There is growing support for the idea that we should aim at greater happiness for a greater number. Yet, there are also qualms about the reality value of that ambition: Some doubt that enduring happiness is not possible at all in the human condition, while others claim that the nature of happiness makes greater happiness as illusory. And there is also much skepticism about the possibility of planned promotion of happiness. These doubts are reviewed and rejected. It is argued that happiness can be furthered by improving the livability of society as well as by strengthening the life abilities of individuals. One of the options in the latter approach is helping people to make more informed choices by investigating long-term consequences on happiness.

Cross Cultural Psychology, Health Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology, Psychology, Quality of Life Research
World Database of Happiness
Authors version in RePub. Published in: I. Brdar (ed.). The Human Pursuit of Well-Being: A Cultural Approach, Springer Science, 2011, New York, pp. 3-38
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Veenhoven, R. (2011). Can We Get Happier Than We Are?. In World Database of Happiness. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-1375-8_1