Happiness and Maximization: An Introduction

  • Hilke BrockmannEmail author
  • Jan Delhey
Part of the Happiness Studies Book Series book series (HAPS)


If you ask a chef, a physician, or a teacher the question: “Is more always better,” they will probably answer: “No”. Of course, it depends on the dish you are cooking, the illness you are curing, and the subject you are teaching. But these professionals know when additional ingredients spoil the dish, additional treatment harms the patient, and additional learning material frustrates the student. If you put the same question to an economist or a consumer, though, it is less clear what the answer will be.


Ecological Footprint World Wildlife Fund Individual Happiness Average Happiness Affluent Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are indebted to many people and institutions for support and advice along the way.

Most chapters in this book originated from a workshop on “Happiness and Maximization”, which the editors of this book organized in association with Kurt Bayertz. Uwe Opolka brought the three of us together and provided us with the material and mental resources to kick off the cooperative endeavour. His sudden death made us very saddened. We would like this book to serve as a memorial to an inspiring, very friendly and supportive colleague. The workshop was finally held in January 2011 at the Center for Advanced Studies/Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst, Germany. We are very grateful to the HWK for hosting our workshop and for supporting it in a host of different ways. Generous financial support from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Cologne and the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), a common enterprise of University Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen, is also acknowledged with thanks.

We further would like to thank Antonella Delle Fave, chief-editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies, for being so supportive of our project and for accepting its product in the newly launched Journal of Happiness Studies book series. We also received a lot of encouragement and support from Springer. In particular we want to thank Ester Ottens for guiding us through the different stages of the project. We are obliged to Jacobs University and its Research Center “Cognition, Values and Well-being” (CoWell) for financial support in finishing the book. A special thanks goes to Katja Uglanova for helping us with many technical and organizational matters in completing the manuscript. Finally, we would like to thank all authors for their valuable contributions and their positive attitude towards this book.

Bremen, October 2012

Hilke Brockmann and Jan Delhey


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social SciencesJacobs University BremenBremenGermany

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