Stumbling on Happiness

About the Course:

In this book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. Vividly bringing to life the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Gilbert reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become.

Journal/Publisher:

Vintage Books

Publication Date:

2007

Author

Gilbert, Daniel

About the Author:

Daniel Gilbert is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Director of the Social Cognition and Emotion Lab. He is generally considered the world’s foremost authority in the fields of affective forecasting and the fundamental attribution error. He has published numerous scientific articles and chapters, several short works of fiction, and is the editor of The Handbook of Social Psychology. He has been awarded the Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology by the American Psychological Association, fellowships from both the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Philosophical Society, and has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in the Behavioral Sciences. In 2002, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin listed Gilbert as one of the fifty most influential social psychologists of the decade, and in 2003 one of his research papers was chosen by the editors of Psychological Inquiry as one of four “modern classics” in social psychology.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about ways to help clients/patients achieve greater levels of happiness in their lives and what impediments get in the way. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the process of prospection as presented by the author.

  2. Identify aspects of subjectivity presented and cite examples of how they impact on happiness.

  3. Evaluate the author’s position on realism and how it applies to our ability to accurately view our past and potential future.

  4. Explain how presentism differs from realism, and cite examples of how to make comparisons between presentism and other ways of viewing life.

  5. Demonstrate how rationalization interferes with the ability to reason efficiently.

  6. Define corrigibility and explain how it applies to the concept of stumbling on happiness.

Exam Questions

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