Dan Gilbert: Exploring the frontiers of happiness

Dan Gilbert: Exploring the frontiers of happiness

About this talk

From the TED site:

Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness — sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces.

The take-away

Gilbert gives heaps of interesting examples to show how bad we are at comparing costs and estimating value, and the problem of shifting comparisons. As a result, we make poor decisions about what will make us happy.

In essence:

  • we underestimate the odds of our future pains, and
  • we overestimate the value of our present pleasures.

My 2 cents

To put it another way: immediate gratification ain’t so gratifying – our brains simply trick us into thinking it will be.

Knowing that, we may find greater happiness if we adopt those old-fashioned virtues of patience, persistence and discipline.

But not when it comes to chocolate.

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