Episode 2: The Unhappy Millionaire

Winning the lottery can ruin your life, while contracting an incurable disease can be "a gift". Dr Laurie Santos hears about dreams come true and nightmares realised, and talks with Dr Dan Gilbert about why human happiness isn't defined by these major events in the way we all assume.

 

Links to references from this episode:

“These were the words uttered by Billie Bob Harrell, Jr…”

McVicker, S. (2000). Billie Bob's (Mis) Fortune. Houston Press. February, 10, 2000.

“People were asked “how much money would you really need to be happy?”

Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The how of happiness: A scientific approach to getting the life you want. Penguin Press, p. 44.

“Kahmeman and Deaton found…”

Kahneman, D., & Deaton, A. (2010). High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 107(38), 16489-16493.

“This is Dan Gilbert. He wrote one of my very favorite books on human psychology.”

Dan Gilbert’s book.

“In one famous study, he asked young professors at the University of Texas to forecast how they’d feel when they got tenure.”

Gilbert, D. T., Pinel, E. C., Wilson, T. D., Blumberg, S. J., & Wheatley, T. P. (1998). Immune neglect: a source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(3), 617.

“Lovers predict they’ll take a long time to recover from a sad break-up but bounce back far quicker.”

Gilbert, D. T., Pinel, E. C., Wilson, T. D., Blumberg, S. J., & Wheatley, T. P. (1998). Immune neglect: a source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(3), 617.

“Student drivers believe they’ll be devastated if they fail to get their license…”

Ayton, P., Pott, A., & Elwakili, N. (2007). Affective forecasting: Why can't people predict their emotions?. Thinking & Reasoning, 13(1), 62-80.

“The same is true for job applicants who are passed over.”

Gilbert, D. T., Pinel, E. C., Wilson, T. D., Blumberg, S. J., & Wheatley, T. P. (1998). Immune neglect: a source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(3), 617.

“Even patients guessing how they’ll feel about a positive or negative HIV diagnosis.”

Sieff, E. M., Dawes, R. M. and Loewenstein, G. F. 1999. Anticipated versus actual reaction to HIV test results. American Journal of Psychology, 112: 297–311.

“This is a phenomenon psychologists call hedonic adaptation.”

Frederick, S., & Loewenstein, G. (1999). 16 Hedonic Adaptation. Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology, 302-329.

“Rafaella Gunz is telling me how she met the man of her dreams.”

Rafaella Gunz, R. (2016). Getting herpes was a gift. Ravishly.com, 4/21/16.

“Dan has observed we’re worse at predicting how we’ll feel after a bad event.”

See review in Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2013). The impact bias is alive and well. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 740–748. 

“Dan calls this capacity to overcome adversity our psychological immune system.”

Gilbert, D. T., Pinel, E. C., Wilson, T. D., Blumberg, S. J., & Wheatley, T. P. (1998). Immune neglect: a source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(3), 617.

“J.R. Martinez had just finished high school in a small town in the South.”

Martinez, J. R. (2012). Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit. Hyperion Books.



Episode 3: A Silver Lining

Episode 1: You Can Change

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