Edgar Cabanas

Edgar Cabanas

Investigador y Profesor de Psicología

¡Bienvenido a mi página personal! En esta web podrás encontrar información sobre actividades científicas y de divulgación en el ámbito de la psicología, la felicidad y las emociones.


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Happycracia. Cómo la ciencia y la industria de la felicidad controlan nuestras vidas

Edgar Cabanas y Eva Illouz


La vida real en tiempos de felicidad. Crítica de la psicología (e ideología) positiva

Marino Pérez Álvarez, José Carlos Sánchez y Edgar Cabanas

Un manifiesto contra la felicidad egoísta

Aprendemos Juntos (BBVA y El País)

Las claves para vender la felicidad


Happycracia y la industria de la felicidad

A mi Yo Adolescente (La2TV)

Intervenciones en Medios


"Los libros de autoayuda nos dicen lo que queremos oír"

Diagnóstico cultura

"Llega la ‘happycracia’ o la obligación de ser feliz"

La Vanguardia

"La industria de la felicidad se alimenta de que haya insatisfacción constante"


"Los libros de autoayuda no sirven. La felicidad es un negocio"

El País

Publicaciones académicas destacadas

The Routledge International Handbook of Global Therapeutic Cultures. 2020

Becoming Positive Souls. Spirituality and Happiness from New Thought to Positive Psychology

Contemporary therapeutic ethos is tightly associated with the culture and industry of happiness. Positive psychology, presented as a revolutionary, scientific and universal ―and therefore ultimate― understanding of what human happiness is and how can be achieved, has played an essential role in this in the last two decades. Nevertheless, despite its popular and academic influence on a global scale, the field seems to have neither fulfilled its scientific ambitions nor offered something substantially new from its cultural and popular predecessors. On the contrary, the field should be seen as the latest and most influential manifestation of a North American spiritual tradition long convinced that happiness and misery, health and illness, are individual mind productions. In this regard, the purpose of this paper is twofold. First, to raise epistemological concerns related to positive psychology’s presentation of old, spiritualistic, and ethnocentric ideas as new, scientific, and universal truths about human happiness. Second, to show the strong continuity of positive psychology’s assumptions and therapeutic techniques with New Thought metaphysics, a popular and religious movement that since the years of Phineas P. Quimby has been consecrated to bringing science and spirituality together in the understanding of human health and happiness.

Journal of Destination Marketing and Management. 2019

Experiencing designs and designing experiences: Emotions and theme parks from a symbolic interactionist perspective

This paper aims to open a theoretical debate on the relationships between spatial design and emotional experiences in theme parks from a symbolic interactionist perspective. Whereas the interplay between emotions and space is fundamental to understanding the production and consumption of experiences at theme parks, this relationship has been insufficiently explored in theme park literature. The paper applies symbolic interactionism to comment on relevant topics in theme park literature such as atmosphere design, experience control, and visitors’ engagement. In contrast to reductionistic and deterministic accounts of emotions, the paper emphasizes the indirect influence of atmospheres in visitors’ emotional responses, underscores the active role that guests play in the co-production of their own experiences, and stresses the significance of role-playing to understanding visitors’ engagement and immersion in the fantasies that theme parks manufacture for them. The paper also highlights the theoretical and empirical value of emotional narratives to better capture the mixed, complex, and situated experiences that visitors undergo with respect to spatial designs at theme parks.

Theory & Psychology. 2018

Positive Psychology and the legitimation of individualism

Positive Psychology (PP) has been firmly institutionalized as a worldwide phenomenon, especially in the last decade. Its promise of well-being has captured many people’s longings for solutions in times of significant social uncertainty, instability, and insecurity. The field, nevertheless, has been severely criticized on multiple fronts. This article argues that positive psychology is characterized by a narrow sense of the social as well as by a strong individualistic bias that reflects the core beliefs of neoliberal ideology. In this regard, the present paper aims to illustrate the extent to which individualism is essential to understanding the theoretical and empirical foundations of PP’s conceptualization of happiness. Additionally, the paper questions whether positive psychology and its individualist conception of human well-being are not themselves contributing to sustain and create some of the dissatisfaction to which they promise a solution.

Culture & Psychology. 2016

Rekindling individualism, consuming emotions: Constructing “psytizens” in the age of happiness

Happiness has become a new moral regime in neoliberal societies that defines what is right and wrong and stresses the insource of responsibility. More importantly, happiness stands out as a new model of selfhood that aligns with the neoliberal ideology of individualism and consumerism at the same time that legitimizes and rekindles this same ideology in seemingly nonideological terms through the discourse of science. The paper claims that this model of selfhood turns citizens into psytizens, that is, into psychological clients whose full functionality as individuals is largely tied to the pursuing, consuming, and development of their own happiness. The paper analyzes this notion of psytizen and its three main features, comments upon the happiness industry that simultaneously presupposes and targets this model of selfhood, and examines the role that happiness studies, in general, and positive psychology, in particular, play in shaping this emerging notion of citizenship.