The idea is that instead of researching unhappy people, psychology can make progress examining positive examples of well-functioning humans as well. As someone who's always been a happy person since his teenage years were over, I was curious as to what the literature and research shows.
Well, I was disappointed. The book is full of aphorisms and generalizations like:
- Higher income makes people more happy, on average, but only for the kinds of problems that money can solve for you. DUH!
- Being religious makes people more happy, unless you're not in the United States, an unusually religious country where being religious might help you become more socially accepted. What about the other countries? No details are provided.
- You have a happiness set point that you tend to return to throughout your life. Except that it might be possible to change that. No word on how to go about it is provided.
- Being extremely happy can actually cause you to die earlier, because you tend to brush off problems and issues that you really need to go to a doctor about. How happy are such people? Are they permanently on drugs?
In general, not worth your time. Watch Sonja's video instead, or read her book instead.