PSYCHOLOGY

Happiness

MIT (MIT Press Essential Knowledge). Jan. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780262544207. pap. $16.95. PSYCH
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Psychologist Lomas (research affiliate, Human Flourishing Program, Harvard; Translating Happiness: A Cross-Cultural Lexicon of Well-Being) summarizes the latest scholarship on happiness by giving a detailed analysis of this most cherished of experiences. According to the author, current research focuses on two main forms of happiness: hedonic (feeling good) and eudaemonic (producing happiness). Lomas contributes a historical perspective that explains how happiness has been understood over the centuries around the world, with various cultural interpretations of what it is or what produces it. He also points out how these cultural legacies have shaped current thinking about happiness. There’s a chapter that concentrates on happiness as a concept, exploring the myriad of forms it might take through economic, philosophical and/or political factors. The author also probes current theories about the foundation and mechanics of happiness in the fields of physiology, psychology, phenomenology, and in writings on culture and society. There’s also an examination of how it’s shaped and applied by numerous factors in economics, politics, and sociology. The book also supplies suggestions to further study, create, and evaluate happiness.
VERDICT This title belongs in social and behavioral sciences collections.
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