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Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth Hardcover – September 9, 2008
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“Happiness is a process, not a place. That's one of the key concepts that leaps from Happiness: Unlocking The Mysteries Of Psychological Wealth by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas- Diener.” (Diana's Blog: Quirky Words and Book)
“Happiness challenges the present thinking af the causes and consequences of happiness and redefines our modern notions of happiness. It shares the results of three decades of research on happiness, and covers the most important advances in our understanding of happiness. It also offers readers access to the world's leading experts on happiness, and provides 'real world' examples that will resonate with general readers as well as scholars.” (Family Therapy)
“In their sweeping new book Diener and his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, distill the results of worldwide research into happiness and come up with an explanation, a recipe, for a sustained state of good feeling, psychological wealth, as they call it.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 2008)
“The authors write in a that is clear and accessible to a general audience; furthermore, they frequently infuse humor into their work. I certainly respect Diener and Biswas-Diener as well as admire the amount effort they have each put into their life's work.” (Metapsychology, November 2008)
"Pioneering researchers Professor Ed and his son Robert Biswas-Diener explain ... why most things we've been told are wrong." (Psychologies, November 2008)
“Ed Diener [says], 'Happiness is not a set of desirable life circumstances. It's a way of traveling.' Diener's new book, written with his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, a life coach, offers guidance for those interested in taking a road trip. As the Dieners synthesize the latest research … they challenge the conventional party line on well-being.” (O Magazine)
"Among the recent glut of books about happiness, this one shines out. Highly readable and entertaining, its authors are perhaps the pre-eminent researchers on the subject … The advice on how to gain an appropriate level of happiness is way ahead of that offered by most self-help books." (New Scientist)
“If you’re looking for one thoughtful, comprehensive book to help you understand the science of happiness better, this is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s also a good read, accessible, concise, and even funny, which isn’t true of all such books, and there’s a lot of information I hadn’t seen elsewhere.” (Happiness Project)
"This book is absolutely a delight to read. [The authors] have made the science very accessible and practical. You will love the stories they weave into the text. The Dieners take us along on their adventures around the world. We tag along as they unlock the mysteries of happiness. As you read the book you come to understand why Diener is known as the ‘Jedi Master of Happiness’ and why Biswas-Diener has been called the ‘Indiana Jones of Psychology.’ Get the book, settle into a comfortable chair, buckle your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride." (Positive Psychology News Daily)
–David G. Myers, Hope College, author, The Pursuit of Happiness: Who is Happy, and Why
"A great gift from the leading professional scientist of happiness in the world and his son, the 'Indiana Jones' of positive psychology."
–Martin E. P. Seligman, University of Pennsylvania and author, Authentic Happiness
"Want the key to happiness and success in life, choose the right advisor. On the subject of happiness, students, researchers, businesses, and governments have been turning to Ed Diener. Now, in this powerful, ground-breaking book, we have the opportunity to receive the coveted advice of Dr. Diener and his son Robert Biswas-Diener. This book is a must read if you want a practical, enjoyable, and uplifting science-based guide to achieving real psychological wealth."
–David J. Pollay, B.A. Yale, M.A.P.P. University of Pennsylvania, President, The Momentum Project, Syndicated Columnist, and Author of The Law of the Garbage Truck
"The collaboration between the foremost authority on happiness research and the “Indiana Jones” of psychology makes for a great mix of interesting examples and solid research. I have never seen a book that does such a good job offering useful practical advice while basing this advice on completely sound empirical research."
–Richard E. Lucas, Michigan State University
"This is a happiness book by the world authority, the pre-eminent scholar in the field along with an in-the-trenches coach who teaches and adapts this material every day for practical use with his clients. These folks know happiness from the inside out. The authors separate the wheat from the chaff, and serve up a meal replete with tasty morsels of practical advice on how to live. A joy to read!"
–Michael B. Frisch, Baylor University, author, Quality of Life Therapy
"Finally the definitive book on happiness from the world’s leading expert, Ed Diener, and his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, known as the “Indiana Jones” of Positive Psychology. The authors bring over thirty years of research and practice into this engaging book that reveals the secrets of psychological wealth – your true net work -- which includes your attitudes toward life, social support, spiritual development, material resources, and health. This is a landmark book that should be read not only by laypersons but also scholars, educators, business leaders and decision-makers interested in global well-being and human happiness. "
–Jim Clifton, Chairman & CEO, The Gallup Organization
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Top Customer Reviews
My initial answer was absolutely not until I read this book. Ed Diener is the first scientist to devote a career to studying the nature of happiness. After 30 years of conducting research on the topic, he IS the authority on the topic and its about time he wrote a book. As for his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, he has been out in the field conducting the exotic, exciting research in various cultures that everyone else writes about. Why not hear about the nuances of their work from them instead of watered-down, overly simplified versions by others?
There are several chapters in this book that do a killer job at addressing the complexity of what we know and don't know about happiness.
Chapter 6 is about money and happiness. Forget the soundbites you hear that if you make more than $40,000/year, an increase in money is irrelevant to happiness. The Dieners' dig into the data, providing a fair and balanced analysis of the situations when money is relevant to happiness.
Chapter 7 is about spirituality and religion. Another topic that has been reduced to a useless soundbite that being religious is good, end of story. Again, the Dieners' dig further into the research than their predecessors. They toe the line perfectly of what the research says and doesn't say.
Chapter 8 is about how happiness operates in different countries and cultures.Read more ›
"Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth" contains over 250 pages explaining in layman's terms, more or less, just about everything you ever wanted to know about happiness. Some of the more interesting topics covered include:
-health and happiness
-happiness and social relationships
-happiness at work
-money and happiness
-spirituality and happiness
-the happiest places on earth
-the genetic set point and happiness
Perhaps the most impressive thing I found in this book was the author's attitude about happiness. Here are people who have spent years researching happiness, and yet they seem to have put it all in a sensible perspective. Consider this:
--happiness is something to shoot for most of the time, but negative emotions serve a useful purpose as well on occasion
--while happiness can be reaching a desirable place, such as having good health, a successful carreer and a great family, don't overlook the process side of happiness in the pursuit of the good life (this is also a major point of another favorite happiness book of mine Happier: Can You Learn to be Happy?). In other words, happiness isn't only a destination, but also the journey.Read more ›
The connection between money and happiness (more complicated than many people admit), the connection between spirituality and happiness, the happiness "set-point," and dozens of other intriguing questions are tackled.
The book does a particularly good job of presenting these issues thoroughly and accurately, but also in engaging language that's not hard to fight your way through.
A great addition to the many books that tackle this topic: like Stumbling on Happiness, The Paradox of Choice, Strangers to Ourselves, Authentic Happiness, etc.
In their new book, Happiness, Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, Ed Diener and his son Robert Biswas-Diener take on these and other provocative questions. In a very thorough but thoughtful way the Dieners draw on the most current research in the field of Positive Psychology to answer these questions. Sometimes the answers are "yes" sometimes the answers are "no" and sometimes the best and most honest answer is "it depends."
The Dieners define psychological wealth as "your true net worth, and includes your attitudes toward life, social support, spiritual development, material resources, health, and the activities in which you engage." Hence psychological wealth incorporates more than just one's finances. The components of psychology wealth help us understand why some people may be financially poor but are rich in terms of psychological wealth and happiness while others can be fantastically financially wealthy but have very little psychological wealth and are miserable.
The Dieners explore the research findings that are related to each of the components of Psychological Wealth:
- Life satisfaction
- Spirituality and meaning in life
- Positive attitudes and emotions
- Loving social relationships
- Engaging activities and work
- Values and life goals to achieve them
- Physical and mental health
- Material sufficiency to meet our needs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Needed this book for school, and Amazon had it at a great price.Published 9 months ago by Grace Walus
This is a life changing book. Great tools to teach those you are counseling! Keeping it as my first book for my office library!!Published 12 months ago by Gail Laminack
Loved it! Its very insightful and well written. (PS I have read almost all happiness books in the market and this is a good one)Published 18 months ago by Jackie!
Very clear well documented analysis. Easy to read and understand. Well thought out. He includes world studies as well as a test to look at yourself individually.Published on November 17, 2013 by Sheila E. Henry
I got this on recommendation of a Priest for my son. He enjoyed it and now I am going to read it.Published on June 20, 2013 by Pam
Well-written and comprehensive guide to the different "types" of happiness or what we believe is happiness, with quotes and references to experts like Martin Seligman,... Read morePublished on May 1, 2013 by Patricia
I work with university students and have found the ideas in this book helpful in rounding out their ideas of what constructs a happy life. Read morePublished on March 26, 2013 by Laurna K. Blassingame
Beginning in 1998, the study of positive psychology is a relatively new phenomenon in the annals of psychology. Read morePublished on July 15, 2012 by Steve Gladis
"Happiness": Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth" by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener contain some detailed evidence of how happiness indirectly affects quality of... Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Stella Carrier