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Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology

This book draws upon the latest scientific research to transform our understanding of the nature of well-being. With contributions from authorities in psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience, the volume presents an account of current scientific efforts to understand human pleasure and pain, contentment, and despair. The contributions combine an analysis of human sensations, emotions, and moods with a broad assessment of the many factors, from heredity to nationality, that bear on our well-being. Why do we grow accustomed and desensitized to changes in our lives, both good and bad? Does our happiness reflect the circumstances of our lives or is it determined by our temperament and personality? By examining the roots of our everyday likes and dislikes, the book also sheds light on some of the more extreme examples of attraction and aversion, such as addiction and depression. (from the jacket); The authors deploy an array of methods, from the surveys and questionnaires of social science to psychological and physiological experiments, to develop a comprehensive new approach to the study of well-being. Rather than relying upon the biases of self-assessments to which most people are prone, they develop more reliable measures of well-being that compensate for our flawed self-knowledge. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)