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Stumbling on Happiness (2006)

por Daniel Gilbert

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4,1811032,785 (3.82)30
Psychology. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:NATIONAL BESTSELLER ? Bringing to life scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, this witty, accessible book reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there.
? Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink?
? Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight?
? Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want?
? Why do pigeons seem to have such excellent aim; why can??t we remember one song while listening to another; and why does the line at the grocery store always slow down the moment we join it?
In this brilliant book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we ar
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Mostrando 1-5 de 103 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This book is about why it's nearly impossible to predict what's going to make you happy. It's pretty ridiculous at times, but full of interesting facts that your friends will get tired of hearing you repeat. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
second time reading (first time paperback) ( )
  ravco | Nov 15, 2023 |
I have been picking this one up off and on for a couple years...I recommend taking your time to savor all the snarling wisdom that is Dr. Gilbert! ( )
  AmandaPelon | Aug 26, 2023 |
A really liked this book, the author combines psychology studies with some good humour to explain to us why, as humans, we have trouble being happy.
Its not a self help book, but a great description of why we all need help :) ( )
  Flattery6398 | Oct 3, 2022 |
This is one of the better of the current glut of positive psychology books. This book is high quality because Gilbert does not focus on happiness. He rarely talks about happiness directly. He focuses on cognitive tendencies of human beings and their effects on how people interpret how they feel, remember how they felt, and anticipate how they will feel.

One cognitive trick that reoccurs throughout the book is that the brain summarizes. Memories of the past are not faithful recordings of the events but reconstructions based on a few key points. Observations of the present only gather a small part of the information around. (Side note: it is my opinion that this is why the faddish "law of attraction" seems to work. Focusing on a desire does not change the world, but it does change your perception of the world.)

Summarizing also applies to images of the future (although the exact word choice becomes a little odd). One's predictions tend to focus on a few key points and ignore everything else. For example, most people would feel that they will have a strong and long lasting reaction to the outcome of the next presidential election. Often, people are right about the strength of their reaction, but they are very wrong about the duration. This mistake occurs because predictions of the future leave out the details about the rest of life that tend to very quickly temper your emotions (whether your candidate wins or loses, you will still, for example, have to walk in the rain and will still get to go out to a nice dinner).

That is not all there is to this. Although people tend to over estimate their future happiness or unhappiness, the strength of their anticipation tends to color how they remember an event. Thus, if you think you will feel some amount of happiness from event and you actually feel some different amount, the amount of happiness you remember feeling will be somewhere between the two.

Gilbert does not give happiness tips, but I will take a stab at using his observations to analyze some common happiness tips. Consider the following (seemingly inconsistent) tips: live in the moment, look forward to the future, do not worry too much about the future, do not dwell on the past, cherish your happy memories. If you compare these tips with what we know about the mind, you can start to see why they all can help. Focusing on the moment raises the happiness you actually experience. Anticipation raises the happiness you will remember having experienced. Remembering past experiences provides material for your mind to use when it is making predictions about the future, so focusing on the happy memories will help you to anticipate that similar future events will bring happiness.

This book does not pretend to have all the answers. Instead, it focuses on helping you to understand how the human mind works. With these tools, you can begin to understand why certain bits of common wisdom on happiness work and why they sometimes fail. And, if you are like me, just knowing that makes you a little bit happier. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 103 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Gilbert has a serious argument to make about why human beings are forever wrongly predicting what will make them happy. Because of logic-processing errors our brains tend to make, we don't want the things that would make us happy — and the things that we want (more money, say, or a bigger house or a fancier car) won't make us happy.
adicionada por mikeg2 | editarThe New York Times, Scott Stossel (May 7, 2006)
 
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One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune and fame.

Will Cather, "Le Lavandou," 1902
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Economies thrive when individuals strive, but because individuals will only strive for their own happiness, it is essential that they mistakenly believe that producing and consuming are routes to personal well-being.
The belief-transmission network of which we are a part cannot operate without a continuously replenished supply of people to do the transmitting, thus the belief that children are a source of happiness becomes a part of our cultural wisdom simply because the opposite belief unravels the fabric of any society that holds it.
The fact that we often judge the pleasure of an experience by its ending can cause us to make some curious choices.
Most of us appear to believe that we are more athletic, intelligent, organized, ethical, logical, interesting, open-minded, and healthy—not to mention more attractive—than the average person.
We treat our future selves as though they were our children, spending most of the hours of most of our days constructing tomorrows that we hope will make them happy... But our temporal progeny are often thankless. We toil and sweat to give them just what we think they will like, and they quit their jobs, grow their hair, move to or from San Francisco, and wonder how we could ever have been stupid enough to think they’d like that. We fail to achieve the accolades and rewards that we consider crucial to their well-being, and they end up thanking God that things didn’t work out according to our shortsighted, misguided plan.
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Psychology. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:NATIONAL BESTSELLER ? Bringing to life scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, this witty, accessible book reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there.
? Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink?
? Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight?
? Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want?
? Why do pigeons seem to have such excellent aim; why can??t we remember one song while listening to another; and why does the line at the grocery store always slow down the moment we join it?
In this brilliant book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we ar

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