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The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It Paperback – November 7, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Niven, Ph.D., bestselling author of the 100 Simple Secrets series, is a psychologist and social scientist who teaches at Ohio State University.


David Niven, Ph.D., es el autor de los bestsellers internacionales Los 100 Secretos de la Gente Exitosa, y Los 100 Secretos de las Buenas Relaciones. Es psicólogo y científico social, y enseña en la Florida Atlantic University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 10.8.2006 edition (November 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061157910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061157912
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Groovy Vegan VINE VOICE on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Many of these secrets are common sense, such as #54 "Get a good night's Sleep or #6 Cultivate Friendships; a few are debatable, such as #72 "You always have a choice." Overall, however, I find this little book fun and inspiring.
Each "secret" follows this formula, as found in one of my favorites #50, "Cherish Animals." Niven gives a brief explanation of how animals have much to teach us about love. After the explanation is an anecdote: the story of an animal shelter that brings a vanload of small dogs each week to cheer up nursing home residents. Each entry concludes with a research finding: "Those with a loved pet are 22 percent more likely to feel satisfied than those without. - Barofsky and Rowan 1998."
Most folks probably won't go looking up the references in the back, but my inner scientist is pleased by how Niven, a Ph.D. handled the research. Each reference is:
1. alphabetically listed in the back by author (with journal information), so curious souls can easily look up the study.
2. a meta-analysis (an analysis of multiple studies of the same topic). So when Niven says, "regular readers are about 8 percent more likely to express daily satisfaction" compared to non-readers, this is based on multiple studies, not just one.
My only complaint about the book is that there's so much empty space. Many pages have 3 to 4 inches of empty space, well over half the page.
Conclusion: Fun, inspiring, easy reading. A great gift idea when you don't know what to give.
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Format: Paperback
What I like about this book is that gives you really solid information about the things happy people do.
Some of the advice is so practical that you could use it, and benefit from it, this afternoon. Other entries focus on the long term practices of happy people.
What's most important for me about this book is that it made me feel better, because it let me see many things I'm already doing right, and many more things I could do to feel better.
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Format: Paperback
Wouldn't it be nice to read a little book and become happier? That is what David Niven offers in his brief book <The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People>. Niven lists his 100 secrets in a simple, digestible form. First there is the headline, ranging from "accomplish something every day" to "watch less television" to "have a purpose." Then for each of these "secrets" Niven provides a brief description of what the headline means, followed by an example of putting this "secret" in to practice, and finally a summary of the study from which the "secret" was derived. There is, no doubt, a lot of wisdom in these 100 secrets. While none of the insights surprised me, they did nicely reinforce some of the practices I have set for myself.
But one has to wonder if a brief book such as this can really lead to increased happiness. The philosophy behind the book, Niven states in the introduction, is: "all I can do is point and hope you look." (p. xv). Well, it seems that this is ignores a central issue: how do people change? Is simply offering up advice the best means to changing behavior? It would be surprising if this were the answer from academic psychology. Couldn't some of the secrets address directly the question of "how to change" alongside this advice of "what to change?" Another question on which Niven is silent is what is cause and what is effect? If people are happier who watch less television, couldn't this be because they have other things they prefer doing and have nothing to do with the effects of television watching? Finally, one wonders on reading this book what definition of happiness or contentment was used and whether it was used consistently across the many studies cited. At least a footnote on this matter would have been appreciated.
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By A Customer on January 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am generally skeptical about these kinds of books, but I've never read a book on this subject that was so clearly based in reality.
100 Simple Secrets of Happy People is about the things happy people tend to do - everything from taking walks to watching less TV to not spending their time chasing goals they don't care about.
It is written to be easy to use and understand, but it is based on an incredible volume of research on the daily habits and beliefs of happy people.
Most importantly, after I finished it, I passed it on to my friends.
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Format: Paperback
I can understand why some reviewers are quite frustrated with the author's so claimed secrets. If you go through the content page here, you are very likely to get the impression that they are "common sense" or "cliche" repeated regularly in all self help books. What makes this book better is the short conclusions in the end of each "secret" summarizing research findings of social scientists per that "secret", many with statistics quantifying impact of individual factors, say,

The average unhappy person spends more than twice as much time thinking about unpleasant events in their lives, while happy people tend to seek and rely upon information that brightens their personal outlook. Lyubomirsky 1994 (2 Use a strategy for happiness)

Shifting between pre-sleep thoughts was found to be related to difficulty in sleeping and lower sleep quality, which, in turn, were related to unhappiness. Better sleepers are 6 percent more satisfied with their lives than average sleepers, and 25 percent more satisfied than poor sleepers. (10 Limit yourself to thinking about one subject when you lie down to sleep)

An experiment was conducted with a group of women having low life satisfaction.... Those who interacted with others saw a 55 percent reduction in their concerns over time, while those who were left on their own showed no improvement. Hunter and Liao 1955 (18 Dont face your problems alone)

Eating fruit is associated with a number of positive life habits that contribute to both health and happiness, and eating more furit is associated with an 11 percent higher likelihood of feeling capable and satisfied.
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