Short works

Books : reviews

Daniel Gilbert.
Stumbling on Happiness.
Harper. 2006

What would make you happy? You might think you know, but you're probably wrong.

In Stumbling on Happiness, Professor Daniel Gilbert combines psychology, neuroscience, economics and philosophy with irrepressible wit to describe how the human brain imagines its future – and how well (or badly) it predicts what it will enjoy. Revealing some of the amazing secrets of human motivation, he also answers thought-provoking questions – why do dining companions order different meals instead of getting what they want? Why are shoppers happier when they can’t get refunds? And why are couples less satisfied after having children while insisting that their kids are a source of joy?