The Psychology of Happiness
Routledge – 2001 – 288 pages
What is happiness? Why are some people happier than others?
This new edition of The Psychology of Happiness provides a comprehensive and up-to-date account of research into the nature of happiness. Major research developments have occurred since publication of the first edition in 1987 – here they are brought together for the first time, often with surprising conclusions.
Drawing on research from the disciplines of sociology, physiology and economics as well as psychology, Michael Argyle explores the nature of positive and negative emotions, and the psychological and cognitive processes involved in their generation. Accessible and wide-ranging coverage is provided on key issues such as: the measurements and study of happiness, mental and physical health; the effect of friendship, marriage and other relationships on positive moods; happiness, mental and physical health; the effects of work, employment and leisure; and the effects of money, class and education. The importance of individual personality traits such as optimism, purpose in life, internal control and having the right kind of goals is also analysed. New to this edition is additional material on national differences, the role of humour, and the effect of religion. Are some countries happier than others? This is just one of the controversial issues addressed by the author along the way.
Finally the book discusses the practical application of research in this area, such as how happiness can be enhanced, and the effects of happiness on health, altruism and sociability. This definitive and thought-provoking work will be compulsive reading for students, researchers and the interested general reader
`An impressive testimony to (Argyle's) enthusiasm, energy, eclecticism and grasp of the subject.' - Times Higher Education Supplement
"This new edition is an excellent updated synthesis of the research in what has been a very successful area of advance in social psychology, due in no small measure to Michael Argyle’s own work in the field." – W. Peter Robinson, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Bristol.
"This book is bigger and better than the first edition. The author has definitely kept up with progress in the field and has summarised it well." – Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology, University College London.
"Michael Argyle’s book gives an excellent broad overview of the scientific field of subjective well-being – the study of happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect. Readers will discover many interesting, and even exciting, new facts about happiness. At the same time, this is not a difficult read… Argyle has done an outstanding job of introducing readers to an exciting new scientific field in the study of human behaviour." – Ed Diener, Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois.
Introduction. How to measure and study happiness. Joy and other positive emotions. Satisfaction. Humour and laughter. Social relationships. Work and employment. Leisure. Money, class and education. Personality, age and gender. Religion. National differences in happiness. Happiness enhancement. The effects of positive moods and happiness. Conclusions.
Michael Argyle is Emeritus Reader in Social Psychology at Oxford University, a Fellow of Wolfson College and Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of many books including: The Social Psychology of Everyday Life (1992), The Psychology of Social Class (1993), The Psychology of Money (1998) and Psychology and Religion (1999), all published by Routledge.