Happiness: Lessons from a New Science
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So what is happiness? Layard's answer is thus: "Happiness is feeling good, and misery is feeling bad." Surely there's more to it than that? No - happiness is shown by ‘good feelings’ and is linked to the righ ...more
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This is a Fantastic book.
It touches so many aspects of happiness that I am in awe.
From Bhutan to the Academy Awards Winners.
From taxation to teaching morals in schools.
The different indicators that make the differences in well being levels between countries are revealed.
- Levels o ...more
Lots of neat little psychological truths about how we make economic decisions. For people who want to learn about economics but don't want the math. ...more
I should send this book to my ex-husband. he thinks fun and happiness are utterly unimportant.
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Interesting - don't agree with everything, but written by an economist - so - what can I expect? However, he's moving in a good direction I think. ...more
In the current Covid-19 crisis, I thought this might be the perfect book to pick up. I wouldn't usually touch 'self-help' books, but the back page blurb promises it discusses ways to stay cheerful so I thought it might be worth a try.
But this is isn't that sort of book.
The author is an economist and so his ides and theories are completely from that point of view. Not to say that they weren't interesting, but I did have to double c ...more
Richard Layard lays out seven causes of happiness from family to financial situation or income, work, community and friends, health, personal freedom, and personal values.
Based on scientific research the way for us to become more happy is to engage in a goal that is outside of ourselves. Taking part in the ongoing rat race and our human obsession for status prevents us from becomi ...more
Part 2, and Part 3, are a whole different story. The ideas are severely underdeveloped and mostly lazy, to the point where it feels like someone submitting a general proposal for writing a paper rather than a paper itself. Too many opinions are presented as justified and 'self-evident'. This does not strike me as havi ...more
This book is 13 years old, I would like to see an update about it. Also, I would like to know more about the effect of overpopulation on our happiness, which I personally believe affects our lives. ...more
Reviewers agree that Layard, a leading British economist and well-known government advisor, raises fundamentally important questions that we all tend to ignore in our strivings to achieve on a daily basis. The author supplies ample data to show that capitalism's emphasis on individualism and competition has helped to diminish the feeling of a common good among people of different classes and societies. The critics disagree, however, on Layard's recommendation of state- and church-oriented interv...more
My main reservation is that Layard's idea of happiness is rather simplistic, at least as presented here. He cites Mill's objection that there are different kinds and levels of happiness, but just dismisses it. This affects his views of othe ...more
The outcomes seem to me to be a trifle obvious. I expected some new nuggets of information but these are the conclusions it draws. A spiritual life and altruism = happiness. Consumerism = discontent. Anti-depressants make people feel better. Taxes redistribute wealth. We hate to lose anything that we already have twice as much as we like to gain something of equal value.
Having an economist talking about happiness it is an interesting experience. Because of the ambition of the book, it would need to have three thousand pages to cover everything in details. Instead, you can see topics on the surface and pick other articles or books to gain a more specialized knowledge.
It is a great experience to see positive psychology out of its environment, to read about the economy and the sources ...more
His early career focused on how to reduce unemployment and inequality. He was Senior Research Officer for the famous Robbins Committee on Higher Education. This committee's report led to the massive expansi ...more