Thursday, April 30, 2009

How we are deceived by our own miscalculations of the future

Daniel Todd Gilbert is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He is a social psychologist who is known for his research on affective forecasting, with a special emphasis on cognitive biases such as the impact bias. He is the author of the international bestseller Stumbling on Happiness, which won the 2007 Royal Society Prizes for Science Books. Here is the video of a talk he gave during TED Talks. He believes that, in our lifelong pursuit of happiness, most of us have the wrong map. In the same way that optical illusions fool our eyes -- and fool everyone’s eyes in the same way -- Gilbert argues that our brains systematically misjudge what will make us happy. And these quirks in our cognition make humans very poor predictors of our own bliss.

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