Book Reviews

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert -Book Notes, Summary, and Review

Stumbling On Happiness - Daniel Gilbert

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Rating: 9/10

Date of reading: 10th – 20th of March, 2017

Description: How to be happy in a weird and effective way, provided with crazy examples and written by the most respected professor, scientist, and researcher Daniel Gilbert. 

 

My notes:

 

Introduction

 

“book for hours, mesmerized by the fact that these simple draw­ ings could force my brain to believe things that it knew with utter certainty to be wrong. This is when I learned that mistakes are interesting and began planning a life that contained several of them.” ( :21)

“Writing a book is its own reward, but reading a book is a commitment of time and money that ought to pay clear divi­dends. If you are not educated and entertained, you deserve to be returned to your original age and net worth. That won’t hap­ pen, of course, so I’ve written a book that I hope will interest and amuse you, provided you don’t take yourself too seriously and have at least ten minutes to live. No one can say how you will feel when you get to the end of this book, and that includes the you who is about to start it. But if your future self is not satisfied when it arrives at the last page, it will at least understand why you mistakenly thought it would be.'” ( :22)

 

PART I
Prospection

 

“The human being is the only ani­ mal that thinks about the future.” ( :27)

“Rather, they have regular squirrel brains that run food­ burying programs when the amount of sunlight that enters their regular squirrel eyes decreases by a critical amount. Shortened days trigger burying behavior with no intervening contempla­tion of tomorrow, and the squirrel that stashes a nut in my yard “knows” about the future in approximately the same way that a falling rock “knows” about the law of gravity-which is to say, not really.” ( :27)

“the Great Pyramid or Seeing remembering the Golden Gate or the Space Station are far more imagining remarkable acts than is building any one of them.” ( :28)

“Rather than saying that such brains are predicting, let’s say that they are nexting.” ( :29)

“Whatever you are thinking, your thoughts are surely about something other than the word with which this sentence will end. But even as you hear these very words echoing in your very head, and think whatever thoughts they inspire, your brain is using the word it is reading right now and the words it read to make a reasonable guess just before about the identity of the word it will read which is what next, allows you to read so fluently.4 Any brain that has been raised on a steady diet of film noir and cheap detective novels fully expects the word to follow the phrase night It was a dark and and thus when it does encounter the word it is stormy, night, especially well prepared to digest it. As long as your brain’s guess about the next word turns out to be right, you cruise along happily, left to right, left to right, turning black squiggles into ideas, scenes, characters, and concepts, blissfully unaware that your nexting brain is predicting the future of the sentence at a fantastic rate. It is only when your brain predicts badly that you suddenly feel avocado. That is, surprised. See?” ( :30)

“But notice that while these are the wrong answers to our question, they are the right answers to another question, namely, “What do you want to be now?”” ( :33)

“5 00 million years ago, spent a leisurely 430 million years or so evolving into the brains of the earliest primates, and another 70 million years or so evolving into the brains of the first protohumans. Then something happened-no one knows quite what, but speculation runs from the weather turning chilly to the invention of cooking-and the soon�to-be-human brain experienced an unprecedented growth spurt that more than doubled its mass in a little over two million years,” ( :33)

“it from the one-and-a-quarter-pound brain of to Homo habilis the nearly three-pound brain of Homo sapiens.9” ( :34)

“. His personality took a decided turn for the worse­ and that fact is the source of his fame to this day-but the more striking thing about Phineas was just how he otherwise normal was.” ( :35)

“But while some surgeons were touting the benefits of frontal lobe damage, others were noticing the costs. Although patients with frontal lobe damage often performed well on standard in­telligence tests, memory tests, and the like, they showed severe impairments on any test-even the very simplest test-that in­volved planning. For instance, when given a maze or a puzzle whose solution required that they consider an entire series of moves before making their first move, these otherwise intelligent people were stumped.” ( :37)

“them unable to plan-seem to converge on a single conclu­sion. What is the conceptual tie that binds and anxiety plan­ Both, of course, are intimately connected to thinking? about the future.” ( :37)

“But in fact, this strange existence is the rule and are the we exception. For the first few hundred million years after their ini­tial appearance on our planet, all brains were stuck in the per­manent present, and most brains still are today. But not yours and not mine, because two or three million years ago our ances­ tors began a great escape from the here and now, and their getaway vehicle was a highly specialized mass of gray tissue, fragile, wrinkled, and appended. This frontal lobe-” ( :39)

“In the late r96os, a Harvard psychology professor took LSD, resigned his appointment (with some encouragement from the administration), went to India, met a guru, and returned to write a popular book called whose central message Be Here Now, was succinctly captured by the injunction of its title.23 The key to happiness, fulfillment, and enlightenment, the ex-professor argued, was to stop thinking so much about the future.” ( :40)

“When people daydream about the future, they tend to imagine themselves achieving and suc­ceeding rather than fumbling or failing.26” ( :41)

“Indeed, some events are more pleasurable to imagine than to experience (most of us can recall an instance in which we made love with a desirable partner or ate a wickedly rich des­sert, only to find that the act was better contemplated than con­ summated), and in these cases people may decide to delay the event forever.” ( :41)

“Two reasons. First, anticipating unpleasant events can mini­mize their impact. For instance, volunteers in one study received a series of twenty electric shocks and were warned three seconds before the onset of each one.35 Some volunteers (the high-shock group) received twenty high-intensity shocks to their right ankles. Other volunteers (the low-shock group) received three high­ intensity shocks and seventeen low-intensity shocks. Although the low-shock group received fewer volts than the high-shock group did, their hearts beat faster, they sweated more profusely, and they rated themselves as more afraid. Why? Because volun­teers in the low-shock group received shocks of different intensi­ ties at different times, which made it impossible for them to anticipate their futures. Apparently, three big jolts that one can­ not foresee are more painful than twenty big jolts that one can.36” ( :43)

“The surprisingly right answer is that people find it gratifying to control-not just for the futures it buys them, but for exercise the exercise itself” ( :45)

“Why ? Because that’s why. they did it, Look, Mom, my hand made that happen. The room is different because I was in it. I thought about falling blocks, and poof, they fell. Oh boy! Sheer doing!” ( :45)

“The fact is that human beings come into the world with a passion for control, they go out of the world the same way, and research suggests that if they lose their ability to control things at any point between their entrance and their exit, they become unhappy, helpless, hopeless, and depressed.4° And occasionally dead.” ( :45)

“Residents in the high­ control group were allowed to control the timing and duration of the student’s visit (“Please come visit me next Thursday for an hour”), and residents in the low-control group were not (“I’ll come visit you next Thursday for an hour”). After two months, residents in the high-control group were happier, healthier, more active, and taking fewer medications than those in the low­ control group.” ( :46)

“Only in retrospect did the cause of this tragedy seem clear. The residents who had been given control, and who had benefited measurably from that control while they had it, were inadver­tently robbed of control when the study ended. Apparently, gaining control can have a positive impact on one’s health and well-being, but losing control can be worse than never having had any at all.” ( :46)

“whether real or illusory-is one of the well­ springs of mental health. So if the question is “Why should we so want to control our futures?” then the surprisingly right answer is that it feels good to do so-period. Impact is rewarding. Mat­tering makes us happy. The act of steering one’s boat down the river of time is a source of pleasure, regardless of one’s port of call.” ( :47)

 

PART I I
Subjectivity

 

“China, why? You’d be ruining two lives in the process.” 2 So here’s the question: If this were your life rather than theirs, how would feel? If you said, “Joyful, playful, and you optimistic,” then you are not playing the game and I am going to give you another chance. Try to be honest instead of correct. The honest answer is “Despondent, desperate, and depressed.”” ( :55)

“The word is used to indicate at least three related things, happiness which we might roughly call emotional happiness, moral happi­ and ness, judgmental happiness.” ( :56)

“You may think yellow is a color, but it isn’t. It’s a psychological state. It is what human beings with working visual apparatus when their experience eyes are struck by light with a wavelength of nanometers. 5 8o” ( :57)

“Happiness, then, is the you-know-what-I-mean feeling.” ( :58)

“Everyone who has observed human behavior for more than thirty continuous seconds seems to have noticed that people are strongly, perhaps even primarily, perhaps even single-mindedly, motivated to feel happy. If there has ever been a group of human beings who prefer despair to delight, frustration to satisfaction, and pain to pleasure, they must be very good at hiding because no one has ever seen them.” ( :59)

“The question of the purpose of human life has been raised countless times; it has never yet received a satisfactory answer and perhaps does not admit of one . . . We will therefore turn to the less ambitious question of what men show by their behavior to be the purpose and intention of their lives. What do they demand of life and wish to achieve in it? The answer to this can hardly be in doubt. They strive after happiness; they want to become happy and to remain so. This endeavor has two sides, a posi­tive and a negative aim. It aims, on the one hand, at an absence of pain and displeasure, and, on the other, at the experiencing of strong feelings of pleasure.”” ( :60)

“Bl ai se Pascal was especially clear on this point: All men seek happiness. This is without exception. What­ ever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoid­ ing it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, 12 even of those who hang themselves.” ( :60)

“he philosopher Robert Nozick tried to illustrate the ubiquity of this belief by describing a fictitious virtual-reality machine that would allow anyone to have any experience they chose, and that would conveniently cause them to forget that they were hooked up to the machine.’5 He concluded that no one would willingly choose to get hooked up for the rest of his life because the happiness he would experience with such a machine would not be happiness at all.” ( :61)

“Now, let’s take a moment to think about the difficult position that someone who holds this view is in, and let’s guess how they might resolve it. If you considered it perfectly tragic for life to be aimed at nothing more substantive and significant than a feeling, and yet you could not help but notice that people spend their days seeking happiness, then what might you be tempted to con­clude? Bingo! You might be tempted to conclude that the word happiness does not indicate a good feeling but rather that it indi­ cates a very special good feeling that can only be produced by very special means-for example, by living one’s life in a proper, moral, meaningful, deep, rich, Socratic, and non-piglike way. Now that would be the kind of feeling one wouldn’t be ashamed to strive for. In fact, the Greeks had a word for this kind of happiness-eudaimonia-which translates literally as “good spirit”” ( :61)

“Happiness was not merely the of a life of virtue product but the for a life of virtue, and that reward was not nec­essarily to be expected in this lifetime.17” ( :62)

“for example, that a Nazi war criminal who is basking on an Argentinean beach is not really happy, whereas the pious missionary who is being eaten alive by cannibals is.” ( :62)

“And it isn’t just the subtle changes we miss. Even dramatic changes to the appearance of a scene are sometimes overlooked. In an experiment taken straight from the pages of Candid Cam­ researchers arranged for a researcher to approach pedestri­ans on a college campus and ask for directions to a particular building.2s While the pedestrian and the researcher conferred over the researcher’s map, two construction workers, each hold­ ing one end of a large door, rudely cut between them, temporarily obstructing the pedestrian’s view of the researcher. As the construction workers passed, the original researcher crouched down behind the door and walked off with the construction workers, while a new researcher, who had been hiding behind the door all along, took his place and picked up the conversa­tion. The original and substitute researchers were of different heights and builds and had noticeably different voices, haircuts, and clothing. You would have no trouble telling them apart if they were standing side by side. So what did the Good Samaritans who had stopped to help a lost tourist make of this switcheroo? Not much. In fact, most of the pedestrians failed to notice­ failed to notice that the person to whom they were talking had suddenly been transformed into an entirely new individual.” ( :70)

“This trick is much more exciting, of course, when you don’t know beforehand that it’s a trick and you don’t have to wade through several pages of text to hear the punchline. And it doesn’t work at all if you compare the two figures side by side, because 4 you instantly see that none of the cards in figure (including the one you picked) appears in figure But when there is some pos­ 5. sibility that the magician knows your chosen card-either by sleight of hand, shrewd deduction, or telepathy-and when your jiggly eyes are not looking directly at the first group of six as it transforms into the second group of five, the illusion can be quite p9werful. Indeed, when the trick first appeared on a web­ site, some of the smartest scientists I know hypothesized that a newfangled technology was allowing the server to guess their card by tracking the speed and acceleration of their keystrokes. I personally removed my hand from the mouse just to make sure that its subtle movements were not being measured. It did not seen occur to me until the third time through that while I had the first group of six cards, I had only my verbal label remembered for the card I had chosen, and hence had failed to notice that all the other cards had changed as well.�7 What’s important to note for our purposes is that card tricks like this work for precisely the same reason that people find it difficult to say how happy they were in their previous marriages.” ( :72)

“By that reasoning, we should all follow Solon’s advice never and say we are happy until we are dead because other­ wise, if the real thing ever does come along, we will have used up the word and won’t have any way to tell the newspapers about it.” ( :75)

“Not necessarily. Consider a study in which volunteers were shown some quiz-show questions. and asked to estimate the like­lihood that they could answer them correctly. Some volunteers were shown only the questions (the question-only group), while others were shown both the questions and the answers (the question-and-answer group). Volunteers in the question-only group thought the questions were quite difficult, while those in the question-and-answer group-who saw both the questions (“What did Philo T. Farnsworth invent?”) and the answers (“The television set”)-believed that they could have answered the questions easily had they never seen the answers at all. Apparently, once volunteers knew the answers, the questions seemed simple (“Of course it was the television-everyone knows that!”), and the volunteers were no longer able to judge how difficult the questions would seem to someone who did not share their knowledge of the answers.28″ ( :76)

“Studies such as these demonstrate that once we have an expe­rience, we cannot simply set it aside and see the world as we would have seen it had the experience never happened. To the judge’s dismay, the jury cannot disregard the prosecutor’s snide remarks. Our experiences instantly become part of the lens through which we view our entire past, present, and future, and like any lens, they shape and distort what we see. This lens is not like a pair of spectacles that we can set on the nightstand when we find it convenient to do so but like a pair of contacts that are forever affixed to our eyeballs with superglue. Once we learn to read, we can never again see letters as mere inky squiggles. Once we learn about free jazz, we can never again hear Ornette Cole­ man’s saxophone as a source of noise.” ( :76)

“But when I first learned to play as a teen­ ager, I would sit upstairs in my bedroom happily strumming those three chords until my parents banged on the ceiling and invoked their rights under the Geneva Convention.” ( :79)

“On the morning of May the Antarctic explorer Ern­ 15, 1916, est Shackleton began the last leg of one of history’s most grueling adventures. His ship, the had sunk in the Endurance, Weddell Sea, stranding him and his crew on Elephant Island. After seven months, Shackleton and five of his crewmen boarded a small lifeboat in which they spent three weeks cross­ ing eight hundred miles of frigid, raging ocean. Upon reaching South Georgia Island, the starving, frostbitten men prepared to disembark and cross the island on foot in the hope of reaching a whaling station on the other side. No one had ever survived that trek. Facing almost certain death that morning, Shackleton wrote:” ( :81)

“We passed through the narrow mouth of the cove with the ugly rocks and waving kelp close on either side, turned to the east, and sailed merrily up the bay as the sun broke through the mists and made the tossing waters sparkle around us. We were a curious-looking party on that bright morning, but we were feeling happy. We even broke into song, and, but for our Robinson Crusoe appearance, a casual observer might have taken us for a picnic party sailing in a Norwegian fjord or one of the beautiful sounds of the west coast of New Zealand.3°” ( :81)

“Think for a moment about how looking to happen. ought If you were designing a brain from scratch, you would prob­ ably design it so that it identified objects in its environ­ment (“Sharp teeth, brown fur, weird little snorting sound, hot drool-why, that’s a rabid wolverine!”) and figured out then what to do (“Leaving seems like a splendid idea about now”).” ( :84)

“most critical functions were designed first, and their less critical functions were added on like bells and whistles as the millennia passed, which is why the really important parts of your brain (e.g., the ones that control your breathing) are down at the bot­ tom and the parts you could probably live without (e.g., the ones that control your temper) sit atop them, like ice cream on a cone.” ( :85)

“The fact that we can feel aroused without knowing exactly what it is that has aroused us has important implications for our ability to identify our own emotions.3 For example, researchers studied the reactions of some young men who were crossing a long, narrow, suspension bridge constructed of wooden boards and wire cables that rocked and swayed 230 feet above the Capi­lano River in North Vancouver.4 A young woman approached each man and asked if he would mind completing a survey, and after he did so, the woman gave the man her telephone number and offered to explain her survey project in greater detail if he called. Now, here’s the catch: The woman approached some of these young men as they were crossing the bridge and others only after they had crossed it. As it turned out” ( :86)

“The novelist Graham Greene wrote: “Hatred seems to operate the same glands as love.” ( :87)

“It is possible to mistake fear for lust, apprehension for guilt,? shame for anxiety.” ( :87)

“At first blush, the idea that we can mistakenly believe we are feeling pain seems preposterous, if only because the distinction between and looks so feeling pain believing one is feeling pain suspiciously like an artifact of language. But give this idea a sec­ond blush while considering the following scenario. You are sit­ ting at a sidewalk cafe, sipping a tangy espresso and contentedly browsing the Sunday newspaper. People are strolling by and tak­ ing in the fine morning, and the amorous activities of a young couple at a nearby table attest to the eternal wonder of spring. The song of a scarlet tanager punctuates the yeasty scent of new croissants that wafts from the bakery. The article you are read­ ing on campaign-finance reform is quite interesting and all is well-until suddenly you realize you are now reading the third paragraph, that somewhere in the middle of the first you started sniffing baked goods and listening to bird chirps, and that you now have absolutely no idea what the story you are reading is about.” ( :88)

“caught yourself . . . caught yourself . . . caught yourself what? Experiencing without being aware that you were experiencing­ that’s what. Now, let me slow down for a moment and tread carefully around these words lest you start listening for the high-” ( :88)

“I , my dad, and most other scientists can agree is that if a thing cannot be measured, then it cannot be studied scientifically. It can be studied, and one might even argue that the study of such unquantifiables is more worthwhile than all the sciences laid end to end.” ( :93)

“devices, less complex than walkie-talkies from Sears, and they do one simple thing, namely, react to the chemicals that reach them by releasing chemicals of their own. If we blithely go on to assume that ten billion of these simple devices can only do ten billion simple things, we would never guess that billions of them can exhibit a property that two, ten, or ten thousand cannot. Consciousness is precisely this sort of emergent property-a phenomenon that arises in part as a result of the sheer number of interconnections among neurons in the human brain and that does not exist in any of the parts or in the interconnection of just a few.18 Quantum physics offers a similar lesson.” ( :97)

“interconnection of just a few.18 Quantum physics offers a similar lesson. We know that subatomic particles have the strange and charming ability to exist in two places at once, and if we assume that anything com­ posed of these particles must behave likewise, we should expect all cows to be in all possible barns at the same time. Which they obviously are not, because fixedness is another one of those properties that emerges from the interaction of a terribly large number of terribly tiny parts that do not themselves have it. In short, more is not just more-it is sometimes other-than less.” ( :97)

“theory, you have a very keen intuition that when numbers are small, little imperfections-like a stray gust of wind, or a dab of perspiration on a finger-can influence the outcome of a coin flip. But when numbers are large, such imperfections stop mat­tering.” ( :98)

“Infinitesimal , your intuition tells you, and your intuition is spot on. The odds are as close to infinitesimal as things on earth get without disappearing alto­gether.” ( :98)

“God near the Great Barrier Reef, is describing his ecstasy as mere satisfaction. These problems are real problems, significant problems, and we would be foolish to conclude on the basis of these two reports that happiness is not, as it were, a warm gun.  But if we gave away and million pistols million envelopes of and if percent of the people who got new money money, 90 claimed to be happier than percent of the people who got 90 new weapons, the odds that we are being deceived by the idiot- 75” ( :98)

“syncrasies of verbal descriptions become very small indeed.” ( :99)

“report is an imperfect approximation of her subjective experience, but it is the only game in town. When a fruit salad, a lover, or a jazz trio is just too imperfect for our tastes, we stop eating, kissing, and listening. But the law of large numbers sug­ gests that when a measurement is too imperfect for our tastes, we should not stop measuring. Quite the opposite-we should measure again and again until niggling imperfections yield to the onslaught of data.” ( :100)

“Indeed, feelings don’t just matter-they are what mattering means.” ( :101)

 

PART I I I
Realism

 

“George Eastman developed a revolu­tionary management philosophy as well, giving his employees shorter hours, disability benefits, retirement annuities, life insur­ ance, profit sharing, and, ultimately, one third of the stock in his company.” ( :107)

“sharing, and, ultimately, one third of the stock in his company. On March q, 19 3 2, the beloved inventor and humanitarian sat down at his desk, wrote a brief note, neatly capped his fountain pen, and smoked a cigarette. Then he sur­ prised everyone by killing himself. 2” ( :107)

“So what was wrong with these guys? I will ask you to consider the possibility that there was nothing wrong with them but that there something wrong is with you. And with me too.” ( :107)

“( the faculty­ imagination that allows us to see the future) is to understand the short­ comings of (the faculty that allows us to see the past} memory and (the faculty that allows us to see the present). perception” ( :109)

“moment’s notice that awful day in the sixth grade when we teased Phil Meyers about his braces and he promised to beat us up after school.” ( :110)

“As you learned in the previous chapters, the elaborate tapestry of our experience is not stored in memory-at least not in its entirety. Rather, it is compressed for storage by first being reduced to a few critical threads, such as a summary phrase (“Dinner was disappointing”) or a small set of key fea­tures (tough steak, corked wine, snotty waiter). Later, when we want to remember our experience, our brains quickly reweave the tapestry by fabricating-not by actually retrieving the bulk of the information that we experience as a memory.4 This fabri­ cation happens so quickly and effortlessly that we have the illu­sion (as a good magician’s audience always does) that the entire thing was in our heads the entire time.” ( :110)

“picture they had actually seen. Now, if the volun­teers had stored their experience in memory, then they should have pointed to the picture of the car approaching the yield sign, and indeed, more than percent of the volunteers in the no­ 90 question group did just that. But percent of the volunteers in So the question group pointed to the picture of the car approaching a stop sign.” ( :111)

“different laboratory and field settings that it has left most scientists convinced of two things. 6 First, the act of remembering involves “filling in” details that were not actually stored; and second, we generally cannot tell when we are doing this because filling in happens quickly and unconsciously.?” ( :111)

“For example, read the list of words below, and when you’ve finished, quickly cover the list with your hands. Then I will trick you. Bed Rest Awake Tired Dream Wake Snooze Blanket Doze” ( :111)

“Slumber Snore Nap Peace Yawn Drowsy Here’s the trick. Which of the following words was not on the list? or Bed, doze, sleep, gasoline?” ( :112)

“First, people do not vaguely recall seeing the gist word and they do not simply guess that they saw the gist word. Rather, they vividly remember seeing it and they feel com­pletely confident that it appeared.9” ( :112)

“figure and then bring­ing the book slowly toward you. Stay focused on the magician, but notice that when the earth moves into your blind spot, it seems to disappear. You will suddenly see whiteness where the earth actually is because your brain sees whiteness all around” ( :113)

“In the Blind Spot of the Mind’s Eye the earth and thus mistakenly assumes there is whiteness in your blind spot as well. If you keep moving the book toward you, the earth will reappear. Eventually, of course, your nose will touch the rabbit and you will commit an unnatural act.” ( :114)

“In other words, brains believe, but they don’t believe. make When people see giant floating heads, it is because giant heads” ( :117)

“ut in a reclusive 1 7 81 German professor named Immanuel Kant broke loose, knocked over the screen in the corner of the room, and exposed the brain as a humbug of the highest order. Kant’s new theory of idealism claimed that our perceptions are not the result of a physiological process by which our eyes somehow transmit an image of the world into our brains, but rather, they are the result of a psycho­ logical process that combines what our eyes see with what we already think, feel, know, want, and believe, and then uses this combination of sensory information and preexisting knowledge to construct our perception of reality.” ( :117)

“Kant argued that a person’s perception of a floating head is con­ from the person’s knowledge of floating heads, memory structured of floating heads, belief in floating heads, need for floating heads, and sometimes-but not always-from the actual presence of a floating head itself. Perceptions are portraits, not photographs, and their form reveals the artist’s hand every bit as much as it reflects the things portrayed.” ( :117)

“Of course, with increasing maturity, children shift from realism to idealism, coming to realize that perceptions are merely points of view, that what they see is not necessarily what there is, and that two peo­ple may thus have different perceptions of or beliefs about the same thing. Piaget concluded that “the child is a realist in its thought” and that “its progress consists in ridding itself of this initial realism.” 19 In other words, like philosophers, ordinary people start out as realists but get over it soon enough.” ( :118)

“Volunteers saw set after set, and each time the experimenter pointed out the special one. How many sets did volunteers have to see before they deduced the distinctive feature of the special trigram? For half the volunteers, the special trigram was distinguished by the fact that it and only it contained the letter T, and these volunteers needed to see about thirty-four sets of trigrams before they figured out that the presence of is what made a trigram special. For the other T half of the volunteers, the special trigram was always distin­guished by the fact that it and only it the letter The lacked results were astounding. No matter how many sets of trigrams they saw, none of the volunteers figured this out.4 It was ever easy to notice the presence of a letter but, like the barking of a dog, it was impossible to notice its absence.” ( :131)

“you name it-they compute a mathematical index that takes into account (how many people co-occurrences who have high cholesterol have heart attacks?) and do do non­ (how many people who have high cholesterol co-occurrences do have heart attacks, and how many people who do not do not have high cholesterol have heart attacks?) and do co-absences (how many people who have high cholesterol have don’t don’t heart attacks?). All of these quantities are necessary to assess accurately the likelihood that the two things have a real causal relationship.” ( :132)

“Bacon illustrated his point with a story (which, it turns out, he borrowed from Cicero, who told it seventeen centuries earlier)” ( :133)

“borrowed from Cicero, who told it seventeen centuries earlier) about a visitor to a Roman temple. To impress the visitor with the power of the gods, the Roman showed him a portrait of several pious sailors whose faith had presumably allowed them to survive a recent shipwreck. When pressed to accept this as evi­dence of a miracle, the visitor astutely inquired, “But where are the pictures of those who perished after taking their vows?”7 Scientific research suggests that ordinary folks like us rarely ask to see pictures of the missing sailors. 8” ( :133)

“Why would people both select reject Extremia? Because when we are selecting, we and consider the positive attributes of our alternatives, and when we are rejecting, we consider the negative attributes.” ( :134)

“To illustrate this point, I often ask people to tell me how they think they would feel two years after the sudden death of their eldest child. As you can probably guess, this makes me quite popular at parties.” ( :135)

“I have yet to hear a single person tell me that in addition to these heartbreaking, morbid images, they also imagined that would inevitably hap­ the other things pen in the two years following the death of their child. Indeed, not one person has ever mentioned attending another child’s school play, or making love with his spouse, or eating a taffy apple on a warm summer evening, or reading a book, or writing a book, or riding a bicycle, or any of the many other activities that we-and that they would expect to happen in those two years.” ( :135)

“For example, most Americans can be classified as one of two types: those who live in California and are happy they do, and those who don’t live in Califor­nia but believe they’d be happy if they did.” ( :137)

“Seeing in time is like seeing in space. But there is one impor­tant difference between spatial and temporal horizons. When we perceive a distant buffalo, our brains are aware of the fact that the buffalo looks smooth, vague, and lacking in detail it because is far away, and they do not mistakenly conclude that the buf­falo itself is smooth and vague. But when we remember or imagine a temporally distant event, our brains seem to overlook the fact that details vanish with temporal distance, and they conclude instead that the distant events actually as smooth and are vague as we are imagining and remembering them.” ( :139)

“Babysitting next month is “an act of love,” whereas babysitting right now is “an act of lunch,” and expressing affection is spiritually rewarding in a way that buying French fries simply isn’t. 21″ ( :140)

“For example, most people would rather receive $ in a year 2o than $ in days because a one-day delay that takes place r9 3 64 in the looks (from here) to be a minor inconvenience. far future On the other hand, most people would rather receive $ today r9 than $ tomorrow because a one-day delay that takes place in 2o the looks (from here) to be an unbearable torment.26 near future” ( :141)

 

PART IV
Presentism

 

“Even Wilbur Wright, who proved Kelvin and Newcomb wrong, admitted that in he had said to his brother that 1901 “man would not fly for fifty years.”3 He was off by forty-eight. The number of respected scientists and accomplished inventors who declared the airplane an impossibility is exceeded only by the number who said the same thing about space travel, tele­ vision sets, microwave ovens, nuclear power, heart transplants, and female senators.” ( :147)

“their own pasts by recalling that they once thought, did, and I said what they now think, do, and say.” ( :149)

“What is true of sated stomachs is also true of sated minds. In one study, researchers challenged some volunteers to answer five geography questions and told them that after they had taken their best guesses they would receive one of two rewards: Either they would learn the correct answers to the questions they had been asked and thus find out whether they had gotten them right or wrong, or they would receive a candy bar but never learn the answers.•s Some volunteers chose their reward they took before the geography quiz, and some volunteers chose their reward only they took the quiz. As you might expect, people preferred after the candy bar before taking the quiz, but they preferred the answers after taking the quiz. In other words, taking the quiz made people so curious that they valued the answers more than a scrumptious candy bar. But do people know this will happen? When a new group of volunteers was asked to which predict reward they would choose before and after taking the quiz, these volunteers predicted that they would choose the candy bar in both cases. These volunteers-who had not actually experienced the intense curiosity that taking the quiz produced-simply couldn’t imagine that they would ever forsake a Snickers for a few dull facts about cities and rivers.” ( :151)

“Probably something not so good. Just as you generate a mental image of a penguin and then visually inspect it in order to answer questions about its flippers, so do you generate a men­tal image of an infidelity and then emotionally react to it in order to answer questions about your future feelings. The areas of rs your brain that respond emotionally to real events respond emotionally to imaginary events as well, which is why your pupils probably dilated and your blood pressure probably rose when I asked you to imagine this particular instance of special deliv­ery.r9” ( :155)

“The policy that makes it difficult to imagine penguins when we are looking at ostriches also makes it difficult to imagine lust when we are feeling dis­ gust, affection when we are feeling anger, or hunger when we are feeling full.” ( :158)

“The emotional experience that results from a flow of information that originates in the world is called the emotional experience that results from a flow feeling; of information that originates in memory is called prefeeling;” ( :159)

“and you’ll know exactly what I mean. When we have an experience-hearing a particular sonata, making love with a particular person, watching the sunset from a particular win­ occasions, dow of a particular room-on successive we quickly begin to adapt to it, and the experience yields less pleasure each time. Psychologists call this economists call it habituation, and the rest of us call it marriage. declining marginal utility,” ( :167)

“though it were happening in the present and only consid­ered the fact that the event would take place in the future, when maturity will have taken its inevitable toll on his eyesight and his libido.” ( :172)

“correct their judgments, and as such, their ending point was quite close to their starting point. Because we naturally use our present feelings as a starting point when we attempt to predict our future feelings, we expect our future to feel a bit more like our present than it actually will.•6” ( :174)

“prefer to have a job at which they earned $ the first year, 3o,ooo $ the second year, and 4o,ooo $ the third year, or a job at so,ooo which they earned $ then then they 6o,ooo $ s o,ooo $4o, ooo, generally prefer the job with the increasing wages, despite the fact that they would earn less money over the course of the three years.17” ( :175)

“For instance, most of us would be willing to drive across town to save $ on the purchase of a so $ radio roo but not on the purchase of a $ automobile because roo,ooo $ o s seems like a fortune when we’re buying radios (“Wow, Target has the same radio for half off!”)” ( :175)

“They think in relative dol­ lars, and fifty is or isn’t a lot of dollars depending on what it is relative to (which is why people who don’t worry about whether 5 their mutual-fund manager is keeping or percent of their o. o.6 investment will nonetheless spend hours scouring the Sunday paper for a coupon that gives them percent off a tube of 40 toothpaste).” ( :176)

“( ” Would you come to our Save the Bears meeting next Friday and then join us Saturday for a protest march at the zoo?”) before asking them to pay a smaller cost (“Okay then, could you at least contribute five dollars to our organization?”). Studies show that people are much more likely to agree to pay the small cost after having first contemplated the large one, in part because doing so makes the small cost seems so . . . er, bearable. 21″ ( :176)

“We both know the answer to that: I’d make the easy one. When I encounter a $ cup of coffee, it’s all too easy for me 2.89 to recall what I paid for coffee the day before and not so easy for me to imagine all the other things I might buy with my money.22 Because it is so much easier for me to than to remember the past I will tend to compare the present generate new possibilities, with the past even when I to be comparing it with the pos­ ought possible. And that is indeed what I to be doing because it ought really doesn’t what coffee cost the day before, the week matter before, or at any time during the Hoover administration.” ( :177)

“The same tendency leads us to treat commodities that have a “memorable past” differently from those that don’t. For example, imagine that you have a $2o bill and a $2o concert ticket in your wallet, but when you arrive at the concert you realize that you’ve lost the ticket en route. Would you buy a new one? Most people say no.24 Now imagine that instead of a $20 bill and a $2o ticket, you have two $20 bills in your wallet, and when you arrive at the concert you realize that you’ve lost one of the bills en route. Would you buy a concert ticket? Most people say yes. It doesn’t take a logician to see that the two examples are identical in all the ways that matter: In both cases you’ve lost a piece of paper that was valued at $2o (a ticket or a bill), and in both cases you must now decide whether to spend the money that remains in your wallet on a concert.” ( :178)

“they would prescribe the medication for a patient with osteoarthritis.27 The physicians clearly considered the medication worthwhile, because only percent chose not 28 to prescribe it. But when another group of physicians was asked whether they would prescribe Medication X or an equally effec­tive Medication Y for a patient with the same disease, per­ 48 cent chose to prescribe nothing. Apparently, adding another equally effective medication to the list of possibilities made it difficult for the physicians to decide between the two medica­tions, thus leading many of them to recommend neither.” ( :180)

“fifteen minutes. I stop at the mall on the way to the picnic, park the car, dash in, and expect to reemerge a few minutes later with a nifty little digital camera in my pocket. But when I get to Wacky Bob’s Giant Mega Super Really Big World of Cameras, I am confronted by a bewildering panoply of nifty little digital cameras that differ on many attributes. Some of these are attributes that I would have considered even if there had been only one camera in the display case (“This is light enough to fit in my shirt pocket so I can take it anywhere”), and some are attributes I would never have thought about had the differences between cameras not been called to my attention (“The Olympus has flash output compensation, but the Nikon doesn’t. By the way, what flash output compensation?”). is” ( :180)

“dic­tionary ? In one study, people were given the opportunity to bid on a dictionary that was in perfect condition and that listed ten thousand words, and on average they bid $24Y Other people were given the opportunity to bid on a dictionary with a torn cover that listed twenty thousand words, and on average they bid $2o. But when a third group of people was allowed to compare the two dictionaries side by side, they bid $19 for the small intact dictionary and $2 7 for the large torn dictionary. Apparently, people care about the condition of a dictionary’s cover, but they care about the number of words it contains only when that attribute is brought to their attention by side-by-side comparison.” ( :181)

“The facts are these: value is determined by the compari­ (a) son of one thing with another; there is more than one kind of (b) comparison we can make in any given instance; and (c) we may value something more highly when we make one kind of com­ parison than when we make a different kind of comparison.” ( :181)

“Why would we disagree about the Atlantic. fair value of my car? Because you would be thinking about the transaction as a potential gain (“Compared with how I feel now, how happy will I be if I get this car?”) and I would be thinking about it as a potential loss (“Compared with how I feel now, how happy will I be if I lose this car?”).” ( :184)

“Thomas Jefferson for keeping slaves or Sigmund Freud for patronizing women is a bit like arresting someone today for hav­ ing driven without a seat belt in 1923” ( :185)

 

PART V
Rationalization

 

“The loss of a parent or spouse is usually sad and often tragic, and it would be per­ verse to suggest otherwise. But the fact is that while most bereaved people are quite sad for a while, very few become chronically depressed and most experience relatively low levels of relatively short-lived distress.2” ( :189)

“Indeed, studies of those who survive major traumas suggest that the vast majority do quite well, and that a signifi­cant portion claim that their lives were by the experi­anced once. I know, I know. It sounds suspiciously like the title of a country song, but the fact is that most folks do pretty darn good when things go pretty darn bad.” ( :190)

“Why do most of us find it difficult to believe that could ever consider a lifetime behind bars to be “a glori­ we ous experience”6 or come to see paralysis as “a unique opportu­nity” that gave “a new direction”? to our lives? Why do most of us shake our heads in disbelief when an athlete who has been through several grueling years of chemotherapy tells us that “I wouldn’t change anything,”8 or when a musician who has become permanently disabled says, “If I had it to do all over again, I would want it to happen the same way, “9 or when quad­riplegics and paraplegics tell us that they are pretty much as happy as everyone else?10 The claims made by people who have experienced events such as these seem frankly outlandish to those of us who are merely imagining those events-and yet, who are we to argue with the folks who’ve actually been there?” ( :190)

“When people are asked to predict how they’ll feel if they lose a job or a romantic partner, if their candidate loses an important election or their team loses an important game, if they flub an interview, flunk an exam, or fail a contest, they consis­tently overestimate how awful they’ll feel and how long they’ll feel awful. 12” ( :190)

“The answer is that the human mind tends to if that phrase seems ambiguous to exploit ambiguity-and you, then just keep reading and let me exploit it.” ( :191)

“in the world, people respond to stimuli as presented they are in the mind. Objective stimuli in the world represented create subjective stimuli in the mind, and it is these subjective stimuli to which people react. For instance, the middle letters in the two words in figure 17 are physically identical stimuli (I promise-! cut and pasted them myself), and yet, most English speakers respond to them differently-see them differently, pro­nounce them differently, remember them differently-because one represents the letter and the other represents the letter H A. Indeed, it would be more appropriate to say that one the letter is and the other the letter because the identity of an inky H is A squiggle has less to do with how it is objectively constructed and more to do with Two vertical how we subjectively interpret it. E lines with a crossbar one thing when flanked by and mean T and they another thing when flanked by and T, and one mean C of the many things that distinguishes us from rats and pigeons is that we respond to the of such stimuli and not to the meanings stimuli themselves. That’s why my father can get away with call­ ing me “doodlebug” and you can’t.” ( :193)

“Research shows that context, and are especially important in this regard. frequency, recency” ( :193)

“”He put a check in the box” causes you to generate a mental image of someone 1 1 7″ ( :194)

“placing a piece of paper in a receptacle and not a mental image of someone making a mark on a questionnaire. (I’m also willing to guess that your interpretation of the title of this section depends on whether you annoyed someone more or less recently than someone annoyed you.)” ( :195)

“In other words, when your brain is at liberty to interpret a stimulus in more than one way, it tends to interpret it the way it to, wants which is to say that your preferences influence your interpreta­tions of stimuli in just the same way that context, frequency, and recency do.” ( :196)

“But if we were preparing to one eat of them, our brains would automatically exploit the ambiguity of that food’s identity and allow us to think of it in a way that pleased us (delicious dessert or nutritious veggie) rather than a way that did not (fattening dessert or bitter veggie).” ( :198)

“A toaster, a firm, a university, a horse, and a senator are all just fine and dandy, but when they become toaster, firm, university, horse, and senator they are our instantly finer and dandier.” ( :198)

“We may see the world through rose-colored glasses, but rose­ colored glasses are neither opaque nor clear. They can’t be opaque because we need to see the world clearly enough to par­ticipate in it-to pilot helicopters, harvest corn, diaper babies, and all the other stuff that smart mammals need to do in order to survive and thrive. But they can’t be clear because we need their rosy tint to motivate us to the helicopters (“I’m sure design this thing will fly”), the corn (“This year will be a banner plant crop”), and the babies (“What a bundle of joy!”). tolerate” ( :200)

“psych o logical immune that defends the mind against unhappiness in much the system same way that the defends the body physical immune system against illness.27” ( :200)

“the immune system must not psychological defend us too well (“I’m perfect and everyone is against me”) and must not fail to defend us well enough (“I’m a loser and I ought to be dead”).” ( :201)

“That’s why people seek opportunities to think about them­ selves in positive ways but routinely reject opportunities to think about themselves in positive ways.28 unrealistically” ( :201)

“observations , and ever since the trumped the and became the empiricists dogmatists kings of ancient Greek medicine, westerners have had a special” ( :202)

“techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing facts, and different techniques often lead to different conclusions, which is why scientists disagree about the dangers of global warming, the benefits of supply-side economics, and the wisdom of low-carbohydrate diets.” ( :202)

“A question such as “Am I the best lover you’ve ever had?” is dangerous because it has only one answer that can make us truly happy, but a question such as “What do you like best about my lovemaking?” is brilliant because it has only one answer that can make us truly miserable (or two if you count “It reminds me of Wilt Chamberlain”).” ( :205)

“The brain and the eye may have a con­tractual relationship in which the brain has agreed to believe what the eye sees, but in return the eye has agreed to look for what the brain wants.” ( :206)

“Although the word seems to suggest a sort of fact unquestionable irrefutability, facts are actually nothing more than conjectures that have met a certain standard of proof. If we set that standard high enough, then nothing can ever be proved, including the “fact” of our own existence. If we set the standard low enough, then all things are true and equally so. Because nihilism and postmodernism are both such unsatisfying philoso­phies, we tend to set our standard of proof somewhere in the middle.” ( :207)

“Volunteers in one study were asked to evaluate the intelli­gence of another person, and they required considerable evi­dence before they were willing to conclude that the person was truly smart. But interestingly, they required much evidence more when the person was an unbearable pain in the ass than when the person was funny, kind, and friendly.49 When we to want believe that someone is smart, then a single letter of recommendation may suffice; but when we to believe that per­ don’t want son is smart, we may demand a thick manila folder full of transcripts, tests, and testimony.” ( :209)

“In July 2004, the City Council of Monza, Italy, took the unusual step of banning goldfish bowls. They reasoned that goldfish should be kept in rectangular aquariums and not in round bowls because “a fish kept in a bowl has a distorted view of reality and suffers because of this.”” ( :210)

“that Clever Hans was much more likely to give the wrong answer when Osten was standing in back of the horse than in front of it, or when Osten himself did not know the answer to the question the horse had been asked. In a series of experiments, Clever Pfungst was able to show that Clever Hans could indeed read-but that what he could read was Osten’s body language.” ( :213)

“Volunteers walk slowly.4 When the word is flashed, volun­teers perform poorly on tests. When these volunteers are later asked to explain they judged, walked, or scored the way why they did, two things happen: First, they don’t know, and second, they do not say, “I don’t know.” Instead, their brains quickly consider the facts of which they aware (“I walked slowly”) are and draw the same kinds of plausible but mistaken inferences probably about themselves that an observer would draw about them (“I’m tired”).6″ ( :214)

“For positive views to be credible, they must be based on facts that we have believe come upon honestly. We accomplish this by unconsciously cook­ ing the facts and then consciously consuming them. The diner is in the dining room, but the chef is in the basement. The benefit of all this unconscious cookery is that it works; but the cost is that it makes us strangers to ourselves. Let me show you how.” ( :215)

“You’d probably feel bad. Truly bad. Humili­ated, hurt, and confused. You’d probably hurry offstage with a warm feeling in your ears, a tight feeling in your throat, and a wet feeling in your eyes. Being rejected by a large and diverse group of people is a demoralizing experience” ( :217)

“Now, all this may seem painfully obvious to you as you con­ template the results of this study from the comfort of your sofa, but allow me to suggest that it is painfully obvious only after someone has taken pains to point it out to you. Indeed, if it were really painfully obvious, then why were a bunch of smart volun­teers unable to predict that it would happen just a few minutes before it did?” ( :218)

“Regret is an emotion we feel when we blame ourselves for unfortunate outcomes that might have been prevented had we only behaved differently in the past,” ( :219)

“nine out of ten people expect to feel more regret when they foolishly switch stocks than when they foolishly fail to switch stocks, because most people think they will regret foolish actions more than foolish inactions.r9 But studies also show that nine out of ten people are wrong. Indeed, in the long run, people of every age and in every walk of life seem to regret having not done things much more than they regret things they did,” ( :220)

“Ironically, the volunteer who was the of the negative feedback liked the psychologist victim than did the volunteer who was merely a to it. more bystander Why? Because bystanders were miffed (“Man, that was a really crummy thing to do to the other volunteer”), but they were not devastated, hence their psychological immune systems did noth­ ing to ameliorate their mildly negative feelings. But victims were devastated (“Yikes, I’m a certified loser!”), hence their brains quickly went shopping for a positive view of the experience (“But now that I think of it, that test could only provide a small glimpse into my very complex personality, so I rather doubt it means much”). Now here’s the important finding: When a new group of volunteers was asked to how much they would predict like the psychologist, they predicted that they would like the psychologist if they were victims than if they were less” ( :223)

“bystanders . Apparently, people are not aware of the fact that their defenses are more likely to be triggered by intense than mild suffering, thus they mispredict their own emotional reac­tions to misfortunes of different sizes.” ( :224)

“el s ” ) . And indeed, studies show that the mere act of explaining an unpleasant event can help to defang it. For exam­ple, simply writing about a trauma-such as the death of a loved one or a physical assault–can lead to surprising improvements in both subjective well-being and physical health (e.g., fewer visits to the physician and improved production of viral anti­ bodies)Y What’s more, the people who experience the greatest benefit from these writing exercises are those whose writing con­tains an of the trauma.H explanation” ( :228)

“fitting their narratives with mysterious endings, and research shows that people are, in fact, more likely to keep thinking about a movie when they can’t explain what happened to the main character. And if they the movie, this morsel of mys­ liked tery causes them to remain happy longer.38” ( :231)

“ts of kindness.” But one card also con­tained two extra phrases-“Who are we?” and “Why do we do this?” These empty phrases didn’t really provide any new infor­mation, of course, but they made students as though the feel curious event had been explained (“Aha, I understand why now they gave me a dollar!”). About five minutes later, a differ­ ent researcher approached the student and claimed to be doing a class project on “community thoughts and feelings.” The researcher asked the student to complete some survey questions, one of which was “How positive or negative are you feeling right now?” The results showed that those students who had received a card with the pseudo-explanatory phrases felt less happy than those who had received a card without them. Appar­ently, even a fake explanation can cause us to tuck an event away and move along to the next one.” ( :231)

“hen a new group of students was asked which of the two cards shown in figure 20 would make them happier, 7 5 percent chose the one with the meaningless explanation.” ( :231)

 

PART VI
Corrigibility

 

“Grown-ups do not poop in their pants, but if you do, then don’t worry too much about it. My granddaughter seems to find this message both reassuring and inspirational. She understands that there is a right way and a wrong way to poop, and that while we don’t expect her to poop the right way just yet, we do want her to notice that most of the people around her have learned to poop the right way, which suggests that with a little practice and a little coaching, she can learn to poop the right way too.” ( :238)

“pooping, cooking, investing, bobsledding­ that mastery is always a product of direct experience and/or of listening to those who have had direct experience.” ( :239)

“In fact, infrequent or experiences are often unusual among the most memorable, which is why most Americans know precisely where they were on the morning of Septem­ 10.4 II, 2001, ber but not on the morning of September” ( :242)

“discomfort in the next thirty sec­onds if they kept their hand in the water (as they did on the long trial) than if they removed it (as they did on the short trial). On the other hand (sorry), when volunteers were later asked to remember their experience and say which trial had been more painful, they tended to say that the short trial had been more painful than the long one. Although the long trial required the volunteers to endure 50 percent more seconds of immersion in ice water, it had a slightly warmer finish and hence was remembered as the less painful of the two experiences.” ( :247)

“First, on the day after the election, pro-Gore voters expected to be devastated and pro-Bush voters expected to be elated if George Bush was ultimately declared the winner. Second, when George Bush was ultimately declared the winner, pro-Gore voters were less devastated and pro-Bush voters were less elated than they had expected to be (a tendency you’ve seen before in other chapters). But third and most important, a few months after the election was decided, both groups of voters remembered feeling as they had expected to feel, and not as they had actually felt.” ( :254)

“Why? Because a gene that made orgasms feel good would tend to be transmitted from generation to generation simply because people who enjoy orgasms are inclined to do the thing that transmits their genes.” ( :260)

“between wealth and happiness, and they have generally concluded that wealth increases human happiness when it lifts people out of abject poverty and into the middle class but that it does little to increase happiness thereafter.9” ( :262)

“group of men in dark suits, the belief-transmission game teaches us that the propagation of false beliefs does not require that anyone be trying to perpetrate a magnificent fraud on an innocent populace. There is no cabal at the top, no star chamber, no master manipulator whose clever program of indoctrination and propaganda has duped us all into believing that money can buy us love. Rather, this particular false belief is a super-replicator because holding it causes us to engage in the very activities that perpetuate it.16” ( :265)

“This trio of studies suggests that when people are deprived of the information that imagination requires and are thus forced to use others as surrogates, they make remarkably accurate predictions about their future feelings, which suggests that the best way to predict our feelings tomorrow is to see how others are feeling today.25” ( :274)

“feelings based on (a) information about the prize, the food, and the certificate; or (b) information about how a randomly selected individual felt after winning them, eating them, or losing them, virtually every volunteer chose the former.” ( :274)

“We don’t always see our­ selves as superior, but we almost always see ourselves as unique.” ( :275)

“The second reason is that we enjoy thinking of ourselves as special. Most of us want to fit in well with our peers, but we don’t want to fit in too well.39 We prize our unique identities, and research shows that when people are made to feel too simi­ lar to others, their moods quickly sour and they try to distance and distinguish themselves in a variety of ways.4°” ( :277)

 

AFTERWORD

 

“Bernoulli’s brilliance lay not in his mathematics but in his psychology-in his realization that what we objec­ tively get (wealth) is not the same as what we subjectively experience when we get it (utility).” ( :283)

“We don’t care about money or promotions or beach vaca­tions per se; we care about the goodness or pleasure that these forms of wealth may (or may not) induce.” ( :283)


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