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The right to "pursue happiness" is one of the dominant themes of western culture, and understanding the causes of happiness is one of the primary goals of the positive psychology movement. However, before the causality question can even be considered, a more basic question must be addressed: CAN happiness change? Reasons for skepticism include the notion of a "genetic set point" for happiness, i.e. a stable personal baseline of happiness to which individuals will always return, no matter how much their lives change for the better; the life-span stability of happiness-related traits such as neuroticism and extraversion; and the powerful processes of hedonic adaptation, which erode the positive effects of any fortuitous life change. This book investigates prominent theories on happiness with the research evidence to discuss when and how happiness changes and for how long.
- Identifies all major theories of happiness
- Reviews empirical results on happiness longevity/stability
- Discusses mitigating factors in what influences happiness longevity
Researchers in social psychology, developmental psychology, or clinical psychology interested in the well being of people over time
Chapter 1. Is It Possible to Become a Permanently Happier Person?: An Overview of the Issues and the Book
Chapter 2. Well-Being: Heritable and Changeable
- Can Happiness Change?
- Toward an Integrated Model of Genes, Environment, and Change
Chapter 3. Symptoms of Wellness: Happiness and Eudaimonia from a Self-Determination Perspective
- The Stability of Happiness
- Self-Determination Theory
- Motivational Considerations
- Awareness and Autonomous Regulation: The Role of Mindfulness
- Goals and Aspirations
- Social and Environmental Factors
Chapter 4. Is Lasting Change Possible? Lessons from the Hedonic Adaptation Prevention Model
- Hedonic Adaptation
- Evidence Supporting Hedonic Adaptation
- Hedonic Adaptation Prevention Model
- Future Directions and Questions
Chapter 5. Can Happiness Change? Theories and Evidence
- Problems of Nomenclature
- The Personality Connection
- Set Points for Mood Happiness
- Subjective Well-being Homeostasis
- Challenges to Set Point Theory
- Can Levels of Happiness Change?
Chapter 6. National Panel Studies Show Substantial Minorities Recording Long-Term Change in Life Satisfaction: Implications for Set Point Theory
- A Crucial Definitional Issue: How to Define the Set Point?
- Operational Definitions
- The German (GSOEP), British (BHPS), and Australian (HILDA) Household Panel Surveys
- Life Priorities, Goals, or Values
- Behavioral Choices: Partner Personality Traits, Social Participation, the Work–Leisure Trade-off, Regular Exercise, and ChurchGoing
- Explaining Medium- and Long-Term Change in Life Satisfaction: Life Priorities and Behavioral Choices
- Behavioral Choices
- Appendix 6.1
- Correlations of Life Satisfaction1984–1988 with Life Satisfaction in Later 5-Year Periods
Chapter 7. Does Happiness Change? Evidence from Longitudinal Studies
- Understanding Change through Stability Coefficients
- Alternatives to Two-Wave Designs
- Linking Change to the Experience of Life Events
- Results from Recent Longitudinal Studies
- New Innovations in Research on Life Events
Chapter 8. Increasing Happiness by Well-Being Therapy
- The Concepts of Happiness and Well-being in Clinical Psychology
- Increasing Happiness by Targeted Interventions: Is “Happier Always Better”?
- The Structure of Well-being Therapy
- Well-being Therapy: Clinical Considerations
- WBT: Validation Studies
- Are Psychotherapy-Induced Modifications in Well-being Enduring?
Chapter 9. Long-Term Change of Happiness in Nations: Two Times More Rise Than Decline Since the 1970s
- Results: More Advance than Decline in All Series
- Appendix 9.1 Example of a Presentation of Findings on Average Happiness in Nations
- Appendix 9.2 Data Matrix
Chapter 10. Set Point Theory and Public Policy
- Point-of-Time Evidence: 21 European Countries, 2007
- Time Series Evidence: China Since 1990
- Appendix 10.1
Chapter 11. Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness
- Hedonic Adaptation
- A Life Course Perspective on SWB
- (External) Conditions Affecting Subjective Well-Being
Chapter 12. Personality Traits as Potential Moderators of Well-Being: Setting a Foundation for Future Research
- Personality Change as Support for Well-being Change: The Cases of Extraversion and Neuroticism
- Revisiting the “Happy Personality”: Linking Traits and Subjective Well-being
- Personality as a Predictor of Well-being Trajectories
- Specific Traits as Potential Moderators
- Conclusions and Final Thoughts
Chapter 13. Statistical Models for Analyzing Stability and Change in Happiness
- Direct versus Indirect Assessment
- Individual Change versus Mean Change
- Psychometric Models for Analyzing Variability and Change
- Models with Life Events
Chapter 14. Stable Happiness Dies in Middle-Age: A Guide to Future Research
- Future Directions
- No. of pages:
- © Academic Press 2014
- 2nd July 2014
- Academic Press
- Hardcover ISBN:
- Paperback ISBN:
- eBook ISBN:
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
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