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TEDTalk: 'Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished'

30 oktober 2016

Harvardpsycholoog Dan Gilbert deelt in zijn TEDTalk onderzoek over het fenomeen dat hij 'het einde van de geschiedenisillusie' noemt, het idee dat we denken dat we altijd dezelfde persoon zullen blijven. Mensen kunnen over het algemeen goed terugkijken op hoe ze vroeger waren, maar hebben moeite om te fantaseren over hoe ze zullen worden. Gilbert concludeert dat tijd een grote kracht is en het enige dat vaststaat is, dat niks hetzelfde blijft.

ted2014_bh__n6c8728_1920Dan Gilbert believes that, in our ardent, lifelong pursuit of happiness, most of us have the wrong map. In the same way that optical illusions fool our eyes -- and fool everyone's eyes in the same way -- Gilbert argues that our brains systematically misjudge what will make us happy. And these quirks in our cognition make humans very poor predictors of our 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 sets him apart. His engaging -- and often hilarious -- style pokes fun at typical human behavior and invokes pop-culture references everyone can relate to. This winning style translates also to Gilbert's writing, which is lucid, approachable and laugh-out-loud funny. The immensely readableStumbling on Happiness, published in 2006, became a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages.

In fact, the title of his book could be drawn from his own life. At 19, he was a high school dropout with dreams of writing science fiction. When a creative writing class at his community college was full, he enrolled in the only available course: psychology. He found his passion there, earned a doctorate in social psychology in 1985 at Princeton, and has since won a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Phi Beta Kappa teaching prize for his work at Harvard. He has written essays and articles for The New York Times, Timeand even Starbucks , while continuing his research into happiness at his Hedonic Psychology Labaratory.  

Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self



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