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Positive Psychology

The Big Idea for Thursday, May 16, 2013

"I think the word 'happiness' doesn’t mean all that much," argues Daniel Kahneman, "because it confounds satisfaction with life with mood. But more importantly, I think the word conveys a frivolous idea of what the social importance of it is."

In today's lesson, Samsun Knight follows Kahneman's critique. Knight explores what he says is undoubtably a promising field, which offers the "exciting fusion between economics and psychology." However, "as happiness metrics gain traction as a way to measure societal progress and direct government policy," Knight writes, "it's important to understand its limits and especially its dependence on implicit assumptions."


  1. 1 If You're Happy and You Know It, Check this Box.
    Samsun Knight Experts' Corner
  2. 2 My Pet Peeve with Happiness Research
    Daniel Kahneman 60 Second Reads
  3. 3 The Optimism of Melancholia
    Slavoj Žižek
  4. 4 Reprogramming Your Brain to Be Happier
    Shawn Achor

Positive Psychology

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