Following the schedule of our Reading Calendar
Well, well, well, we came to the last chapter of the book (Only the conclusions chapter left). I personally have to say that this book has taught me what mental depletion means. In a practical way.
The chapter begins bringing us hope. It begins with a chart about marriage happiness and, for a moment, I thought that we will be given behavioral based marital advice. But not, the chart is used only to illustrate theoretical points already presented in the book, basically that we substitute particular thoughts for a general evaluation when considering our general satisfaction with life. That married and non married people are similarly happy. It is simply that recently married people “think” that they are happier.
This is such an weird way of thinking that Kahneman himself begins to realize it and talks about a “hybrid approach”. What do you exactly mean by “someone thinks that he is happy but he is not”? I understand the mechanical definition of it but it still smells weird. Perceived satisfaction with life, which can be relative to our goals, character, biases, etc, is a very real reality in our minds.
From this point on, we talk about happiness. First we are told that is genetically based. That there are people happier than others in the same circumstances. We all new that.
Then we center in the focusing illusion and its part in the now well known limitations that we humans have in make predictions about our future emotional states. This is a real source of disappointment and incorrect planning in life and it should be taken into account very seriously. Avoiding or weakening the power of “miswanting” is something we should work at in our lives.
However to go to a guy with a colostomy who declares that he would do everything to get rid of it and try to convince him, using actual experience tests of his life, that he is not at all unhappy, is going to prove complicated.
And since this is the last chapter I will review: Mister Kanheman, how could you write such a BORING book with so many interesting things to say is something that future generations will study in humanities departments.