Summary of The Happiness Hypothesis

Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

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The Happiness Hypothesis book summary
Presenting the history of philosophy in a nutshell – the well-lived life was never so close at hand.


9 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Bits of wisdom fly at us constantly from fortune cookies and the like. Perhaps because of this, you may only rarely stop to savor a great idea and make it your own. Author Jonathan Haidt provides a remedy to modern habits of superficial thinking with this accessible update on 10 great ancient philosophical themes, examined within a scientific framework of positive psychology. He demonstrates that the questions of the ages are still worth kicking around. getAbstract recommends this book to those who want to know why change is so difficult and happiness so elusive. It will give you plenty to think about and possibly change your life. At the least, it will point you in a positive direction.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How humans make decisions;
  • Why change is so hard;
  • What elements shape human happiness; and
  • What techniques you can use to increase how happy you feel.


"The Divided Self:" Small Rider, Large Elephant
Before Freud, both Plato and Buddha described the divided self. To Plato, the psyche was a charioteer, our reason, guiding the wild horses of our passions. Freud’s update depicted ego as a carriage driver, id as the wild beasts ...
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About the Author

Jonathan Haidt is an associate professor at the University of Virginia, and a social psychologist who focuses particularly on human morality. He co-edited Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived.

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