Haidt Happiness Hypothesis

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Ch. 5 The Pursuit of Happiness (Haidt) pp. 81-102

1. Compare the main ideas of The Consolation of Philosophy from Ch. 2 and of Ecclesiastes on pp. 81-82. 2. How do we experience pleasure differently from the animals? Why don’t we enjoy life more than they do? What’s the problem or trick with reinforcement as a source of pleasure? 3. Explain and give examples of 2 types of positive affect according to Davidson. Which one gives us more happiness? 4. What is the progress principle?

5. Explain the adaptation principle, habituation of neurons, and the hedonic treadmill. 6. Describe early happiness hypotheses (Buddha, stoics). Do these theories of happiness suggest that we hide from the world in order to find peace? 7. Describe the relationship between marriage and happiness. What’s the “reverse correlation” between marriage and happiness (“reverse” does not mean “negative”)? 8. List factors which are strongly associated with happiness and the ones which are not but most of us believe that they should lead to happiness (pp. 88-89). 9. Explain the main components of happiness formula and describe the research that it is based on. 10. Name the external conditions that have strong effect on happiness according to Haidt (pp.92-94). 11. Describe the experience sampling method.

12. What are the characteristics of flow? How is flow different from physical pleasures? 13. What’s the difference between pleasures and gratifications according to Seligman? 14. How can we increase pleasures and how can we find our gratifications? 15. Why do people pursue goals that work against their happiness? 16. What is the difference between conspicuous and inconspicuous consumption? 17. Explain the paradox of choice.
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