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Synthetic Happiness

Summary #

Dan Gilbert has an interesting discussion about ways in which our "experience simulator" (aka prefrontal cortex) makes mistakes—particularly in judging our future happiness.

(Video: YouTube via TED)

Commentary #

Gilbert highlights the notion of Impact Bias: "tendency for people to overestimate the length or the intensity of future feeling states." Example: both lottery winners and paraplegics feel about the same level of happiness after a year.

Why? Here are some reasons & insights:

Meta #

Ever catch yourself synthesizing happiness?

Updates #

2010-07-04 #