Stumbling on Happiness

Front Cover
Harper Perennial, 2007 - Happiness - 277 pages
50 Reviews

In this fascinating and often hilarious work - winner of the Royal Society of Science Prize 2007 - pre-eminent psychologist Daniel Gilbert shows how - and why - the majority of us have no idea how to make ourselves happy.

We all want to be happy, but do we know how? When it comes to improving tomorrow at the expense of today, we're terrible at predicting how to please our future selves.

In 'Stumbling on Happiness' Professor Daniel Gilbert combines psychology, neuroscience, economics and philosophy with irrepressible wit to describe how the human brain imagines its future - and how well (or badly) it predicts what it will enjoy. Revealing some of the amazing secrets of human motivation, he also answers thought-provoking questions - why do dining companions order different meals instead of getting what they want? Why are shoppers happier when they can't get refunds? And why are couples less satisfied after having children while insisting that their kids are a source of joy?

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

Oy. How to talk about this frustrating book. Very funny, but I'm sure some readers would get turned off by his style of wit as it does kinda get old. Lots of insights into how the mind works, but the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - les121 - LibraryThing

I heard about this book on the Freakonomics podcast and was instantly intrigued. This is not a self-help book on how to be happy - it’s a rigorous scientific examination of why we’re so bad at ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Daniel Gilbert was born in 1957 and is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the Phi Beat Kappa Teaching Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology. His research has been featured in the 'New York Times Magazine', Forbes, Money, 'The New Yorker', 'Scientific American', 'Oprah Magazine', 'Psychology Today', and more. His short stories have appeared in 'Amazing Stories' and 'Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine', as well as other magazines and anthologies. 'Stumbling on Happiness' was awarded the Royal Society of Science Prize in 2007.

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