Friday, November 7, 2008

The Futile Pursuit of Happiness

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert's book, Stumbling on Happiness, discusses the circumstances and conditions in which people incorrectly predict their future emotional states. Although our ability to imagine the future - which guides us in our decision making between multiple possibilities - is what defines our humanness, we are actually very poor forecasters. Our imagination fails us in three ways: it fills in and leaves out details without telling us, it projects the present onto the future, and it fails to recognize that things will look different once they happen.

I will describe the most compelling ideas in this book in future posts.

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