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Stumbling on Happiness Audiobook

Stumbling on Happiness

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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 (2841 )
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  •  
    Rajani 02-24-16
    Rajani 02-24-16
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    "Like none other"

    The author himself reads the book. The book is very well written with many examples.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Cinruskin 02-18-16
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    "Starts strong, ends weak"

    Interesting studies are quoted in early chapters. Then it gets a bit repetitive. I also found the sociological approach to lack the psychological understanding of why some people report feeling a certain way. In other words, they trusted all answers subjects gave at all times. However,, the narration was excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Lloyd Dodgen 02-13-16
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    "Very cool read"

    Very interesting read. I came in with one expectation and left with a different result. Pretty much sums up what I learned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danielle 02-12-16
    Danielle 02-12-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Great book that ended too quickly!"

    Daniel Gilbert did an amazing job analyzing happiness in regards to our past, present, and future. It's not a "how to" book but it definitely provides great insight on happiness and how it shapes our lives, our views, and much more. Definitely worth listening to. I highly recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Gates 02-05-16
    Chris Gates 02-05-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Wow"

    Incredible insights into how misguided our predictions on what will make us happy are. This book really encouraged me to change the way I was thinking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RenDi 12-28-15
    RenDi 12-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Would most likely read again"

    His analogies and personal opinions caused disinterest at times, especially when what I visualized in his scenarios were "not what [I] imagine", based on a wide generalization of Americans, apparently; I more often than not had responses to situations that I suddenly felt I "shouldn't", for they argue with his conclusions. However, the case studies and theories proposed are fascinating, and lead to logical ideals of life improvement (or, at least, reflection). Over all, it was well written/read and is a book for great conversations!
    Side-note: Glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about Schindler's List!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juuso 12-20-15
    Juuso 12-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good book"

    Interesting ideas and science to back it up. Maybe I would have liked to hear more from joy of discovery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah R. Lane 11-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Psychology text"

    Not what I expected . Good for students of counseling. Not entertaining. Poignant parts, but I use audio books to distract from a bad commute- this didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jp 08-16-15
    jp 08-16-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Long, Boring and Limited Usefulness"

    Have you ever been around someone that thinks he's hilarious but really he's not? The unfunny jokes never stop in this book. That along with annoying writing style made this book painful to finish. After hours of blathering the "punchline" is quite disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina 08-11-15
    Tina 08-11-15
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    "Enlightening book!!"

    Daniel's humor and scientific approach are great combined, making this book an good experience and a key life lesson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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