Daniel Gilbert: Stumbling on Happiness

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This book is about human imagination: according to the author, that is the one thing that separates humans from other animals. Our power to imagine makes it possible for us to come up with all these possibilities and futures. And perhaps some happiness, too? Yet so very often we make bad decisions, misestimate, choose the wrong option. Why?

It turns out our marvelous brains are a shoddy tool. According to research - and Gilbert quotes plenty of that - humans are really bad at knowing how we feel: we might know how we feel now, but both estimating how we will feel in the future and remembering how we felt about something in the past are surprisingly hard tasks. Our brains come up with all these details - all fake, because we can't remember everything. Yet our brains are so good at what they do that we don't even realize we're remembering stuff our brains just made up. No wonder we make bad decisions.

Stumbling upon happiness isn't as inspiring as the best popular science books are, but nevertheless, it's a fine look at what modern psychology has to offer. It gives some rather delicious anecdotes, has some rather good insight and is certainly entertaining enough. Stumbling on happiness is worth reading, if you're interested in figuring out how you think the way you do. [ Stumbling on Happiness at Amazon.co.uk ]Stumbling on Happiness at LibraryThing ]

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