At the end of a century that has attempted to reduce individual happiness to collective happiness, psychology has begun to explore the ways in which the mind either hinders or favors the search for happiness. This book deals with the mechanisms used in the expansion of the ego, the temporal subjective perspective, the individualization of the causes of our successes and troubles, and the illusion that we are able to control everything that happens to us. These mechanisms are not specific to persons who are particularly happy or unhappy, but are at the base of our accustomed ways of thinking and reacting to daily life. Recognizing these mechanisms - and here the author provides numerous examples and playful experiments - can help us to avoid falling into insidious traps.
Paolo Legrenzi is Professor of Psychology in Milan.