Blog: My Unusual Road of Life....
by kerminator

Most People Don’t Really Want to Be Happy

People are more likely to choose satisfaction—the long-term feeling that comes with achieving your goals.

Date:   5/3/2021 5:26:25 PM   ( 53 d ) ... viewed 77 times


Psychologist Says Most People Don’t Really Want to Be Happy
People are more likely to choose satisfaction—the long-term feeling that comes with achieving your goals.
Quartz

Ephrat Livni

Read when you’ve got time to spare.
people gathered in a bar lighting sparklers and drinking

Many of us are going about this life business all wrong. Photo by Reuters/Marko Djurica

We think we want to be happy. Yet many of us are actually working toward some other end, according to cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics.

Kahneman contends that happiness and satisfaction are distinct. Happiness is a momentary experience that arises spontaneously and is fleeting. Meanwhile, satisfaction is a long-term feeling, built over time and based on achieving goals and building the kind of life you admire. On the Dec. 19, 2018 podcast “Conversations with Tyler,” hosted by economist Tyler Cowen, Kahneman explains that working toward one goal may undermine our ability to experience the other.

For example, in Kahneman’s research measuring everyday happiness—the experiences that leave people feeling good—he found that spending time with friends was highly effective. Yet those focused on long-term goals that yield satisfaction don’t necessarily prioritize socializing, as they’re busy with the bigger picture.

Such choices led Kahneman to conclude that we’re not as interested in happiness as we may claim. “Altogether, I don’t think that people maximize happiness in that sense…this doesn’t seem to be what people want to do. They actually want to maximize their satisfaction with themselves and with their lives. And that leads in completely different directions than the maximization of happiness,” he says.

In an October 2018 interview with Ha’aretz (paywall), Kahneman argues that satisfaction is based mostly on comparisons. “Life satisfaction is connected to a large degree to social yardsticks–achieving goals, meeting expectations.” He notes that money has a significant influence on life satisfaction, whereas happiness is affected by money only when funds are lacking. Poverty creates suffering, but above a certain level of income that satisfies our basic needs, wealth doesn’t increase happiness. “The graph is surprisingly flat,” the psychologist says.

In other words, if you aren’t hungry, and if clothing, shelter, and your other basics are covered, you’re capable of being at least as happy as the world’s wealthiest people. The fleeting feelings of happiness, though, don’t add up to life satisfaction. Looking back, a person who has had many happy moments may not feel pleased on the whole.

The key here is memory. Satisfaction is retrospective. Happiness occurs in real time. In Kahneman’s work, he found that people tell themselves a story about their lives, which may or may not add up to a pleasing tale. Yet, our day-to-day experiences yield positive feelings that may not advance that longer story, necessarily. Memory is enduring. Feelings pass. Many of our happiest moments aren’t preserved—they’re not all caught on camera but just happen. And then they’re gone.

Take going on vacation, for example. According to the psychologist, a person who knows they can go on a trip and have a good time but that their memories will be erased, and that they can’t take any photos, might choose not to go after all. The reason for this is that we do things in anticipation of creating satisfying memories to reflect on later. We’re somewhat less interested in actually having a good time.

This theory helps to explain our current social media-driven culture. To some extent, we care less about enjoying ourselves than presenting the appearance of an enviable existence. We’re preoccupied with quantifying friends and followers rather than spending time with people we like. And ultimately, this makes us miserable.

We feel happiness primarily in the company of others, Kahneman argues. However, the positive psychology movement that has arisen in part as a result of his work doesn’t emphasize spontaneity and relationships. Instead, it takes a longer view, considering what makes life meaningful, which is a concept that Kahneman claims eludes him.

Kahneman counts himself lucky and “fairly happy.” He says he’s led “an interesting life” because he’s spent much of his time working with people whose company he enjoyed. But he notes that there have been periods when he worked alone on writing that were “terrible,” when he felt “miserable.” He also says he doesn’t consider his existence meaningful, despite his notable academic accomplishments.

Indeed, although his contributions legitimized the emotion as an economic and social force and led to the creation of happiness indices worldwide, the psychologist abandoned the field of happiness research about five years ago. He’s now researching and writing about the concept of “noise,” or random data that interferes with wise decision-making.

Still, it’s worth asking if we want to be happy, to experience positive feelings, or simply wish to construct narratives that seems worth telling ourselves and others, but doesn’t necessarily yield pleasure. Meet a friend and talk it over with them—you might have a good time.

Ephrat Livni is a writer and lawyer. She has worked around the world and now reports on government and the Supreme Court from Washington, DC.

Add This Entry To Your CureZone Favorites!

Print this page
Email this page
DISCLAIMER / WARNING   Alert Webmaster


CureZone Newsletter is distributed in partnership with https://www.netatlantic.com


Contact Us - Advertise - Stats

Copyright 1999 - 2021  curezone.com

0.078 sec, (2)

Back to blog!
 
Add Blog To Favorites!
 
Add This Entry To Favorites!

Comments (20 of 212):
Re: Organize Your … Ali k… 14 d
Re: Organize Your … Ali k… 14 d
Re: Castles in the… jaket… 15 d
Re: Castles in the… jaket… 15 d
Re: Choose well or… patsm… 24 d
Re: Choose well or… ampva… 24 d
Re: Fear? What is … thomp… 58 d
Re: How to know a … zjxer… 60 d
Re: Don't just wat… zjxer… 60 d
Re: Castles in the… zjxer… 60 d
Re: Choose well or… bobed… 76 d
Re: Choose well or… MrSam 79 d
How to choose the … grove… 86 d
Re: Appreciative I… jones… 3 mon
Re: Where we stand… kermi… 3 mon
Re: Organize Your … olive… 3 mon
Re: Where we stand… Chef-… 3 mon
Re: Black History … ren 4 mon
Re: The brazen fra… kermi… 4 mon
Re: The brazen fra… ren 4 mon
All Comments (212)

Blog Entries (12 of 1407):
Most People Don’t Really Wan…  53 d
Environment The Climate Sol…  53 d
Pedestrianism  53 d
What happened when? 1 of  54 d
You,shor'is Right Boss Buddy!"  55 d
Why eat? Only to find you ca…  55 d
Health_Without_Medicine  55 d
How to cleanse your body of …  55 d
The Problem With Public Hous…  59 d
More truth? - yet the elemen…  59 d
SAD but true!  59 d
Do you really want a healthy…  60 d
All Entries (1407)

Blogs by kerminator (6):
Uncommon Wisdom!!  6 mon  (306)
Absolute Truth Some Wisdom an…  44 d  (286)
Ya’ think??  6 d  (274)
Brain Boot Camp or Mindset Ma…  38 d  (220)
Southern Etiquette or life in…  71 d  (212)
Forgotten Words!  8 mon  (114)

Similar Blogs (10 of 185):
Topic Selection  by williemmiller  31 d
Cooperative Society…  by creditcooperative  32 d
Microfinance Softwa…  by creditcooperative  39 d
My Assignment Servi…  by Ethan565  43 d
Why Select Housing …  by creditcooperative  49 d
use of blockchain t…  by Neil Cummings  59 d
About Credit Cooper…  by creditcooperative  62 d
Essay Writing Help  by hadllon  85 d
Lowcostsmm YouTube  by nickLebovs  3 mon
Help for students  by MarilynFox  5 mon
All Blogs (1,019)

Back to blog!
 

Natural Cancer Remedies
Cancer-proof your body with little known immune boosters!



Kidney Cleanse
Hulda Clark Cleanses



Lugol’s Iodine Free S&H
J.Crow’s® Lugol’s Iodine Solution. Restore lost reserves.



Natural, Soothing, Progesterone Oil
Supplementation and Hormone Balancing Based on the...