The Science of Happiness: unlocking the mysteries of mood

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How should we define happiness? How happy are we supposed to be? Or can we be? Does each of us have a genetically determined "normal" level of happiness? Will a new breed of drugs allow us to fine-tune our moods so that we are happy most of the time? If so, are there any dangers to this kind of long-term mood alteration?

Fascinating research in a range of fields is providing provocative answers to these and many more questions about what makes us happy and how we can control our moods. We are in the midst of a revolution in the understanding of how our brains work and the neural circuitry of our moods and general temperament. At the same time, we have entered a bold new age of pharmacology'the science of drugs'which is allowing drug-makers to craft molecules that are exquisitely tailored to produce desired mood-altering effects.

In a lively and stimulating narrative, acclaimed science writer Stephen Braun takes readers to the frontlines of discovery in these areas and explores how this "brave new world" of mood manipulation will impact our lives. Based on extensive interviews with scientists at the forefront of research, as well as the compelling stories of many individuals and their personal experiences, The Science of Happiness presents an accessible, engaging, and balanced account of what we need to know as we enter this new era.

Braun introduces us to the scientists and companies who are racing to create the next generation of Prozac-like drugs, exploring the controversy surrounding so-called "designer drugs" and why such drugs are likely to be even more widely used.

He presents the idea of the happiness "set point"?the average level of happiness around which our daily mood fluctuates'and the respective roles played by our genes, our upbringing, and our daily life choices and experiences in determining our happiness profile. Introducing the provocative new field of Darwinian psychology, he explains why depression and anxiety can at times be necessary evils, providing important incentives for us to make changes in our lives that will improve our Darwinian fitness.

Braun also offers a stimulating and insightful consideration of how the alteration of our moods affects the "self" inside us. When we alter the mechanics of our moods, do we also fundamentally change ourselves? Or can we find a way to tailor our emotional lives while retaining what we consider to be the essence of who we are?

The Science of Happiness is an important and thoroughly engaging exploration of one of the most pressing issues facing society.

"Entertaining and Thorough."?Philadelphia Enquirer

"Braun has a knack for interpreting the findings of medical researchers and applying them to daily life."?Library Journal

"Braun manages to take abstract concepts and mold them into something highly readable. Science novices should find this book as enjoyable and well-written as those who have spent their lives working with biology or chemistry."?Publishers Weekly

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 670f20dd-c086-4167-5043-92052eec3ab3
Grouping Title science of happiness unlocking the mysteries of mood
Grouping Author braun stephen
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-10 01:06:21AM
Last Indexed 2019-03-25 04:08:19AM

Solr Details

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author Braun, Stephen.
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isbn 9780471243779
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itype_basalt Non-fiction
last_indexed 2019-03-25T10:08:19.999Z
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_basalt 616.85 BRA
owning_library_basalt Basalt Regional Library
owning_location_basalt Basalt
primary_isbn 9780471243779
publishDate 2000
record_details ils:.b18557211|Book|Books||English|Wiley,|[2000]|xvi, 192 pages ; 23 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b18557211 .i23462875 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true 116, 117, 118, 119, 120
subject_facet Antidepressants, Depression, Mental, Happiness -- Physiological aspects
title_display The Science of Happiness : unlocking the mysteries of mood
title_full The Science of Happiness : unlocking the mysteries of mood / Stephen Braun
title_short The Science of Happiness :
title_sub unlocking the mysteries of mood
topic_facet Antidepressants, Depression, Mental, Happiness, Physiological aspects