Summary of The Surprising Science of Happiness

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Psychologist Dan Gilbert offers scientific proof that happiness can come from within – though from the brain, not the heart. getAbstract suggests his energetic lecture to those worrying about their careers, goals and other choices. As Gilbert assures, you can be content with any outcome, desired or not, because of your ability to synthesize happiness.

About the Speaker

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert is the author of Stumbling on Happiness.



In two million years, the human brain has nearly tripled in size, gaining a prefrontal cortex. With this development came the unique ability to simulate experiences before they occur. As an experiment, run two scenarios through your mental simulator: winning the lottery or becoming paraplegic. Most people form a snap judgment about which would lead to a happier future. But if you chose winning the lottery, think again: A year following their life-changing event, lottery winners and paraplegics are “equally happy.” Why did your mental simulator fail you? The answer is “impact bias,” the tendency to overestimate the pleasure gained or lost from future events...

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By the same author

The Psychology of Your Future Self
Why We Make Bad Decisions

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    И. Б. 2 years ago
    the video is much more interesting than summary
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      Brook Taylor 2 years ago
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Инна Байдикова. Dan Gilbert is indeed an exceptional speaker. getAbstract aims to produce concise, accurate and interesting content, so we value your feedback.

      Best regards,
      Brook Taylor (editor at getAbstract)