Laughing For Life

Dan Gilbert asks 'Why are we happy?'

Harvard Psychologist, Dan Gilbert believes our relentless, lifelong pursuit of happiness is often fruitless because most of us have the wrong map. In the same way that optical illusions fool our eyes - Gilbert argues that our brains systematically misjudge what will make us happy. And these quirks in cognition make humans very poor predictors of their own bliss.

The premise of his current research, that our assumptions about what will make us happy are often wrong, is supported with clinical research drawn from psychology and neuroscience. But his delivery is what makes his presentation of these ideas accessible, interesting and often hilarious. His style pokes fun at typical human behaviour and invokes pop-culture references everyone can relate to. This winning formula translates into Gilbert's writing, which is has been described as lucid, approachable and laugh-out-loud funny. The very readable Stumbling on Happiness, published in 2006, became a New York Times bestseller and has since been translated into 20 languages makes a valuable contribution to the ‘science of happiness’.

Judge for yourself the relevance of his observations and arguments....