Why Our Preoccupation with Happiness Has Made Us Less Happy

“Happiness studies seem to be a way of convincing people they’re happy — or could be happy — even as they’re being dealt increasingly bad hands in terms of things like income inequality, educational affordability, and access to health care.”

In his new book Happier? The History of a Cultural Movement That Aspired to Transform America, cultural historian Daniel Horowitz examines how our rising interest in happiness may actually prevent us from being happy.

He examines the down side of positive psychology and points to research that shows as we’ve become more preoccupied with the idea of happiness, our overall happiness has decreased.