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Stumbling on Happiness Audiobook

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

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (2314 )
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Performance
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  •  
    VerdereC Palo Alto, CA 02-22-13
    VerdereC Palo Alto, CA 02-22-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Enlightening"
    Would you listen to Stumbling on Happiness again? Why?

    I would listen to the book again because the information has been instrumental in helping me to understand my own flawed thinking and decisions.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Stumbling on Happiness?

    It has helped me to give more credence to the experiences of my friends. I am much more open about accepting the advice/experiences of similar minded people who are going through many of the same scenarios.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ravi phoenix 02-14-13
    Ravi phoenix 02-14-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Good book, but not very applicable to real life"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    the narration was hilarious. Its very well written. But it's TOO scientific for most people. There are hundreds of studies sourced and it just gets soo cumbersome that it falls more in the "interesting" category than "useful" category.


    What about Daniel Gilbert’s performance did you like?

    The writing was very funny, and keeps your mind engaged. Props there!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A 01-02-13
    A 01-02-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Fantastic"

    Amazing book with lots of great insights into the human condition. Gilbert's narration makes the material come alive. Highly recommend to anyone who loves the work of Malcolm Gladwell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathaniel Hampstead, QC, Canada 12-26-12
    Nathaniel Hampstead, QC, Canada 12-26-12 Member Since 2013
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    "The big problem with this book..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Stumbling on Happiness to be better than the print version?

    The book is brilliantly written and excellently delivered by the author. I don't think you can call the author's rendering 'a performance', you can hear him think as he reads to you.So what is the big problem with this book? Well, my problem was withdrawal! I had a very hard time listening to another audiobook after this one. It took me a couple of weeks before I could get the audible app fired up without shutting it down after 30s... Prof Gilbert, kudos for a brilliantly written and fabulously well read book!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JENNA Berlin, Germany 07-17-12
    JENNA Berlin, Germany 07-17-12
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    "Happily Stumbled on Stumbling on Happiness"
    Would you listen to Stumbling on Happiness again? Why?

    Yes, because it is entertaining and informative, can be listened to in a day or two, and brings life back into perspective. Daniel Gilbert narrates wonderfully, and had my attention the whole way through.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Stumbling on Happiness?

    I found it interesting that people fill in the blind spot of their imagination by collecting information that works in their favour, such as looking at advertisements for the expensive car they've bought and telling themselves that they are learning the facts when really they're looking at one-sided information showing advantages only. Or how people ask questions in such a way as to get a positive reply.


    Which character – as performed by Daniel Gilbert – was your favorite?

    Daniel Gilbert


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Egos exposed: the nitty gritty of what makes us happy.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I'll recommend to my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Nijmegen, Netherlands 01-30-12
    Dan Nijmegen, Netherlands 01-30-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Interesting, but somewhat simplistic"

    Interesting science about the limitations of our memory and how we reconstruct our past and try to foresee our future using patches of memory which we weave together as stories. I do think Gilbert has a narrow view of the meaning of life as the strife to maximize the feeling of happiness, e.g. I don't think people get children because they think every moment will be happy and harmonious but because it is a meaningful thing to do.
    Gilbert reads it himself, which I liked, but perhaps others would have preferred a professional narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Delaware, OH, United States 08-15-11
    Lauren Delaware, OH, United States 08-15-11

    lorielue

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    "Interesting, but long."

    I really enjoyed this book. Many of the concepts were basic in their principle, but the author did a nice job of presenting them. It was a little long, and while the reader's voice was fine after an hour or so I'd notice my self start to zone out. Otherwise I'd recommend for those interested in cognitive psychology. There were some interesting concepts that were new to me about our ability to "predict" or foresee our futures, and how that affects our expectations that I enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 07-14-11
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 07-14-11 Member Since 2010
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    "it's not that simple"

    Daniel Gilbert provides a close-in and interesting look at how the inner workings of our brain affect how we look at the world. A lot of what I learned from this book wasn't obvious to me. Gilbert is as good a narrator as he is an author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ranger C-NM 06-01-11
    Ranger C-NM 06-01-11

    Happy in New Mexico

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    "Love the Audiobook... had to get the Hard copy too"

    This book filled in the blanks that I didn't know I had with regard to searching for Happiness. There is no way to tell about this book... so just read it. It will do you good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Kathleen Los Angeles, CA, United States 02-24-11
    Kathleen Los Angeles, CA, United States 02-24-11
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    "A great look into a deep question"

    I really enjoyed this book and the way it looks at life. Some of the psycho-babble grew a bit tedious, but as the book pressed further things only got more interested. I recommend it to anyone wondering about why we make choices and how we really feel about their outcomes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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