"Hooked on a Feeling" examines the value and limits of happiness, and questions whether it is really the goal of life to experience as much pleasure as possible. The realisation of pleasure or happiness has become the sole standard for assessing a life. But what does happiness consist of? Whilst some people are happier than others, this seems almost entirely the result of inherited personality traits and genetic differences. In other words, most people are happy and are born that way. For the unhappy few, more money, a new home, liposuction or a facelift will not make them happier. Written in an accessible manner, this book shows that happiness is no longer an inscrutable topic but a distinct human emotion that can be studied. The book questions the long-held idea that pleasure is our purpose. While valuing pleasure, Nancy Etcoff also seeks to dethrone it.
Nancy Etcoff is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a practising psychologist in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been researching the perception of human faces for the past ten years.