Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stumbling on Happiness

by Daniel Gilbert
Despite appearances, Stumbling on Happiness is not a self-help book, and won't tell you much about how to be a happier person. But it may you help you avoid some wrong turns in the pursuit of happiness. Humankind's ability to predict the future is one of our fanciest tricks; it is, arguably, what makes us human. But it's also one of our newest tricks, and, as Gilbert shows in study after study, our predictive abilities have their limitations and flaws. Your own imagination, as powerful as it is, is often completely wrong when it comes to predicting the outcomes of your decisions. Gilbert's writing style is full of humor and creative examples of each of his points, and there are plenty of "a-ha!" moments. And he does offer a simple solution, which he is pretty sure you'll refuse to follow up on, thanks to your brain's built-in biases. I'll take that as a challenge!

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