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The Pursuit of Happiness: What Makes a Person Happy-And Why Hardcover – May 1, 1992

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 331 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688105505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688105501
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,556,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If there were a textbook on the subject of happiness, this would be it. Myers ( Social Psychology ) delves headlong into this little-documented topic, backing up his assertions with reference to wide-ranging research. His findings suggest that wealth, sex, age and race have little to do with overall life satisfaction. So, who is happy? According to Myers, people who are community-oriented, religious or spiritual, involved in work they enjoy (regardless of financial compensation) and rooted in long-term, stable relationships. How happy one is also depends on such character traits as optimism and extraversion and on conditions that foster the feeling that one has some control over life's circumstances. There is also much to be said, Myers contends, for "putting on a happy face," because acting as though one were happy can lead to feeling so. Not a simplistic, formula-ridden "positive thinking" guide, the book bursts with thought-provoking, innovative material for the general reader and for students of social psychology as well. Illustrations not seen by PW . Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Meyer's book will be useful to serious scholars as well as students and other interested parties. It's well written, informative, and captures readers' interest by providing insight and provoking thought about this most-human topic. The author challenges readers to examine the nature of happiness and individuals' responsibility for their own well-being. This is a title that supports the curriculum for sociology, psychology, and peer counseling. Government students will also find the discussion of the correlation between national well-being and personal happiness to be of value. In terms of social-science materials, this title is a bonus.
- Nancy K. Craig, Robert E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

David G. Myers, Psychology of Psychology at Michigan's Hope College, is the author of seventeen books, and of articles in three dozen academic periodicals, from Science to the American Psychologist, and in four dozen magazines, from Scientific American to The Christian Century. For more information and free resources visit

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Format: Hardcover
"The recipe for well-being, then, requires neither positive nor negative thinking alone, but a mix of ample optimism to provide hope, a dash of pessimism to prevent complacency, and enough realism to discriminate those things we can control from those we cannot." ~ pg. 119

In "The Pursuit of Happiness," David G. Myers looks at happiness from a wide variety of angles. He also covers such diverse topics as astrology, subliminal tapes and hypnosis. This book is useful because you can use the research to change aspects of your life so you can experience more happiness. David G. Myers answers the following questions:

Would making more money make you happier?
Are extroverts happier than introverts?
Can meditation help you live longer?

From the information gleaned from research we also learn that the emotional impact of most bad events are temporary. People are generally happy and bounce back to their original state of happiness fairly quickly. It is interesting to note that optimists enjoy better health than pessimists and that pessimism can be deadly. Optimism seems to fuel a stronger immune system. There are some surprising facts like that people with less money give more to charity. The importance of marriage, family, friends and work is also emphasized.

This is a fairly quick read since a third of the book is dedicated to notes and an extensive bibliography. David G. Myers leads the reader through a deluge of facts to come to some pretty interesting conclusions. If you want to be happier this book will teach you some of the secrets to being more fulfilled.

~The Rebecca Review
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