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Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth Hardcover – September 9, 2008
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“Happiness challenges the present thinking of 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.” (Adolescence, April 2009)
“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)
"This is the most authoritative and informative book about happiness ever written. That’s not surprising, given that its authors are the world’s leading happiness researcher and his psychologist-son, whose vocation is coaching people toward happier lives."
–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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A life full of love--with others, friends and colleagues; with work, being engaged in what you love to do every day; and, with experiences, activities, and life in general.
Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener (Blackwell, 2008). Reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D., July 2012 on Survival Leadership blog.
Usually I'm a bit skeptical of these sorts of books- even top notch researchers tend to "dumb down" the material for general audiences, and the research findings can get lost in the stories. Not here, however. Dr. Diener does an excellent job of describing the current state of psychological research on happiness, in a way that both laypeople and scientists can appreciate. Short on jargon, and interwoven with informative personal stories, the book makes for a great read. The one thing I disliked was the lack of references within the text; sometimes I had to guess what the cite referred to by scanning the references in the back of the book.
I won't get into all the specifics, as other reviewers have addressed the content of the book. However, it was really cool to see a balanced and nuanced treatment of controversial questions such as "does money buy happiness?", and how one can go about increasing his or her own happiness without buying into the latest fad. Of all the books I've looked at about "happiness", I'd strongly recommend this one both to laypeople interested in how they can improve their own happiness, as well as academic researchers looking for cool research ideas.