Monday, October 3, 2016

Stumbling on Happiness Review

Stumbling on Happiness Review by United Service Leads
Stumbling on Happiness: “Our brains use facts and theories to make guesses about past events, and so too do they use facts and theories to make guesses about past feelings.18 Because feelings do not leave behind the same kinds of facts that presidential elections and ancient civilizations do, our brains must rely even more heavily on theories to construct memories of how we once felt. When those theories are wrong, we end up misremembering our own emotions.” ========== “Apparently, prospections and retrospections can be in perfect agreement despite the fact that neither accurately describes our actual experience.25 The theories that lead us to predict that an event will make us happy (“If Bush wins, I’ll be elated”) also lead us to remember that it did (“When Bush won, I was elated”), thereby eliminating evidence of their own inaccuracy. This makes it unusually difficult for us to discover that our predictions were wrong. We overestimate how happy we will be on our birthdays,26 we underestimate how happy we will be on Monday mornings,27 and we make these mundane but erroneous predictions again and again, despite their regular disconfirmation. Our inability to recall how we really felt is one of the reasons why our wealth of experience so often turns out to be a poverty of riches.” ========== “research reveals that memory is less like a collection of photographs than it is like a collection of impressionist paintings rendered by an artist who takes considerable license with his subject. The more ambiguous the subject is, the more license the artist takes, and few subjects are more ambiguous than emotional experience. Our memory for emotional episodes is overly influenced by unusual instances, closing moments, and theories about how we must have felt way back then, all of which gravely compromise our ability to learn from our own experience. Practice, it seems, doesn’t always make perfect.” ========== “Yes, of course the future is hard to see. But we’re all heading that way anyhow, and as difficult as it may be to envision, we have to make some decisions about which futures to aim for and which to avoid. If we are prone to mistakes when we try to imagine the future, then how should we decide what to do?” ========== “Even a child knows the answer to that one: We should ask the teacher. One of the benefits of being a social and linguistic animal is that we can capitalize on the experience of others rather than trying to figure everything out for ourselves.” Stumbling on Happiness: Follow BrainFruit: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:
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