The Illusion of Happiness Essay

“If we are not happy there is something wrong with us”, says Chris Hedges, author of the article The Illusion of Happiness. This way of thinking might be the reason why there is such a big infatuation around psychology. Or, positive psychology might simply be a figment created by psychologists in a purely lucrative goal. Through his paper, Chris Hedges tries to demystify the mystery around positive psychology and strongly demonstrates how it is used to brainwash employees and deflect attention away from the goals and structures of corporations.

This paper will provide a short summary of the article of Hedges and a short response about it.

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Chris Hedges’ article “The Illusion of Happiness” openly criticizes positive psychology in our society. The psychologists of the entire world put into practice the use of positive psychology. The American Psychologist Association (APA) claims that positive psychology is a science that facilitates harmony and compassion. Positive psychologists also say that positive psychology can improve life-quality.

On the other hand, Chris Hedges believes that positive psychology is more of an ideology than a real science. In fact, he says that the promotion of social happiness is a form of social control.

He asserts with conviction that the psychologists have learned how to manipulate social behaviours and that institutions use ideas of harmony to control the population. However, there might be some good points about positive psychology. Even though this science is used to control or manipulate people, the results demonstrate improvements in life-quality of the people who practice this way of thinking, which mean positive psychology might not be completely bad for human beings. Many positive psychologists claim that thinking about happiness can eventually lead to happiness.

This is called the placebo effect. The population needs to be aware that the intentions behind the positive psychology are perhaps not as sane as they appear, without forgetting that this science/ideology can positively change the lives of some individuals. Ultimately, Hedges affirms positive psychology is an ideology used by psychologists and institutions to control and manipulate the population. However, positive psychology can lead to happiness and well-being. People need to try positive psychology by themselves in order to have their own opinion.

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