The Happiness Hypothesis: An Interview with Jonathan Haidt

This is part of the DR Book Collection.

Over the past couple years, I’ve done several conference presentations on the subject of a Mormon theology of work. Recently, I compiled much of the research from this various presentations and submitted it to BYU Studies Quarterly. I was thrilled to find out earlier this year that they will in fact be publishing it. The last section of the article looks at insights from management literature. I was fairly satisfied with it, but then I picked up Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom and began kicking myself for not reading it sooner and incorporating it into my paper. Haidt explores the divide between conscious and unconscious mental processes, the social nature of reciprocity and hypocrisy, and the benefits of love, adversity, and sacredness. But what jumped out at me was his overview of the “pursuit of happiness”: happiness rarely comes from achieving goals (that emotional high is fleeting), but from striving to achieve them. It is making progress that brings up happiness. I read Haidt’s The Righteous Mind first, but I enjoyed this one just as much.

Check out the interview with Jonathan Haidt below.

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