Happiness, Science

A Problem with Blogs on the Science of Happiness

I have an interest — on again, off again —  in the scientific study of happiness.  So, a while back, I conceived the notion of finding some blogs that dealt with happiness.

But every blog I came across that purported to deal with the scientific study of happiness was trying to sell something.  It all very much reminded me of those little ads you find in the back of some magazines that promise to tell you some extraordinary secret — such as the world’s best fish bait recipe — for just $19.95.

The thing I’m wondering about, however, is why I couldn’t find any legitimate blogs dealing with the scientific study of happiness.   Why did I only find scams?  Are there no legitimate blogs out there?

Please let me know if you’ve come across any blogs on the science of happiness that are not trying to sell something.  I would much appreciate any leads you can give me.

12 thoughts on “A Problem with Blogs on the Science of Happiness”

  1. Why must everything have a scientific explanation or process? Those who pretend to explain or sell happiness are mere charlatans and exploiters of the gullibles…many around it seems. Happiness is a state of mind not a chemical process as some would reduce it to, like they do for everything else.
    I refuse to be a mere electrical circuit activated by enzimes running along my synapses and animating the robot.

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  2. I’ve had virtually the same experience, Paul.

    In fact I’m still getting email advertisements from one of the few sites that actually look promising.

    In our consumption-oriented society happiness seems to have become almost synonymous with buying and selling.

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  3. This is an interesting observation Paul. I think perhaps people want happiness so badly there are enough charlatans out there to try and want to make money out of it. Same thing with Love.

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  4. @ Paul Costopoulos: Isn’t it always fascinating how things get reduced in the human understanding? If we are not busy reducing things to “atoms and enzymes”, then we are busy reducing them to “a positive outlook” or “a cheerful mood”. But all of these reductions are merely models — maps — and not the reality, not the terrain. Like all maps, they are only so useful as they can be used to predict events.

    @Loren: That’s very insightful. It’s not just the folks who attempt to sell happiness, it’s also the folks who attempt to buy it, that treat it as a consumer good.

    @ Nita: I wonder which thing some charlatan tried to sell first — love or happiness?

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  5. paul I think blogging is a media to give way to our inner turmoils and at times our frustrations.
    while going through many blogs i have observed that people really like to read something which lets their brain cells working.
    any post which involves thought process to churn out expressions are read by many and also commented by them as it gives them food for thought
    whereas the posts where the blogger has just written about good times are not relished by many. as there is nothing much to write except stereotypes comments

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  6. Perhaps we don’t hear about it either because people aren’t experiencing it or if they are, are too busy being happy to write about it.

    I call happiness fulfillment. Paradoxically, I experience fulfillment when I have completely invested myself in something 100%. When I withhold parts of myself, I feel unfulfilled, let down, frustrated, bored, partially empty, or as if something is missing.

    When I give my undivided self, wholeheartedly, all-consuming, body, mind and soul to whatever I happen to be doing, voila! Complete fulfillment, or in other words…… happiness!

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  7. The “pursuit of happiness”, enshrined in our Declaration Of Independence, is the guiding star of public policy – but nobody knows what it is. Instead most people assume that what makes them happy should be normative for others. I like having a McMansion in the suburbs, and he only wants to smoke weed. Well then he’s wrong!

    On a personal level, though, you can’t find happiness; it is something that finds you when you are engaged in flow.

    I couldn’t find any blogs on the science of happiness but here’s an interesting Boston Globe article on that study as it relates to public policy.

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  8. http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa/gilbert/blog/

    This one’s good (but a bit dead). It’s by Daniel Gilbert, a psychologist who studies happiness and has written a book on the subject (which you should read Paul – you’d love it). Anyway, this is/was the blog of the book. Gilbert admits that he’s let it die, but he might start doing more with it. In the meantime, the archives are worth your time. It’s happiness, but with science. And it’s not trying to sell you anything except arguably the book, which you should buy anyway.

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