Recently, I heard an interview with Dan Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert is a professor of psychology at Harvard University and the author of the book Stumbling on Happiness. The book has been out for several years, but it's new to me. In it Gilbert discusses the perceived difference between HAPPINESS and SYNTHETIC HAPPINESS. In short, HAPPINESS is the way one feel when she gets what she wants, SYNTHETIC HAPPINESS is how one makes herself feel when she doesn't get what she wants. We tend to make big differences between the former and the latter - but the question remains: When is happy happy?
Here's his take:
*Oh, and listen for why our society tends to downplay SYNTHETIC HAPPINESS (hint: it has something to do with shopping)
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