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Book Review Author: Manel Baucells and Rakesh Sarin Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Engineering Happiness

By Manel Baucells and Rakesh Sarin
Apr 30, 2012 - 3:50:52 PM

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Approach for Building a Joyful Life

( - There’s lots of information out there about how to be happy, but it’s haphazard and disorganized. In Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life business professors Manel Baucells and Rakesh Sarin (University of California Press, April 2012) set about quantifying happiness and present a mathematical formula for it as well.

Baucells and Sarin have been conducting ground-breaking research on happiness for more than a decade*, and in this book they distill their provocative findings into a lively, accessible guide for a wide audience of readers. Integrating their own research with the latest thinking in the behavioral and social sciences–including management science, psychology, and economics–they offer a new approach to the puzzle of happiness.

What they found is that well-being is not the capricious outcome of destiny or fortune, but can be influenced by our decisions. This practical guide:

• Identifies six essential laws of happiness

• Demonstrates how the essence of attaining happiness is choice

• Explores how to avoid happiness traps

• Tells how to recognize happiness triggers in everyday life

“Some people think they don’t have choice. But being happy is all about making choices, and describing happiness mathematically helps us see this,” says Sarin. “We define happiness as the total sum, over time, of momentary emotions, feelings and states of mind.”

Woven throughout with wisdom from the world's religions and literatures, Engineering Happiness has something to offer everyone—including individuals, business leaders, policymakers and spiritual seekers–who wants to better understand, control, and attain a more joyful life.

*Components of Sarin and Baucells' work have been published in scientific journals including Management Science and Operations Research.


Manel Baucells is Professor of Business and Economics at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

Rakesh Sarin is Paine Professor of Management at the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was recently invited to speak about Engineering Happiness at a TED conference.

Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life

by Manel Baucells and Rakesh Sarin

245 pp. 6 x 9 6 line illustrations, 3 tables

Publication date: April 2012

Self-Help | Psychology | Social Science

978-0-520-26820-3 $65.00 cloth

978-0-520-26821-0 $25.95 paper

Published by University of California Press /


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