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date: 29 March 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of some recent evolutionary psychological research that is relevant to the study of happiness. The authors first discuss how some of our psychological adaptations set up roadblocks to the pursuit of happiness and, in turn, why this state is often difficult to maintain. They also discuss how discrepancies between the modern environment and those in which we spent the majority of our evolutionary history can prevent the feelings of connectedness necessary for long-term well-being. They round the chapter out with an overview of some of the psychological features that have been shaped by selection that allow people to feel happy, fulfilled, and satisfied with their lives. This is followed by a discussion of ways that we can harness our evolved psychologies to help promote long-term well-being.

Keywords: happiness, evolutionary psychology, subjective well-being, affect, motivation

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