The Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness

Stefan Klein

Translated By

Stephen Lehmann


Popular Science





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Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


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(Paperback | ISBN 9789385755828 | 320 pages | February 2016)


An international bestseller, this book is an enthralling exploration of the science of happiness.

We all know what it feels like to be happy, but what mechanisms inside our brains trigger such a positive emotion? What does it really mean to be happy, and why can’t we feel that way all of the time? Psychologists and neuroscientists have been studying negative emotions for decades, but until recently few have focused on the subject of happiness.

Now, in The Science of Happiness, leading science journalist Stefan Klein ranges widely across the latest frontiers of neuroscience and psychology to explain how happiness is generated in our brains, what biological purpose it serves, and the conditions required to foster the ‘pursuit of happiness’. A remarkable synthesis of a growing body of research that has not been brought together before, The Science of Happiness is, ultimately, a book that helps us understand our own quest for happiness—and is certain to help make you happier.


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


‘”When you’ve finished reading this book, the inside of your head will look different,” promises Klein. And he’s right.’—Der Spiegel

‘Thrilling and entertaining. Stefan Klein convinces with his profound knowledge.’—Bert Sakmann, Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine, Max Planck Institute

‘Klein explains in a thrilling and illustrative way the complex biochemical basics of what we experience as delight, desire, love, lust and friendship on the surface of our organisms.’—Die Welt

‘Apart from plausible strategies, the author provides the reader with insights into happy brains and genes, into friendship, children and the question, what orgasms are really good for.’—Max

‘It is an extremely well-written, easy-to-read and expertly researched book on a theme which has long been begging for pop-science treatment. The author is one of Germany’s leading popular science writers and enjoys a very high reputation throughout Europe.’—Nature

‘Mr. Klein has thoroughly researched his subject, and he writes with clarity, ease and humor about the complexities of psychology and neuroscience. I do not know of any other authors who take such a well-grounded scientific approach to the universal — but seemingly elusive — question of what makes us happy.’—Science

‘Stefan Klein is convinced that happiness is different from fortune or chance. In his new book The Science of Happiness he sums up the insights into the subject. His newest scientific conclusion: “Happiness can be learned — if you know the rules by which it plays with us. ”’—Cosmopolitan

The Science of Happiness makes a compelling case about the way our brains work that will impress or unsettle, depending on a reader's attitudes to life (or basic brain chemistry) ... For people who have assumed that we have no option but to play the hand our genes deal us, Klein's summary of the science can be liberating. However, even though he explains how neuroscience can provide us with strategies to push ourselves towards happiness, without expecting assistance from God or psychiatry, the point of the book is that it is still up to us, however the chemicals in our brain bless or curse us.’—Stephen Matchett, The Australian

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About the author

Stefan Klein

Stefan Klein, PhD, has studied physics and analytical philosophy, and holds a doctorate in biophysics. After several years as an academic researcher, he turned to writing about science for a general audience. From 1996 to 1999, he was an editor at Der Spiegel, Germany’s leading news magazine, and in 1998 he won the prestigious Georg […]

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