Stumbling on Happiness Paperback – 2007
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Stumbling on Happiness
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Top Customer Reviews
Everyone agrees that the human mind is an incredibly complex and powerful device. But it certainly is not perfect. When it does not have all the information -- which, by necessity, is almost always -- it fills in with estimates, guesses and predictions. Usually, the mind is so effective and efficient that we do not even notice. Other times, however, our minds end up fooling themselves, which is to say, us.
Gilbert offers a look behind the curtain of how our mind creates our understanding of the past, the present and the future. In each case, the mind employs different methods, and its vision is therefore subject to different kinds of errors. Our ability to remenber how we felt in the past is less than perfect, Gilbert points out. Our ability to predict how we will feel about an event in the future, however, can be even more misguided.
While this book asks serious questions, recounting how cognitive sciences have revealed some of the answers, this is hardly a ponderous academic study. Gilbert's lively wit ameliorates some of the grim episodes he must use to impart how science has considered these issues. How can a man wrongfully imprisoned for thirty-seven years declare his incarceration "a glorious experience"? More significantly, who are we to judge his viewpoint as "impossible" or "misguided"? Gilbert acknowledges that most of us would view askance such a judgement of a legal mis-judgement. He also contends that both viewpoints are correct - if considered in their actual frame of reference. Our problem is that we have our own views of what comprises happiness, and projecting it on how others should feel is an error. Compounding that situation is that our own view of our own happiness is likely out of whack.
One of the major points this author proposes is that any attempt we make to forecast what will bring us happiness will almost surely prove false.Read more ›
I would also recommend "Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow"
This book is not to make you happy, even though it does make you laugh, or to give you any insight on how to fix your problems. There are some guidelines and some understanding background as to why we feel the way we do, however; there is no step by step instruction as to what to do or how to overcome sadness.
Stumbling on happiness is written in such a humorous way that you will find yourself laughing out loud over many passages. I believe that the Author knew that his detailed explanation on cognitive psychology or getting into detail on the functionality of neuroscience might actually bore some readers, so he definitely managed to cover it up with some catchy sentences and laughable statements.
Anyone with a psychology background may find this book easy to read and might not get as excited as someone with any knowledge in the field.
The fundamental definition of what is happiness and what it means when someone says, that they are happy, was my favorite part of the book. Gilbert compares the happiness of someone that is disabled with someone that is in full health. This subjective comparison was very informative and made you think deeper towards how you would believe that someone that has less advantage from you would presumably be less happy!
Stumbling on happiness is a recommended book for me. If you want to read and learn something new while having fun, then this is the book for you!
Written by Jeyran Main
Most recent customer reviews
Very informative and science based which helps me understand the content a lot more in depth. The little hints of humor are quite nice also! I really enjoyed this book!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I wish I could rate it 6 out of 5! This book was great! Very persuasive, informative and amusing!Published 12 months ago by Pouyan
This was one of the best books I've ever read, and I don't say that often. It was exceptionally well-written, full of humor, but most importantly, the ideas discussed were truly... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jeremy
very interesting book, helps modify your decision making process if you ever need to make a decision about what will make you happiest, and is very engaging all at the same time.Published 23 months ago by Jesse May
Loved it. Easy to follow but fun to read and most importantly to me; a palpable message that is rooted in real scientific research.Published 24 months ago by AchilleanEra
A good read, entertaining and informative. Daniel Gilbert is a very amusing writer and the topic is important for understand the human condition.Published on Sept. 26 2014 by Sassella
This book rattles around in my mind like so much trivia. There are so many things that will stick with me from this. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2014 by Alexander Ellefson
Like learning things. There was a lot of enlightenment in this book.
Enjoyed the style of writing.
Information was presented very effectively. Read more