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1 Beaverton Psychology- General

Stumbling on Happiness

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Stumbling on Happiness Cover

ISBN13: 9781400042661
ISBN10: 1400042666
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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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.

Review:

"Not offering a self-help book, but instead mounting a scientific explanation of the limitations of the human imagination and how it steers us wrong in our search for happiness, Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, draws on psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy and behavioral economics to argue that, just as we err in remembering the past, so we err in imagining the future. 'Our desire to control is so powerful, and the feeling of being in control so rewarding, that people often act as though they can control the uncontrollable,' Gilbert writes, as he reveals how ill-equipped we are to properly preview the future, let alone control it. Unfortunately, he claims, neither personal experience nor cultural wisdom compensates for imagination's shortcomings. In concluding chapters, he discusses the transmission of inaccurate beliefs from one person's mind to another, providing salient examples of universal assumptions about human happiness such as the joys of money and of having children. He concludes with the provocative recommendation that, rather than imagination, we should rely on others as surrogates for our future experience. Gilbert's playful tone and use of commonplace examples render a potentially academic topic accessible and educational, even if his approach is at times overly prescriptive. 150,000 announced first printing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Winning the lottery or a Pulitzer would definitely improve my mood. Losing a leg or a child would leave me devastated for life. But on all these predictions, both Daniel Gilbert and Matthieu Ricard contend, I'd be wrong. The good fortune would not cheer me up for very long, while even after the most tragic events, I'd be back, shockingly soon, to daydreaming happily about dinner menus or sex in exotic... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[S]ly, irresistible....It is not only wildly entertaining but also hilarious (if David Sedaris were a psychologist, he very well might write like this) and yet full of startling insight, imaginative conclusions, and even bits of wisdom." Booklist

Review:

"The ideas may be disconcerting, but they're backed by solid research and presented with persuasive charm and wit." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Gilbert has a serious argument to make about why human beings are forever wrongly predicting what will make them happy....In an important sense, Stumbling on Happiness is a paean to delusion." Scott Stossel, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Gilbert draws on a mixed bag of findings...and conducts rather contrived experiments. Replete with jokes, but ultimately lacking in structure and focus, this book will intrigue psychology buffs only to leave them wondering what happened to the main course." Library Journal

Review:

"Stumbling on Happiness is an absolutely fantastic book that will shatter your most deeply held convictions about how your own mind works. Ceaselessly entertaining, Gilbert is the perfect guide to some of the most interesting psychological research ever performed. Think you know what makes you happy? You won't know for sure until you have read this book." Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics

Review:

"Everyone will enjoy reading this book, and some of us will wish we could have written it. You will rarely have a chance to learn so much about so important a topic while having so much fun." Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University, Winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics

Review:

"In a book that is as deep as it is delightful, Daniel Gilbert reveals the powerful and often surprising connections between our experience of happiness and how we think about the future. Drawing on cutting edge psychological research and his own sharp insights into everyday events, Gilbert manages to have considerable fun while expertly illuminating some of the most profound mysteries of the human mind. I confidently predict that your future will be happier if you read this pathbreaking volume." Daniel L. Schacter, Harvard University, author of Searching for Memory and The Seven Sins of Memory

Review:

"In Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert shares his brilliant insights into our quirks of mind, and steers us toward happiness in the most delightful, engaging ways. If you stumble on this book, you're guaranteed many doses of joy." Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

Review:

"This is a brilliant book, 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." Seth Godin, author of All Marketers Are Liars

Synopsis:

A lively, thought-provoking memoir about how one woman cracked the "code" of online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony – and met her eventual husband.

After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasnt that her standards were too high, as women are often told, but that she wasnt evaluating the right data in suitors profiles. That night Webb, an award-winning journalist and digital-strategy expert, made a detailed, exhaustive list of what she did and didnt want in a mate. The result: seventy-two requirements ranging from the expected (smart, funny) to the super-specific (likes selected musicals: Chess, Les Misérables. Not Cats. Must not like Cats!).

Next she turned to her own profile. In order to craft the most compelling online presentation, she needed to assess the competition—so she signed on to JDate again, this time as a man. Using the same gift for data strategy that made her company the top in its field, she found the key words that were digital man magnets, analyzed photos, and studied the timing of womens messages, then adjusted her (female) profile to make the most of that intel.

Then began the deluge—dozens of men wanted to meet her, men who actually met her requirements. Among them: her future husband, now the father of her child.

Forty million people date online each year. Most dont find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.

About the Author

Daniel Gilbert is Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology. His research has been covered by the New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Money, CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Self, Men's Health, Redbook, Glamour, Psychology Today, and many others. His short stories have appeared in Amazing Stories and Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, as well as other magazines and anthologies. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Marie, March 12, 2007 (view all comments by Marie)
An engaging read, Daniel Gilbert explores notions of happiness from defining it (not an easy task) to measuring it (also not easy) to how to get it (ditto).

The writing is brisk and light, even when discussing neuroscience, but the seemingly endless recital of happiness studies compelled me to start skimming over the down-in-the-weeds details a bit toward the end of the book.

Makes good conversation material and I learned a little something, not the least of which is that "you can be happy if you've a mind to."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(19 of 34 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400042661
Subtitle:
How I Cracked the Online Dating Code to Meet My Match
Author:
Gilbert, Daniel
Author:
Webb, Amy
Publisher:
Plume
Subject:
Cognitive Psychology
Subject:
Happiness
Subject:
Personal Growth - Happiness
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
May 2006
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 ILLUS IN TEXT
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.48x6.72x1.11 in. 1.38 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General

Stumbling on Happiness Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9781400042661 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Not offering a self-help book, but instead mounting a scientific explanation of the limitations of the human imagination and how it steers us wrong in our search for happiness, Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, draws on psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy and behavioral economics to argue that, just as we err in remembering the past, so we err in imagining the future. 'Our desire to control is so powerful, and the feeling of being in control so rewarding, that people often act as though they can control the uncontrollable,' Gilbert writes, as he reveals how ill-equipped we are to properly preview the future, let alone control it. Unfortunately, he claims, neither personal experience nor cultural wisdom compensates for imagination's shortcomings. In concluding chapters, he discusses the transmission of inaccurate beliefs from one person's mind to another, providing salient examples of universal assumptions about human happiness such as the joys of money and of having children. He concludes with the provocative recommendation that, rather than imagination, we should rely on others as surrogates for our future experience. Gilbert's playful tone and use of commonplace examples render a potentially academic topic accessible and educational, even if his approach is at times overly prescriptive. 150,000 announced first printing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[S]ly, irresistible....It is not only wildly entertaining but also hilarious (if David Sedaris were a psychologist, he very well might write like this) and yet full of startling insight, imaginative conclusions, and even bits of wisdom."
"Review" by , "The ideas may be disconcerting, but they're backed by solid research and presented with persuasive charm and wit."
"Review" by , "Gilbert has a serious argument to make about why human beings are forever wrongly predicting what will make them happy....In an important sense, Stumbling on Happiness is a paean to delusion."
"Review" by , "Gilbert draws on a mixed bag of findings...and conducts rather contrived experiments. Replete with jokes, but ultimately lacking in structure and focus, this book will intrigue psychology buffs only to leave them wondering what happened to the main course."
"Review" by , "Stumbling on Happiness is an absolutely fantastic book that will shatter your most deeply held convictions about how your own mind works. Ceaselessly entertaining, Gilbert is the perfect guide to some of the most interesting psychological research ever performed. Think you know what makes you happy? You won't know for sure until you have read this book."
"Review" by , "Everyone will enjoy reading this book, and some of us will wish we could have written it. You will rarely have a chance to learn so much about so important a topic while having so much fun."
"Review" by , "In a book that is as deep as it is delightful, Daniel Gilbert reveals the powerful and often surprising connections between our experience of happiness and how we think about the future. Drawing on cutting edge psychological research and his own sharp insights into everyday events, Gilbert manages to have considerable fun while expertly illuminating some of the most profound mysteries of the human mind. I confidently predict that your future will be happier if you read this pathbreaking volume."
"Review" by , "In Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert shares his brilliant insights into our quirks of mind, and steers us toward happiness in the most delightful, engaging ways. If you stumble on this book, you're guaranteed many doses of joy."
"Review" by , "This is a brilliant book, 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."
"Synopsis" by , A lively, thought-provoking memoir about how one woman cracked the "code" of online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony – and met her eventual husband.

After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasnt that her standards were too high, as women are often told, but that she wasnt evaluating the right data in suitors profiles. That night Webb, an award-winning journalist and digital-strategy expert, made a detailed, exhaustive list of what she did and didnt want in a mate. The result: seventy-two requirements ranging from the expected (smart, funny) to the super-specific (likes selected musicals: Chess, Les Misérables. Not Cats. Must not like Cats!).

Next she turned to her own profile. In order to craft the most compelling online presentation, she needed to assess the competition—so she signed on to JDate again, this time as a man. Using the same gift for data strategy that made her company the top in its field, she found the key words that were digital man magnets, analyzed photos, and studied the timing of womens messages, then adjusted her (female) profile to make the most of that intel.

Then began the deluge—dozens of men wanted to meet her, men who actually met her requirements. Among them: her future husband, now the father of her child.

Forty million people date online each year. Most dont find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.

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