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The Science of Subjective Well-Being Paperback – October 9, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1606230732 ISBN-10: 1606230735 Edition: 1st

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The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward
When the best option is to let go of the life you planned for yourself and find a new path, a world of possibilities can surprisingly open up.
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The Science of Subjective Well-Being + Well-Being: Foundations of Hedonic Psychology + Stumbling on Happiness
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 546 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (October 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606230735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606230732
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"What makes us happy? One might think this a very simple question, but the contributors to this volume suggest that many of our intuitions are not well supported by science. Instead, subjective well-being in individuals and societies is only partially about accumulating hedonic pleasures and stores of wealth, and even these relationships are not what one might predict. Eid and Larsen have gathered together brilliant thinkers and lively writers who trace from ancient philosophy to contemporary behavioral economics what it is that makes us feel good about our lives."--Peter Salovey, PhD, Dean of Yale College and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, Yale University

"Research into subjective well-being has a sustained and honored lineage within psychology, in large part due to the work of Ed Diener and his associates. This book describes what researchers in this area have learned and where we might be headed in the future. It deserves a prominent place on every psychologist's bookshelf. The book is a valuable resource--thorough, intelligent, and provocative--and an action plan for a topic of great individual and societal importance."--Christopher Peterson, PhD, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

"This terrific book captured my attention for hours of nonstop, riveting reading. The contributors are all first-rate, consisting of both eminent social scientists in the field of well-being and innovative young scholars. With a combination of breadth and depth, the book provides comprehensive treatment of cutting-edge theory and research. Chapters cover a broad array of topics, as varied as evolutionary and developmental psychology, behavioral genetics, measurement, happiness interventions, history, and philosophy. This book is indispensable for anyone interested in positive psychology, and is an ideal resource for graduate-level and advanced undergraduate classes."--Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside

"Editors Michael Eid and Randy J. Larsen bring together all in one place most of the heavy hitters in the field...This volume is the type of book that dissertation mentors will nudge their advisees to read, that professors will adopt as the foundation for graduate or upper-level college seminars on subjective well-being and related topics, and that faculty will want to peruse to see the creative and innovative ways in which this rich field has evolved."--PsycCRITIQUES
(PsycCRITIQUES 2008-10-11)

About the Author

Michael Eid, DSc, is Professor of Psychology at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Dr. Eid is currently Editor of Methodology--European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Associate Editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology. His main research interests are subjective well-being, mood regulation, multimethod measurement, and longitudinal data analysis.


Randy J. Larsen, PhD, is the William R. Stuckenberg Professor of Human Values and Moral Development and Chair of the Psychology Department at Washington University in St. Louis. He conducts research on emotion, primarily in terms of differences between people, and studies such topics as subjective well-being, mood variability, jealousy, attraction, depression, and strategies for the self-management of self-esteem and emotion. Dr. Larsen is an elected member of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology and is listed as one of the highly cited psychologists by the Institute for Scientific Information.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By psych major on November 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
First off, potential readers need to know that this is basically an academic book and not written for the popular read. People looking for a general book about happiness that discusses ways to increase long-term happiness might want to check out books more for the lay-person, such as "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World".

Secondly, if you're confused by the term "subjective well-being", feel free to substitute it with the word "happiness." Although a lot of happiness researchers study "subjective well-being" and not "happiness", I can tell you that most researchers use the two interchangeably in their writing for clarity's sake. For those wondering, studying subjective well-being is preferred by researchers because it taps into several aspects of happiness such as life satisfaction, positive affect, and negative affect.

Having said that, this is just a great book that looks at cutting edge happiness research. As with most academic texts, it is written by not one, but many experts in the field, each contributing a chapter or two to the book- and then the whole thing being edited by one or two prominent experts.

Briefly, the book is divided up into VI sections:

Section I covers some history and philosophy.

Section II discusses how researchers measure subjective well-being.

Section II talks about "the happy person".

Section IV looks at the subjective well-being research in specific areas such as young people, job satisfaction, in other cultures and nations and so on.

Section V discusses the various interventions that have been shown to increase happiness (goal setting, expressing gratitude, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Megan Chartrand on February 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book for anyone looking to learn more about the science behind happiness. Also the book was in great condition.
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