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The Happiness Hypothesis

Written by: Jonathan Haidt
Narrated by: Ryan Vincent Anderson
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of The Righteous Mind draws on philosophical wisdom and scientific research to show how the meaningful life is closer than you think.

The Happiness Hypothesis is an audiobook about ten Great Ideas. Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations - to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives and illuminate the causes of human flourishing.

Award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt, the author of The Righteous Mind, shows how a deeper understanding of the world's philosophical wisdom and its enduring maxims - like "do unto others as you would have others do unto you", or "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" - can enrich and even transform our lives.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

  

©2006 Jonathan Haidt (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"An erudite, fluently written, stimulating reassessment of age-old issues." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"The Happiness Hypothesis...has more to say about the pleasures and perils, the truths, of being alive than any book I've read in a long time." (San Francisco Bay Guardian)

"[T]he psychologist Jonathan Haidt shows in his wonderfully smart and readable The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom [that] modern science and history have a lot to say to each other." (Darrin McMahon, The Washington Post)

What listeners say about The Happiness Hypothesis

Average Customer Ratings
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Read with care

unlike any field. psychology is one where one should be extremely careful in believing what they have read. theories are questioned everything day, initially proved hypothesis, when researched more meticulously is proven wrong.

thus, it make sense that psychology along with the most interesting field is also the most controversial one. while reading this book I found a few points (like the marshmallow will power test) where I found myself at ends with the author. so try to read this book with an open mind and remember that "Anomie increase along with freedom. A good place to look for wisdom, therefore, is where you least expect to find it: in the minds of your opponents.".

do not make the end of this as the ending of an experiance but rather the starting of one where you live your life with more awareness and profounded empathy.

1 person found this helpful

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worth listening

though writer has misconception about Buddhism. he didn't consider the middlepath taught by Buddha. Detachment doesn't mean you own nothing, it means nothing owns you.🙂
Non attachment brings Compassion. And Compassion is not antisocial. It's next level of relationship with the world.

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excellent!

I loved this book, read the print version a decade back , the audiobook is equally good ! and still relevant!

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Good ideas.. But all over the place.

I am a big fan of Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind and that's why I picked this one up.

Although I wouldn't say this book is bad or even average, it isn't what I thought it would be.

There are some very interesting ideas and insights but somehow the pieces didn't connect together at the end.

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beyond imagination

in today's hot pandemic weather this book is oasis. a great blend of east-west philosophies.

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Above average

I had very high expectations from this book. It didn't quite rise up to it. A scientific inquiry into concepts of happiness and all that goes with it is undoubtedly very attractive. At places the author does shine. However this remains inconsistent. Felt disconnected from the book at times and felt the need for still more simplified approach to the subject on hand.

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great insight into religion and reason.<br />. . . .. .



. . . . .
. . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . .d. j n j j kk k

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  • Greg
  • 07-02-19

Excellent Book; Highly Recommend

This book was a long read, BUT nearly every chapter was full of riveting examples and useful knowledge.

I’m going to reread this again in a few months; I enjoyed it that much!

22 people found this helpful

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  • RRivas
  • 27-02-19

a bit of a mishmash of ideas, but interesting

Overall pretty interesting notions and ideas. Bits on the structure of the brain and the activities that different brain components control was fascinating and may have merited its own book. However, aside from that the book became tedious. The author seemed to skip around ideas about what are the elements of happiness, what are the emotional states that constitute elation associated with religious activity, and where to find wisdom. Overall it was a probably a better listen than it would have been a read. On those activities associated with happiness, specifically strong relationships, fulfilling work, and religious belonging, it seems he didn't have a lot to add that hasn't been discussed in other books. Although an athiest, he does a somewhat spirited defense of those who are religious, arguing that our brains and society have evolved to put us in emotional states that we connect to religious experience. It came off as a bit condescending to religious people, but I'll give him credit on this, since any sort of defense of religiosity probably gets him looked at cross eyed by his academic peers. I had also read his more recent, "The Coddling of the American Mind", which discusses how youth, particularly college age youth, is so much less resilient and more willing to look a the the splinters in others rather than the logs in their own eyes. I was hoping that this book might touch on how the drop in religiosity among youth may have contributed to them less resilient. But alas, the author does not make this connection as I recall. Overall, an interesting book, if a bit sloppy in its organization and presentation. The narrator was also only okay and his presentation didn't seem to fit the material. I would give this a recommendation though, but caveat emptor.

89 people found this helpful

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  • JAMES
  • 05-02-19

Amazing book, terrible choice in voice.

The information is amazing and instantly applicable. The reader is extremely hard to understand without perfect concentration. I stopped listening and read the hard copy instead. I’m commenting on the issue with audio because this is how I normally consume books and would have appreciated knowing this.

26 people found this helpful

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  • L.D.
  • 22-11-18

Amazing & Beneficial - A Must Have!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I first purchased it, but considering the fact that I highly enjoyed another book that was co-authored by Haidt I decided to give this book a try and am so glad that I did! Not only was this an intriguing book that continuously gave rich information about the mind and how people’s view of the world matters, it also broke down complicated subjects in a way that allowed me to follow along easily and thus reap the benefits of this book’s message. I actually have already listened to it twice and will be going for a third round after finishing a few others.

This book is without a doubt one of my new favorites because of the life-changing advice I was able to absorb, not to mention the fact that it was a delight to get through because of the entertaining way such advice is presented to the reader/listener by the author.

51 people found this helpful

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  • Trevor
  • 09-12-18

The origins of "The Righteous Mind"

I first read Haidt's "The Righteous Mind" and so this book goes over much of what he goes into further detail in that book. Given this, I think this book is likely an easier beginning to the ideas more developed in "The Righteous Mind." Overall fascinating ideas, and it's exciting to see the current and ongoing development(s) between science and religion. This book is a taster of Haidt and other moral psychological insights, and then his later book is a home run, in a sense. After reading both this and his other book I no longer really viewed things in what I now perceive to be a weird 'religious' vs. 'secular' mindset. I now think of almost all human group activity in a wider range, so that any radical group behavior, secular or religious, takes on the term 'fundamentalist' or 'radical,' among other useful ways of viewing the problems and limits in any perspective (and specifically the very heated US political Republican vs. Democrat positions). I now find myself in a spot in which I am pretty moderate with a libertarian flare, without agreeing fully with a lot of various policy issues (more so thinking that living personally in a libertarian manner promotes more self-respect and choice, but understanding that many libertarian policies may in actuality just be bad... this gets into Haidt's great distinction between useful and often correct personal intuitions in interpersonal relations but that on the scale of policy trusting intuitions is often terrible and has bad results).

In short: read or listen to this book and Haidt's following book, "The Righteous Mind," and (hopefully) expand your mind and worldview a bit further beyond limited partisanship and tribalism.

62 people found this helpful

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  • Kristen Hagar
  • 23-08-18

I feel happier already

I really enjoyed the way this book chose a few main topics to focus on from ancient ideas, then brought forth evidence for or against these ideas from scientific literature. Haidt is truly brilliant and I could stop and think about every few sentences in his writing and get so much out of it. I’m sure I will keep listening to this one in the future.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Smaranda Nicolau
  • 19-06-18

Awesome book, poor performance

Incredibly well-researched book, compelling arguments, perhaps at times a little bit too self-assured but definitely very valuable for our times and extremely common-sensical. Would have enjoyed much much much more had the performance caught any of the humor and irony obvious in the tone of the writer and sadly completely absent in this monotonous reading... so, a much better read than a “hear”, too bad. Still, I listened to the whole thing and am the better for having gained the knowledge in this book.

103 people found this helpful

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  • Gary
  • 17-02-19

Fertilizer for the mind

This is a great thought provoking book. It had me questioning my purchase on more than one occasion only to bring me right back to understanding a few lines later.

16 people found this helpful

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  • the dude
  • 28-02-19

good book not great

great few chapters i love the binomial mind analogy of the rider and the elephant, then he seems to go deep with religion as it becomes the dominant focus of the last 4 chapters. I recommend it up to chapter 4 or 5 then skip to last 2 minutes of chapter 10 and the whole last chapter.

34 people found this helpful

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  • josh colvert
  • 18-10-18

A message our divided culture needs

This is one of the most fair-minded and intellectually honest books I have read. The author does an excellent job of laying out his thesis without ever becoming dogmatic or didactic. The content is well researched and academically sound yet engaging and easy to read. Throughout the book, Jonathan Haidt hits the nail on the head again and again and again.

32 people found this helpful

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  • W. R. Kirby
  • 19-03-19

Great book, shame about the narration

Very odd that Haidt didn't narrate this himself. His performance is The Coddling is excellent, but this one is droning and somewhat monotonous. Its still listenable, but would benefit massively from a better performance. The book itself is superb - full of fascinating info and insights. Haidt is a brilliant thinker

4 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 11-03-19

interesting listen

Good but not great. Main takeaway were meditate, be part of community, spend money the right way.

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  • steve hough
  • 08-10-19

Amazing insight into the human brain.

Listnedt to this from start to finish In a day as I just couldn't stop what a captivating book. Bravo x

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  • Big Brown
  • 30-05-19

Really good book, but lacks good delivery

This one delvles into the mind and how our thinking shapes our lives. What we experience, situations, people and how we talk can have an overwhelming impact on us. The elephant and the rider is a very interesting analysis of how our mind can sometimes override our natural reactions and visversa.
Overal this book is a very good listen, but does lack the delivery of the narrator. It might be a better idea to get the book to read. There is not much feeling or expression put in, but if you can overcome that, it's an interesting listen.

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  • Havabanana
  • 04-03-19

Great content if only delivery could match

Possibly one of the best books put there on happiness. exceptionally lucid and well informed. broad without lacking depth and above all, practical.

the delivery though sounded so monotone I thought at some point this was an experiment in using AI to read books. I am no naysayer and I think negative reviews are mostly pathetic but it actually affected the experience.

if ever you thought reading an audiobook is not a craft, try this book. if the content wasn't so life altering, I would not have endured it.

If you can read, get the print version or wait until there is another reader for this.

that said, I would experience it a thousandfold if it meant I could get access to the content. it is worth it.

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  • Hunor Peter
  • 26-07-20

Just buy the book

I've listened to another book by this author and even the content of this book seems to be very interesting.
But the narrator completely kills it for me. I just can't seem to follow the book at all. The delivery is just completely off all the time, it's as if the narrator is just reading words a bit like Google without understanding their meaning. it's incredibly hard for me to get in the zone and follow the content.

I thought of returning it after 10 minutes and I now regret not doing so.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-07-20

got more than I thought

only really read this for the disgust mecanism, but enjoyed the connection between old wisdom and new research

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  • Phillip
  • 27-04-20

Super Brilliant!!!

Brilliantly written from start to finish, wonderfully narrated by Ryan Vincent Anderson, Jonathan Haidt thank you so much!!!

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  • Pepe
  • 04-04-20

Good read to the nature of happiness

This is an informative, educated view about what happiness is about and how to achieve it. For thouse of us with a scientific view of the world, it makes for a great reading.

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  • Stephen M.
  • 29-11-19

Very insightful, thought provoking book

Mix of philosophy, physiology, psychology and neuroscience., with lots if eastern culture thrown in. Loved it

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  • Annalie
  • 28-11-18

Lost focus

The 1st part of this book was promising, but then the author diverted into morality, his field of expertise, and religious rituals, which lost my interest.
The narrator has a monotonous tone, and pronounce certain words incorrectly.

5 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 18-02-19

Incredible book – appallingly read

This reader clearly reads without having an understanding of the content in many components of this wonderful book. Consequently his monotone and lack of anything particularly expressive whatsoever requires/necessitates far more concentration Van is/should be necessary.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-19

Easily in the top 5 books I've ever read!

So important and valuable in modern life to understand and meditate on this hypothesis. Gave me a grounding and Understanding I so needed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-18

i wish i could rate this book 6 star

loved it, jonathan haidt is give some fantastic and well backed up points. the literature is easy to find and read around

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-02-20

May Need to Read a Print Copy?

I found the book heavy going initially so I put it aside for a few months. When I came back to it I found the middle chapters really interesting. I got busy, but eventually came back to finish it. Because my process was disjointed and the final chapter (conclusion) tied together the material in a very general way, I wasn't left with a sense of how I could apply what I had read to improve the quality of my own life, which was my original motivation to purchase the book. Maybe I need a print copy to delve into and mark up relevant sections so that I can easily return to them whenever I want to.

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  • Mick
  • 05-01-20

very good

loved it great read well worth the money and time. helpful for daily living

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-10-19

Five stars

A great read, what a marvelous adventure, my favorite chapter was the use of adversity.

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  • El Gheib
  • 10-09-19

Seems fascinating but the narrator audibly didn’t

The words are spoken by a voice so unengaged and insignificant, despite efforts to put emphasis on words and phrases that might seem essential in absolute terms (words such as “big” or “very”) but not necessarily in the context of an actual sentence written by a human, that it took me tremendous effort to stay focused and push back the nagging sense that the narrator was in fact a text-to-speech program. I am sure there are many people (not necessarily the author if he has better things to do) who could record this book while conveying a sense of interest regarding its actual content. I was excited to dive into this book this after hearing the author speak on the JRE podcast. But I had to stop listening to this rendition at the first or second chapter, out of frustration and boredom, and return it to Audible. I intend to buy the printed version in the future.

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  • Rachel
  • 03-06-19

Entertaining, accessible psychology

I really liked this. It's entertaining to hear different theories about happiness and I liked the way each theory can be practised in our own modern lives. It was one of those books where you can listen to it bit-by-bit without forgetting what it was about.

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  • Rowan
  • 30-05-19

Really good, narration may divide opinions

I really enjoyed this book. While I got used to the narrators fairly monotonous tone after a few hours, I can’t help but feel perhaps a different choice may have done the content more justice. I would still recommend the book though.