Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Audible Sample
Playing...
Loading...
Paused

Stumbling on Happiness Audible – Unabridged

4.0 out of 5 stars 532 customer reviews

See all 26 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Audible, Unabridged
"Please retry"
$0.00
Free with your Audible trial

Read & Listen

Switch between reading the Kindle book & listening on the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice.
Get the Audible audiobook for the reduced price of $6.49 after you buy the Kindle book.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Amazon special offer
Free with Audible trial
$0.00
Buy with 1-Click
$17.95

Sold and delivered by Audible, an Amazon company


Product Details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love a quote by Dr. Richard Feynman, the late Nobel Prize winning physicist: "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool". If you want to be happy, happy with your choices and the outcomes of your efforts you should buy and read this book to at least understand why you are pretty much hard-wired to break Dr. Feynman's first principle while you are trying to do so.

Until recently, when someone asked me "what do you want from life?" I would survey the myriad wishes and desires floating around in my mind and pull out some random musing to do with creating a family or making more money than I knew what to do with. I have certainly worked towards these things and had varying levels of success with love and career and material wealth. But I have always been baffled by why virtually nothing could make me happy in a lasting and predictable way. I am not baffled anymore, even though I am still unhappy in a lot of ways. "Stumbling on Happiness" has educated me to the ways that people exhibit self-delusion when looking forward to predict how happy some future experience will make them happy.

Gilbert is wickedly funny at times as he describes the mechanisms that lead us to distort our thinking; our projections about what will bring about our future selves happiness. This is the kind of information (why we're so deluded) I expected to get from the book. But he goes further and explains how we often don't even know how we feel in a particular moment and how we can have an *experience* of something, without it ever bubbling up into our conscious *awareness*. The onslaught of the information demonstrating the failures of human imagination in achieving contentment is a lot to take in...
Read more ›
4 Comments 307 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Here are some of the most important points of this book:

1) We often exaggerate in imagining the long- term emotional effects certain events will have on us.

2) Most of us tend to have a basic level of happiness which we revert to eventually.

3) People generally err in imagining what will make them happy.

4) People tend to find ways of rationalizing unhappy outcomes so as to make them more acceptable to themselves.

5) People tend to repeat the same errors in imagining what will make them happy.

6) Events and outcomes which we dread may when they come about turn into new opportunities for happiness.

7) Many of the most productive and creative people are those who are continually unhappy with the world- and thus strive to change it.

8) Happiness is rarely as good as we imagine it to be, and rarely lasts as long as we think it will. The same mistaken expectations apply to unhappiness.

Gilbert makes these points and others with much anecdotal evidence and humor.

A pretty happy read, but not as happy as you think it is going to be.
17 Comments 1,072 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like many, many books, this one is better at describing the problem than it is in proposing solutions. Gilbert contends that our powers of predicting what will make us happy in the future are seriously flawed, and then proposes a simple solution which he correctly predicts that no one will use.

His description of the reasons that our predictive powers are flawed is both fascinating and convincing. However, even in this part (which is the bulk of the book), he makes an unspoken (and apparently unrecognized) assumption: That is, he assumes that "real" happiness or unhappiness is defined by the emotional state that a person feels immediately after, or concurrently with, the event in question.

To use an example: a couple of other reviewers have already mentioned Gilbert's story of a victory in an important college football game. Students predict in advance that they will be ecstatic if their team wins, and a different study suggests that a few months after the fact they will contend that they WERE ecstatic. However, close monitoring of their feelings at the actual time of the victory, or shortly thereafter, suggests that they weren't as happy as they expected to be, or as they later recalled being. On a less trivial topic, he makes the same claim regarding the experience of having and raising children: It isn't as much fun as the parents expect it to be. And while the child-rearing was going on, it wasn't as happy an experience as they later remembered it to be. But Gilbert is ignoring a vital point here: The anticipation of happiness, and the recollection of happiness, ARE happiness! Gilbert writes the entire book with the unexamined assumption that happy anticipations and happy memories can be discarded as mere illusions - the fabrications of irrational minds.
Read more ›
22 Comments 503 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This book is entertaining, highly readable, and ultimately extremely frustrating. Gilbert summarizes scores of psychological and sociological studies on "happiness," and concludes that we humans are spectacularly bad at predicting what will make us happy. But the evidence he relies on seems, for the most part, one-dimensional and even trite, and his unquestioning reliance on this research makes his own theory of happiness seem shallow.

The biggest problem is his failure to address what he or the research subjects mean by "happiness." The same word is used throughout the book to refer to, say, the momentary pleasure one gets from a bite of ice cream, as well as to a more profound and lasting sense of contentment and meaning over time.

Although he acknowleges the definitional problem in the first chapter, he fails to conduct any systematic inquiry into what research subjects might mean when they say they are "happy" in response to a particular research question. It seems obvious subjects might apply a different definition of happiness when asked to predict their future happiness level than when asked to rate their mood at a particular moment in time. Gilbert's failure to consider this possibility -- or to explain how the research controls for it -- undermines the overall persuasiveness of his argument, and leads one to suspect many of his conclusions would be contradicted by more precisely tailored research (or a more rigorous analysis of the results).

For example, Gilbert says that while most prospective mothers predict that having children will enhance their happiness, the research shows that those predictions are wrong. He reaches this conclusion by relying on studies in which mothers were asked how they were feeling at particular moments throughout the day.
Read more ›
34 Comments 452 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews