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Well-Being : Foundations of Hedonic Psychology
Daniel Kahneman, Ed Diener, and Norbert Schwarz
Russell Sage Foundation / Softcover / Feb 2003
9780871544230 (ISBN-10: 0871544237)
Social Psychology
price: $87.95 (may be subject to change)
605 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

The nature of well-being is one of the most enduring and elusive subjects of human inquiry. Well-Being draws upon the latest scientific research to transform our understanding of this ancient question. With contributions from leading authorities in psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience, this volume presents the definitive account of current scientific efforts to understand human pleasure and pain, contentment and despair. The distinguished contributors to this volume combine a rigorous 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. Using the tools of experimental science, the contributors confront the puzzles of human likes and dislikes. 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? Why do humans acquire tastes for sensations that are initially painful or unpleasant? 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. Among its wide ranging inquiries, Well-Being examines systematic differences in moods and behaviors between genders, explaining why women suffer higher rates of depression and anxiety than men, but are also more inclined to express positive emotions. The book also makes international comparisons, finding that some countries' populations report higher levels of happiness than others. The contributors 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. They show how the sensory pleasures of the body can tells us something about the higher pleasures of the mind and even how the effectiveness of our immune system can depend upon the health of our social relationships.

Table of contents:

Contents Acknowledgments Preface Part 1. How Can We Know Who Is Happy? Conceptual and Methodological Issues 1. Objective Happiness 2. Ecological Momentary Assessment 3. Measurement Issues in Emotion Research 4. Reports of Subjective Well-Being: Judgmental Processes and Their Methodological Implications 5. Wouldn't It Be Nice? Predicting Future Feelings Part 2. Feeling Good or Bad: Pleasures and Pains; Moods and Emotions 6. Preadaptation and the Puzzles and Properties of Pleasure 7. On the Pleasures of the Mind 8. Questions Concerning Pain 9. The Mood System 10. Emotions and the Hedonic Experience Part 3. Personality and Individual Differences 11. Personality and Subjective Well-Being 12. Life Task Participation and Well-Being: The Importance of Taking Part in Daily Life 13. Self-Regulation and the Quality of Life: Emotional and Non-Emotional Life Experiences 14. Disturbances in Emotion 15. Personal Control and Well-Being 16. Hedonic Adaptation 17. Gender Differences in Well-Being Part 4. The Social Context 18. Causes and Correlates of Happiness 19. Close Relationships and the Quality of Life 20. Well-Being and the Workplace 21. The Measurement of Welfare and Well-Being: The Leyden Approach 22. National Differences in Subjective Well-Being Part 5. Biological Perspectives 23. The Physiology and Pathophysiology of Unhappiness 24. The Psychophysiology of Utility Approaches 25. Can Neurobilogy Tell Us Anything About Human Feelings? 26. On the Neural Computation of Utility: Implications from Studies of Brain Stimulation Reward 27. Pleasure, Pain, Desire, and Dread: Hidden Core Process of Emotion 28. Neural Systems for Reinforcement and Inhibition of Behavior: Relevance to Eating, Addiction, and Depression Contributors Index

About the Authors:

DANIEL KAHNEMAN is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and professor of public affairs at Princeton University.

ED DIENER is professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

NORBERT SCHWARZ is professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and senior research scientist at the Survey Research Center and the Research Center for Group Dynamics of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

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Diener, Ed
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