Monday, August 29, 2005

Visualizing Future Events in Isolation

Psychologists now know what makes people happy...with a title like that, the article better be good. Of course it doesn't have all the answers, but I'm liking most of what I'm reading in there. I was most fascinated by this:
People tend to rationalize bad things, quickly adapting to new realities. They also visualize future events in isolation, but real life teems with many experiences that dilute the impact of any one. This means winning the lottery doesn't make people's lives stellar, but they recover from romantic breakups much quicker than expected.

"If you knew exactly what the future held, you still wouldn't know how much you would like it when you got there," Gilbert says. In pursuing happiness, he suggests "we should have more trust in our own resilience and less confidence in our predictions about how we'll feel. We should be a bit more humble and a bit more brave."

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