challenges. Easy to follow and fun to read!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A scientific study of happiness, 21 Dec 2006
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile (Paperback)
'Happiness' explores what happiness actually means from a biological and social viewpoint and how we can best attain happiness. This isn't a self-help book, but more of a mini psychology textbook.

I found it quite difficult to get into as it was slow at the beginning, but the chapter about brain activity and the small amount of info on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy were quite intersting.

I have recently read, 'Emotions' by Dylan Evans (also published in Oxford) and found this a lot more informative and easy to read.

Ok, just not brilliant.
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Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile
Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile by Daniel Nettle (Paperback - 27 July 2006)
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