- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 26 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 27, 2006
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000FII1JO
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Stumbling on Happiness Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
The focus of this book is to assess our ability to predict the future, and specifically whether or not this will make a person happy.
One aspect of this book I enjoyed is that it thoroughly considered time in its consideration of happiness. For example, the book would consider a situation and show how a person expected to feel in the present, BEFORE undertaking a certain action (say eating an ice-cream cone). It would then ask a person how the felt DURING the undertaking of a certain action. Then several weeks later would ask how the person REMEMBERED that certain action. The book does a very good job showing inconsistencies between how we predict how we will feel, how we feel at the time of a stimulus, and how we remember feeling the stimulus.
In the beginning in particular, the studies are described very vividly and are differentiated well. The message of the book is clear.
By the middle of the book, the reader is somewhat inundated with studies. And many of these studies are slight variants on the same idea that don't really elucidate the problem of imagination, or predicting happiness any better.
By the middle and the end, one realizes that it focuses on things like ice-cream cones and potato chips as source of pleasure-able feelings and doesn't offer a comprehensive model on happiness.
This book is not really geared about happiness so much as it is about recognizing many of the inconsistencies in human choice (mostly on more mundane things).
In its final chapter, the author really has VERY little to say on how to solve our inability to predict how the future will make us feel. He spends about a few pages recommending that we ask others who are experiencing the things currently that we would like to undertake.
(i.e. ask a practicing lawyer how much happiness they feel practicing law...).
In all the book is worth reading, but is by no means spectacular. The value in the book is in some of the ways that the author contrasts the past, present, future, human imagination and memory, and ties it all together to show where our blindspots are.
In all I'd give it about 3.5 stars...
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