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Happiness by Design: Finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life

Paul Dolan
Penguin (August 2014)

In Happiness by Design, Professor Paul Dolan brings the latest research in behavioural science together with current findings in happiness studies to create a new concept of happiness - it's not just how you think, it's how you act.

Our happiness is a combination of experiences of both pleasure and purpose over time, and it depends on what we actually pay attention to. Using what Dolan calls deciding, designing and doing, we can overcome the biases that make us miserable and re-design our environments to make it easier to experience happiness. Does having children affect happiness? Should you change your job to achieve happiness - or perhaps just your commute?

With wit and perception, Dolan reveals what we can do to avoid the mistakes we make about our happiness and its causes. He provides guidance on how we can each find our own unique personal balance between pleasure and purpose, offering practical advice on how to organise our lives in happiness-promoting ways.

  • Paul Dolan is Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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