Book Chapter

Positive illusions and the happy mind

A Schütz, RF Baumeister

The Happy Mind: Cognitive Contributions to Well-Being | Published : 2017


This chapter addresses the controversial question of whether happy minds gain happiness by cultivating positive illusions, that is, views of self that exaggerate one's good qualities and degree of control over life and that involve unrealistically optimistic outlooks. Much evidence indicates that positive illusions contribute to well-being, but there are limits and contrary findings, and it is not viable to claim that engaging in endless rounds of self-flattering self-deception is a reliable guide to happiness. Illusions do confer benefits, including self-fulfilling prophecies and interpersonal appeal. We contrast two theories: A direct route by which self-deception makes one happy, and an i..

View full abstract

Citation metrics