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notes on ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ by Daniel Gilbert

Written on May 17, 2007

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert received the 2007 Royal Society Prize for Science Books.

p224-227. Gilbert identifies three shortcomings of the imagination that prevent us from knowing what will make us happy: 1. tendency to fill in/leave out things unconsciously, 2. tendency to project the present onto the future, 3. failure to recognize that things will look different once they happen. (Things will look better because the “psychological immune system” will transform meaning.)

The best way to predict is to see how others feel after similar experiences, but “our mythical belief in the variability and uniqueness of individuals is the main reason why we refuse to use others as surrogates” (p 232).

Stumbling on Happiness

Filed in: happiness,mind.