Review: The Happiness Hypothesis by James Flint | Books | The Guardian
 On the other hand, the massive effort required to drag oneself from the middle class into the super They are: (1) that the mind is divided into parts (the recently evolved . Haidt's overview of what makes us happy (as well as what .. a date with an attractive potential mate or in a meeting with our boss. ← The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt. First, in Chapter One, Haidt discusses the weaknesses of the theories of rational choice and information processing in psychology. So the first few pages of chapter one of The Happiness. Publication date. Pages, ISBN · The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom is a psychology That leads in the Fourth Chapter to a description of the tendency that people have of Haidt looks at a number of ways of dividing the self that have existed since.
This, Haidt points out, "helps to explain why we have inexpensive computers that can solve logic, maths and chess problems as well as any human can" but no robot that can walk in the woods as well as a six-year-old child. So here we are: What has this got to do with happiness?
The answer to that is at the crux of this marvellous book. Haidt's key insight is that emotion is just the expression of the mechanisms by which rider and elephant interact.
Happy people are the ones in whom the interaction is smooth, in whom the gears mesh, in whom the different levels add up to a more or less coherent whole. Unhappiness occurs when rider and elephant have major differences about how to do things, a fairly common situation since, while the rider tends to be more interested in happiness, the elephant is bent on achieving prestige and the possibilities for gene dissemination and survival that it brings.
It doesn't help that, despite being big and lumbering and bent on being alpha animal, the elephant is also a total scaredy-cat.
A "negativity bias" against strange people and new experiences is built into the actual structure of the brain in the way the amygdala and thalamus are wiredbut though this might be annoying, it does make sense: Miss a chance for a meal and the likelihood is that another one will be along in a while.
Miss the sign of a nearby predator and it's game over. Having thus developed his metaphor into a detailed and robustly argued picture of the mind, Haidt then takes us on an extraordinary journey.
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
On the way he explains why meditation, cognitive therapy and Prozac are all extremely sensible ways to treat depression, why Buddhism is an over-reaction to the state of things, in what way religion is a canny cultural solution to the problems of group selection in evolution, why lovers often behave like children and what this means, how gossip is the key to human culture, and why journalists are miserable.
He also has a stab at explaining the current political divide in US politics, though this is one of the very few moments in the book when things begin to sound a little glib. In considering the subject of creation we see, first of all, that a distinction must be drawn between what I would call primary and secondary creation.
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