“Compulsory Well-being”


Mind Hacks has an interview with Will Davies, author of The Happiness Industry, that “looks at the history and practice of positive psychology as government, and ‘well-being’ as a way of managing people.”

“There is a long history of using psychological techniques in order to encourage work or boost productivity,” says Davies. “In my book, I trace this right back to the 1920s, when industrial psychologists first started to study the attitudes and emotions of people in the workplace, with a view to understanding how people could be more committed to work. Some of this was born out of a fear of socialism or trade union organising, i.e. that unhappy workers might rebel against business in some way. But I also think something shifted fundamentally in the 1990s, as economists started to look at psychological survey data, and the field of ‘happiness economics’ took off.”

Compulsory well-being: An interview with Will Davies (Mind Hacks, June 23, 2015)