Happiness by DesignFinding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life

Author(s): Paul Dolan

Social Sciences | Featured Titles

How can we make it easier to be happy?


In Happiness by Design, Professor Paul Dolan brings the latest cutting-edge research in behavioural science together with the current evidence on happiness to create a new route to happiness - it's not just how you think, it's how you act.


He shows how our happiness is a combination of experiences of both pleasure and purpose over time, and depends on how we allocate our attention to the various stimuli vying for it. Sometimes it's easy to get the balance between pleasure and purpose wrong, focusing too much on one at the expense of the other.


With wit and perception, and drawing on his own personal insights, Dolan reveals what we can do to avoid the mistakes we make about our happiness and its causes. Does having children affect happiness? Should you change your job to achieve happiness - or perhaps just your commute? Using what he calls deciding, designing and doing, he shows we can find pleasure and purpose in everyday life - without having to think too hard about it.


'Dolan is especially illuminating when it comes to bigger life-choices, and how to get reliable feedback on what will truly make you happy...... Dolan makes a persuasive case that happiness might really be simple. His book is a powerful reminder not to get caught up in overthinking things, but to focus instead on maximising what actually delivers joy...... and most of us would benefit from listening to him' Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian


'He is part of a wave of social scientists whose discoveries at once confound your expectations and provide an appreciable way of acting on that knowledge. It's self-help for pseuds, in other words, in the best traditions of Kahneman's own Thinking, Fast and Slow, or Nudge- Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, and full of facts that make you go- 'Huh.' Richard Godwin, London Evening Standard


'Dolan's book is aimed at the lay reader who wants to be more cheerful without recourse to airy-fairy notions of spirituality or philosophy...... ' Rowan Pelling, The Telegraph


'Dolan ranks high enough in the happiness stakes to be considered a trustworthy guru' The Sunday Times interview

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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780241003107
  • : Penguin Books, Limited
  • : Allen Lane
  • : August 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paul Dolan
  • : Hardback
  • : 256