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Stumbling on Happiness | [Daniel Gilbert]

Stumbling on Happiness

A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we're so lousy at predicting what will make us happy, and what we can do about it.
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Publisher's Summary

A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we're so lousy at predicting what will make us happy, and what we can do about it.

Most of us spend our lives steering ourselves toward the best of all possible futures, only to find that tomorrow rarely turns out as we had expected. Why? As Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert explains, when people try to imagine what the future will hold, they make some basic and consistent mistakes. Just as memory plays tricks on us when we try to look backward in time, so does imagination play tricks when we try to look forward.

Using cutting-edge research, much of it original, Gilbert shakes, cajoles, persuades, tricks, and jokes us into accepting the fact that happiness is not really what or where we thought it was. Among the unexpected questions he poses: Why are conjoined twins no less happy than the general population? When you go out to eat, is it better to order your favorite dish every time, or to try something new? If Ingrid Bergman hadn't gotten on the plane at the end of Casablanca, would she and Bogey have been better off?

©2006 Daniel Gilbert; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"An absolutely fantastic book that will shatter your most deeply held convictions about how your own mind works. Ceaselessly entertaining." (Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics)

What Members Say

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  •  
    I Kapowsin, WA, United States 05-05-10
    I Kapowsin, WA, United States 05-05-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Waste of time."

    Listened to sample, sounded like it could be good. It's not at all what I expected. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katheline A. Phelan bethesda, maryland United States 02-09-09
    Katheline A. Phelan bethesda, maryland United States 02-09-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stumbling on tediousness"

    Although I am very interested in, and have read a fair amount about positive psychology, I found this book almost unlistenable. Found my happiness in switching to another book.

    1 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Bend, OR, USA 04-15-10
    Linda Bend, OR, USA 04-15-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Stumbling through studies related to some emotions"

    I always enjoy a good review of the literature preceding a social psychology hypothosis, but, based on the title of this book, was expecting a more definitive conclusion. This book left me feeling that the author had attempted to study a bubble by dissecting it and, quite predictably, the results were both disapointing and somewhat depressing.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 05-07-09
    Robin 05-07-09 Member Since 2006
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    "A total bore with cheesy humor."

    Painfully corny, boring and unfortunately, unenlightening. Yoga, meditation and Pema Chadron are all more life-changing and happiness-inducing.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MrTrusty 12-14-07
    MrTrusty 12-14-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    "UGH!"

    Holy smokes! This was a complete waste of a credit!

    1 of 14 people found this review helpful
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