I've been a big fan of David Myers for years. His writing style is very entertaining and casual, and perhaps best of all, his writing is based on solid, published research. Mr. Meyers, a psychology professor by trade, has written many books, including a very fascinating one on intuition, but perhaps his most popular one is the academic text Psychology, now in its 9th edition!
Anyway, this particular book came out in the early 90's (I have a 1992 copy) which means that is was written before then- which means that all the info you read is about the happiness research PRIOR to that. I bring this up, just so that potential buyers know that they aren't reading the lastest and greatest happiness research.
Now while it might sound like a negative thing, it isn't necessarily. This is one of the few books that disucusses happiness research and does so in layman's term. Thus, the reader is getting a good overview of the early happiness research. While many new findings have energed since the publication of this book, such as in the areas of gratitude and goals, much of the information you'll be reading is still true to this day.
A few specifics about the book. It's actually about an inch thick, with a good quarter inch of that being the extensive bibliography in the back- so a lot of the book in your hands is actually reference data. This may turn a lot of people off, but I rather liked it because it just shows how well-researched the book is (and that's an understatement).
The content of the book? Well, its pretty comprehensive and complete. The author. always the scientist and researcher, covers absolutely every major area of happiness, such as wealth, the demographics of happiness, love and marriage, and so on. Everyone but the most well-read happiness researcher will probably learn something new.
One last thing you need to know. The book doesn't actually show you how to become happier. Therefore, readers looking for a book that will show them actual strategies on how to become happier should look elsewhere. As the author points out, the book was written more to inform than to prescribe or advise. But, if it's a good overview of the earlier happiness research you want to read about, this is your book. Happy trails!
For the last couple of decades, psychologists have been steadily uncovering the facts about human `happiness'. Eminent among these is David G. Myers. Here he sets out the startling evidence on the links between happiness and its various supposed ingredients : wealth; achievement; relationships; age; health; family; work; nationality; gender; and spirituality.
He goes on to explore the effects of happiness on our behaviour.
Move over, philosophers, and make way for a bit of science : this book could change your life !
An easy to read summary into current research into what makes people happy. After reading this book I was able to identify which areas of my life needed more attention and those which deserved less in order to be happier. Now I feel more satisfaction with life than ever before.
People want to be happy more than anything else, of course. A no-brainer, huh? How ironic it is, then, that so few of us know the facts of happiness. How can happiness be defined and measured? Who is happy, who is not, and why? Does sex, money, status, marriage, or occupational success lead to happiness? If not, why not? The answers are surprising, to say the least. If you know them, you'll improve your odds of finding your own happiness and helping others find theirs.
This is one of the best books I have ever read. On a whim I picked up this book for leisure and ended up using it to take another look at my life. Although the author does not come right out and tell you what it takes to be happy he gives you enough information for you to get some real good clues.