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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Stumbling On Happiness

If you're interested in: "Affective Forecasting"--a fancy way of saying why people consistently overestimate the emotional impact of future events--check out the book Stumbling on Happiness (available May 2) by Daniel Gilbert and an interview with the author at

"This is a brilliant book," Seth Godin raved, "a useful book, and a book that could quite possibly change the way you look at just about everything. And as a bonus, Gilbert writes like a cross between Malcolm Gladwell and David Sedaris."

Synopses & Reviews
Publisher Comments:

Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink? Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight? Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want? Why do patients remember long medical procedures as being less painful than short ones? Why do home sellers demand prices they wouldn't dream of paying if they were home buyers? Why are shoppers happier when they can't get refunds? Why do pigeons seem to have such excellent aim; why can't we remember one song while listening to another; and why does the line at the grocery store always slow down the moment we join it?

In this brilliant, witty, and accessible book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. Vividly bringing to life the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Gilbert reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become.

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