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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Happiness—Concept, Measurement and Promotion


  • Provides an intuitive definition of happiness and explores several fallacies concerning happiness in a way understandable to the general public

  • Combines interdisciplinary (economic, psychological, sociological, evolutionary biology, neuroscience) knowledge to promote happiness at the individual and social levels

  • Discusses openly controversial issues like brain stimulation of pleasure centers and the East Asian happiness gap

  • Is an open access book

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. What is Happiness? Why is Happiness Important?

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 1-14Open Access
  3. Happiness Versus Preference

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 15-24Open Access
  4. Some Conceptual Mistakes About Happiness

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 25-31Open Access
  5. Happiness or Life Satisfaction?

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 33-39Open Access
  6. Happiness as the Only Intrinsic Value

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 41-57Open Access
  7. Happiness Measurability and Interpersonal Comparability

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 59-69Open Access
  8. Does Money Buy Happiness?

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 71-78Open Access
  9. Age and Happiness

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 91-98Open Access
  10. Factors Affecting Happiness

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 99-114Open Access
  11. How Do You Increase Your Happiness?

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 115-124Open Access
  12. Stimulating Our Brains and Transforming Our Selves

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 125-132Open Access
  13. The East-Asian Happiness Gap: Causes and Implications

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 133-143Open Access
  14. Implications for Public Policy

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 145-151Open Access
  15. A Case for Higher Public Spending

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 153-160Open Access
  16. Animal Welfare: Beyond Human Happiness

    • Yew-Kwang Ng
    Pages 161-166Open Access
  17. Back Matter

    Pages 167-183

About this book

This open access book defines happiness intuitively and explores several common conceptual mistakes with regard to happiness. It then moves on to address topical issues including, but not limited to, whether money can buy you happiness, why happiness is ultimately the only thing of intrinsic value, and the various factors important for happiness. It also presents a more reliable and interpersonally comparable method for measuring happiness and discusses twelve factors, from A to L, that are crucial for individual happiness: attitude, balance, confidence, dignity, engagement, family/friends, gratitude, health, ideals, joyfulness, kindness and love. Further, it examines important public policy considerations, taking into account recent advances in economics, the environmental sciences, and happiness studies. Novel issues discussed include: an environmentally responsible happy nation index to supplement GDP, the East Asian happiness gap, a case for stimulating pleasure centres of the brain, and an argument for higher public spending.


  • Promote Happiness
  • Subjective Wellbeing
  • Welfare
  • Life Satisfaction
  • Purpose of Life
  • Public Policy
  • Open Access

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Economics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

    Yew-Kwang Ng

About the author

Yew-Kwang Ng has been Special Chair Professor at the School of Economics, Fudan University, Shanghai, and is Emeritus Professor with Monash University. He is in the Advisory Board of the Global Priorities Institute at Oxford University and was invited to deliver the inaugural Atkinson Memorial Lecture in 2018 at Oxford University. He has received many awards including the top award (Distinguished Fellow) of the Economic Society of Australia in 2007. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Happiness—Concept, Measurement and Promotion

  • Authors: Yew-Kwang Ng

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2022

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-33-4971-1

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-981-33-4974-2

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-33-4972-8

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XV, 183

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Well-Being, Quality of Life Research, Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)