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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dan Gilbert on Happiness

Homework:
Using your google/gmail account, comment in 1-2 paragraphs your reactions to this video.  PLEASE POST YOUR FULL NAME - OR AT LEAST FIRST NAME AND LAST INITIAL -  SO I CAN GIVE CREDIT :)

In addition, you'll be reading John Gertner's "The Futile Pursuit of Happiness" in your coursepack - still available at Neco Printers!  Its a long article so give yourself time to read.  Remember, there might be a quiz on the reading!

54 comments:

  1. Jessica Batiz
    I really enjoyed this video clip. I learned alot from this video. Dan Gilber is a great speaker and really had me thingking about things we do differently. I liked the different examples he gave to prove his point and to make his audience more clear on what he was talking about. Before watching this video I never knew that there were two types of happiness. There is natural happines, which as Dan explained, is something that people stumble apon. Then there is synthetic happiness, which as Dan stated, is when we make what we want. These two happiness has alot to do with why people are happy and un happy. This video was a great experience for me.

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  2. Andrew Cymes,
    I thought this was a very fascinating video by Dan Gilbert. I love how he started @0025 Evolution from Caveman to our present day. We have come along way I feel. It's very true we do simulate a lot... Like he said @0157 Ben and Jerry's Ice cream - Liver and Onions, Lottery Vs. Paraplegic. We all simulate things differently in our minds. The Secrets of Happiness @0802 was interesting also I thought: Power, Wealth, Prestige, and then you lose it. Sometimes that does happen in life. We do have the freedom of choice as he says @1425 in the video. We ultimately have to make choices in our lives to make us happy. Sometimes we make good ones, and sometimes we make bad ones. Learning from the bad ones make us happier people. I thought this was a good educational video.

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  3. Danielle Baptiste

    Even though, the video was twenty one minutes long, I didnt get bored at any moment. I really enjoyed watching Dan speak about happiness. Its not a topic that is discussed often. I had a feeling that being happy was more than what meets the eye. I like how Dan goes in depth about happiness. For example, the brain has increased in size over many years and the brain has developed new structures such as the frontal lobe. Natural happiness is when a person gets what they wanted, or it can also be unexpected. Synethnic happiness is when a person did not get what they wanted and the person will pretend that, this is what they were aiming for in the beginning. This video is informative and I would recommand anyone to watch Dan speak.

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  4. I actually enjoyed this clip by Dan Gilbert. It was a really detailed video in which he explained how the human brain has tripled in mass due to the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is an experience simulator. Experience simulator is when humans have an experience in their head before actually experiencing it in real life. He also explained the two different types of happiness people have. Synthetic happiness, which is what we make when we don't get what we wanted. Natural happiness, is what we get when we get what we wanted. So, happiness can be synthesized, and the reason we synthesize happiness is because we think it can be found. Watching this video was an educational experience, for instance I did not know there were two kinds of happiness. I enjoyed watching this clip.

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  5. Gissell Tineo
    Dan Gilbert drew out very valid points when it came to happiness. While watching this film I learned that us human do mentally plan what we like and do not like by using our own "experience simulators". He explained that an experience stimulator is what you simulate in your mind to tell yourself whether or not you think that certain thing is good or bad.
    He also explained that there's two different types of happiness which are synthetic and natural happiness. Synthetic happiness is what you make yourself feel. Natural happiness is what you come across in time. Dan Gilbert believes that synthetic happiness is just as affective as natural happiness. It was surprising to see the data of how people react when giving the choice of changing something and how people react when not giving a choice. I found it interesting how people are much happier when they don't have the opportunity to decided what they want rather being able to decided. This film gave me a different outlook on how I see happiness and now I see it a little more clearer.

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  7. Hui Ling Mei
    I enjoyed this video clip on Dan Gilbert; from the first thing he said I learned something. The human brain triple in size and developed a new part, the frontal lobe. He also spoke about the data from his experiments “Free choice paradigm” experiment and I thought that was really interesting. The conscious subjects who ranked the prints and the subjects who had anterograde amnesia also ranked the prints. The data showed that both the groups liked the print they own better. Even though one group remembers the print and the other group did not. It really shows how synthetic happiness is real. And that is not the only type of happiness we feel or notice. I’m sure this happen to almost everyone without them knowing almost like the anterograde amnesia. Dan Gilbert really made explaining his experiment intriguing and humorous.

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  8. This video had a great impact on my way of thinking. I always knew that there were 2 types of happiness. I just didn't know how to put this in words. So, there are natural and synthetic happiness. In other words, you control your own happiness. You can make yourself miserable and spend all your energy on negative thoughts instead of investing your energy into something positive and create synthetic happiness , which as affective as natural happiness.You just have to find tools on how to do that.
    The story about how people can't make the decisions because they have a choice is definitely about me! I can drive myself crazy over and over about my decision and thoughts "what if?" Thanks to Dan Gilbert now I have a better understanding how to manage that!

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  9. Carl Gordon
    I really enjoyed watching this video. Ever since we were asked to define happiness, I thought I had a good idea on what it meant. It turned out I didnt have a clue. It was only after watching Dan Gilbert speak, things started to make sense. I always thought you had to find happiness by getting what you want done, and if it didnt turn out as you planned you just had to deal with it even if it made you feel sad. I didn't know that the body could create happiness just by accepting things for what they are. It made sense if a person had the freedom to choice to change their picture because it created doubt in their mind if they made the right decision. It makes the person overthink things and they create "What If" scenarios and start to feel bad. This is a great video!

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  10. Huo ying Lin
    This is my third time watching this video. I like the speech because it gives me a lesson, the difference between natural happiness and synthesized happiness. And I come out an idea, how happy a person will be really depends on how she or he defines the happiness. A strawberry can make a 3 years old child happy, but not a teenager or an adult. A dozen of bagels can make poor ones happy, but not billionaires. A shell can make homeless people happy, but not landowners. I deeply believe in the words Dan Gilbert says in this video, “When our ambition is bounded, it leads us to work joyfully. When our ambition is unbounded, it leads us to lie, to cheat, to steal, to hurt others, to sacrifice things of real value.” This quote is true. Every thing has a limitation, too much or too little will cause unpleased result. I can not say an ambition is a good or a bad thing without knowing the actual situation. And we all need ambition to make success in our life. For example, we are ambitious to have good grades and good life. These are normal and ethical ambitions. So, some people might think, “Oh, ambition is good, we should have ambitions.” But, every thing has two sides, including ambition. If someone’s ambition is to conquer the world and be the ruler of the world, which is absolutely wrong and unethical ambition. Therefore, if we want to be happy all the time, we must keep two things in mind, limitation of things and bounded ambition.

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  11. I was surprised when he measured how happy the people who won the lottery were and how happy the disabled were. I was wondering in what ways the paraplegics were as happy as the people who won the lottery. I was also questioning synthetic happiness and natural happiness and how much those two differed. I was interested in how people who have been in terrible situations made the best out of it and were happy to be happy even though they didn’t get what they wanted. Dan was also making a good point by explaining if we have the freedom to choose it is the enemy of synthetic happiness because we are trying to get what we want instead of letting it happen and still be happy. After this video, it made me think of my own life and experiences about the times I was happy.

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  12. Stephany Alvarado


    I love learning new things for my life. I knew that happiness had several ways to express. But, I really did not know that we counted with two specifically kinds of happiness until I saw the video. Synthetic happiness as Dan Gilbert says is what we do when we don't have what we want. On the other side natural happiness is what we have when we get what we wanted. Dan Gilbert also introduced how humans have a cognitive processing system to help us change our worldviews.
    With this video I learned that the psychological immune system works best when we are totally stuck or trapped. I also learned that when something is irreversible or have not changes we can find happiness faster but when something is reversible or have any changes we feel dissatisfied. "The reversible condition is not peculiar to the synthesis of happiness says Dan Gilbert". Finally, this video is really interesting and complete. I liked it.

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  13. I really enjoyed Dan Gilberts speech on true happiness. His speech was very well spoken and with supporting details to back up his facts about the two different happiness, natural and synthetic happiness. Even though the video was only twenty minute long I learned a lot from it. Now I better understand the difference between nature happiness and synthetic happiness. For example, when you want something in life thinking it will make you the happiest person in the world, it might be the complete opposite. I have also learned how the brain functions when you are giving a choice to keep or give something away and the great dramatic effect it can have on your happiness.

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  14. I thought that the video of Dan Gilbert was very interesting. It taught me many things i didn't know about happiness. What it had taught me about was the different types of happiness like synthetic happiness which is happiness people make up and natural happiness which is happiness people stumble over. Also in the video by Dan I learned that if something happened over three months ago we don't really care about it as much. Throughout the video he made very good points and used good examples to prove his points. I learned thing about happiness i would have never known unless i seen this video there were many surprises like how paraplegic people are happier then lotto winners. Those are some of the reasons why I thought the video of Dan was interesting and why I enjoyed it.

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  15. My first reaction about this class was "how are we going to explain happiness? can someone really be happy with there life weather they are rich or poor?" even with my questions i was doubting this class because I, myself can't actually explain what is happiness. But i enjoyed this clip by Dan Gilbert. It was a detailed video in how he explained the human brain has tripled in mass due to the frontal lobe. His speech was well spoken and with supporting details to back up his facts about the two different happiness, natural and synthetic happiness. I also learned that when something is irreversible or have changes we can find happiness faster but when something is reversible or have any changes we feel dissatisfied.
    We can choose to be happy or not and thats the freedom we have. The choice to choose what to feel and what to do. The freedom to make up your mind. Watching this video opened my mind on yes you can explain happiness, yes details are supported in finding out what is happiness. This film gave me a different outlook on how happiness can be viewed. It was very interesting to learn what i didn't think could've been explained.

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  16. Vivian Chen

    I really enjoyed watching Dan Gilberts video. I liked how he said "Not getting what we want could make us just as happy as getting it". In my own opinion i think when we dont get what we want, we end up finding the good thing about it and end up liking it. We make oursevles think what we got isn't so bad, so we wouldnt be upset about it. It is also a good thing to think that way, to cherish and be happy about what you have then what we dont have. Just like what T.I said in his song "Stop looking at what you ain't got, Start being thankful for what you do got". More people should listen to what he said so they wouldn't be so depressed about the things they dont have.
    I always thought the word freedom was a good thing and nothing bad can come out of it, but Dan Gilbert proved to me that having the freedom to choose isn't always as good as you thought it would turn out to be. Dan Gilbert explained "Freedom to change and to choose is the enemy of synthetic happiness" he is right because some thing good from it can turn out bad. Since you have the opportunity to choose what you want, you might have the idea thinking maybe there is something else that is better. I think i am just like that, if i have the freedom to choose between something i might end up thinking what i got maybe isn't so good. but im pretty sure i end up appreciating it to make myself happy.

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  17. I really enjoyed the video. It really opened your eyes and mind to new ideas and to really understand what "happiness" is. I really liked the fact that he introduced his speech by using Evolution to show how the human brain changed over time. One aspect that was very amazing to me was the study on "winning the lotto" vs. "becoming paralyzed." I thought that the people who won the lotto would be more happy than someone who became paralyzed. The funny thing was that they were "equally" happy. I guess you cant really define what "happiness" is because it varies among people evidence of the study.
    Dan Gilbert also briefly touched basis on some iconic people in history. For example the Beetles member that was kicked out of the group said that he was happier more than being in the group. Also the gentleman that was convicted of a crime wrongfully was released and he said that was his most glorious time in life. Though these people went through hardships, they were still happy. Most amazing!

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  18. Hi! PLEASE MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR FULL NAME SOMEWHERE IN THE COMMENT SO I CAN GIVE YOU CREDIT!!! THANKS!

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  19. Steven C

    It was a very interesting clip by Dan Gilbert . I like how he starts of explaining how the brain developed 3 times more in mass over the past 2 million years. He backs it up by explaining what a persons brain can do now which people couldn’t before which is having experiences in their heads before it actually happens. Dan Gilbert is a great speaker and backs up everything he saids with many examples to make it more understandable. Before I watched the clip I didn’t know happiness can be divided into different parts like he was explaining. Theres the happiness that we tilt upon naturally and synthetic happiness which as Dan explained was when a person doesn’t really get what they fully want maybe only a part of it but it still makes the person happy. Another interesting thing I learned by Dan speech is that paralegic people can be as happy as lotto winners . This clip has much useful information that can be helpful for many people that is why I enjoyed watching it as I myself found out about things I never knew before listening to Dan Glibert.

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  20. Cey Scott


    I enjoyed watching this video. At first it was a bit confusing but as i watched it the second time i began to understand what he meant. The happiness of different people is really fascinating. For example when Gilbert talked about someone winning the lotto compared to a paralegic persons happiness. Despite the fact they live two separate worlds , they both seem to be equally happy as one another. At first i was thinking how is that even possible but i thought about it and i then realized that it is possible. It doesnt matter if you win money or youre in a wheel chair , none of those things should affect your happiness. You should be happy regardless of anything , life is what you make out of it.

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  21. Skky I

    I really enjoyed watching the video. It opened my opened my mind about what really makes me happy. I retrospect to the essay I wrote, music doesn't make me the happiest, it just gives me short term happiness. I guess without realizing it, I was using impact bias. What really puts me in the happiest place is when other people in my immediate environment are happy. I wouldn't be happy unless my friends and family are as well and I think that goes for everyone's happiness.

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  22. (tom leung) not sure what to think about the video except its interesting that they call it synthetic happiness as i never think of happiness as more than a emotion. i dont know if knowing more about happiness would change how its felt cause the more you think about something the more you get attached almost like a psychological way to trick your mind into thinking your happy

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  23. I enjoyed watching this video more the second time rather then the first. At first I didn’t really understand why a person would compare two totally different scenes and compare them in which one would be happier, but it started to make sense. I started to realize that Dan Gilbert had a point and made me think at life a little different, just because someone doesn’t look “happy” to me doesn’t necessarily mean that there not they might even be happier then what I am at the very moment. Just because a person is paraplegic does not mean that everything to them is sad. It goes to show how judgmental we can be and also shows us how we can now look at things in a different prospective

    - Diana Murillo

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  24. Dan Gilbert made a lot of good points throughout this entire video. Some of the things he said, I realized, were things that I, myself, used to think about. For example, "where does happiness come from"? I found it very interesting when he brought up the synthetic happiness vs. the natural happiness. We learn that throughtout life we cannot always get what we want, but most learn to make best of what they do have leading them to live more peaceful and happier lives than those who dwell on what went wrong. I love the point he made about the lottery winners and paraplegics. Although paraplegics may not be able to do most things that others can, it doesn't necessarily mean their life is over. They can be just as happy or even happier than the next person.
    One more thing I'd like to point out is when he said "We think happiness is a thing to be found". I always followed that idea because in my own experiences I have found that you can't just go out seeking it and find it so easy. Sometimes we just need to sit back and reanalyze ourselves and our lives and we might find ourselves happier with something other than what we felt we needed in the first place.
    -Marilyn Silva

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  25. Sasha Davis

    The video helped me widen my views on happiness and I realize now that we sometimes can choose how to be happy. My parents always told me to be happy with what I get around Christmas time, even if it was not the barbie doll I wanted. I never used to like hearing it, but after this video it is right that we should find a way to be happy even if it is not what we wished for. I know many people who think that when something goes wrong in their life and they have to go down that hard or rough road they think the world is coming to an end...I was one of them. But in the end of it all, at times I was glad that it happened that way because of the qualities of life I attained and the experience I received.


    Although I agree with Dan Gilbert, I have some questions about synthetic happiness. What happens when a person we love dies? Do we make the best out of the situation when they are gone? Many people say that they are in a better place, but are we suppose to find a way to be happy about the situation? This is such an interesting topic because they are so many different factors of happiness and how we can be happy. I would like to explore more about this topic and widen my views even more so I can use it in my everyday life.

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  26. POSTING FOR NADIR

    Dan Gilbert talked in only 21 minute about happiness, but at
    this little times he explained a lot of things, most of people never think
    about. He gave a lot of examples to shows what is make people happy like,
    someone winning the lottery and someone becoming parablogace who loses some
    part from his/her body.I couldn't belive that after one year both of them
    will be equal in happiness.I was thinking that the winning the lottery he
    the most happy at this year as everybody thought. I'm also like the examples
    about the impact bias such as: the tendency to overstimate the hedonic
    impact of future events, elections, romances, promotions, college tests, and
    personality tests etc... All of these things make people happy, but very
    short of time not the whole life time.

    Dan Gilbert was comparing between synthetic happiness vs. natural
    happiness and he asked a question Is synthetic happiness real? most of the
    people answered you can't always get what you want and that is also was my
    opinion. I did like also when he compared between the normal control and
    Amnesics people( people who have short memory or they can;t remember what
    happened in the past.) I didn't expect that Amnesics people were not even
    remember what they own to choose what they like and that at the same time
    makes them happy.These are the most things attracted me and made me think
    what is the main things make anyone happy.

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  27. I must admit this video really expand my understanding of happiness. Professor Dan Gilbert has thought me, that most people who are worrying less about the outcome of a choice are as happier as someone who is natural happy or even more in some cases.
    According to the video, Jim Wright, a powerful democrat from ancient time once said, “I am so much better off. Physically, mentally, financially, and in most every way.” I believe Jim Wright was feeling there more pressure of being physically, mentally, and financially. The More Financial stable someone is, the more stress to deal with, so he figured after being so powerful doesn’t mean a happy politician. The video also has Proven that people who pay attention to all the details, and very picky about their decision or choices are less happy than someone who don’t stress about the choices they make. This video has shown me we as human being, we worry too much about things; we should just accept life the way it comes at us.
    -Stanley,Saintil

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  28. Susana Sanchez
    I find it very hard to difine happiness . As i watched this video i realize happiness is not just a feeling of joy but there's alot more to it . Dan Gilbert explains synthetic happiness and natrual happiness. He says "synthetic happiness is what we make when we dont get what we wanted . Natrual happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted." I think its a interesting way to view happiness.
    I think Dan Gilbert has great examples to get his point across . He gives us Moreese Bickham as an example . He spend 37 years in Louisiana state penetration due to a mistake and all he has to say about this is "it was a glorious experience" I find this a little weird he thinks this way but that's why its called synthetic happiness.

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  29. This video was very useful and opened my eyes to some of the types of happiness there are in this world.I really liked his experiments and the way he described and explained them.His points of view on synthetic and natural happiness were very insightful,and it actually helped me realize some synthetic happiness of my own.One thing that really struck me was when he was reading a quote from Maurice Bickham who was release from prison after 37yrs and was innocent.He said he found his experience in jail "glorious". I wonder, if Dan Gilbert did a similar experiment on him like the one he did on his Harvard student would his statement about jail stay the same or would it change? What if Dan gave him the choice to go back in time or stay with this outcome of his life how would that affect his state of "happiness"? Now that I know what synthetic and actual happiness is it might help in making better decisions in life without me lying to myself first.

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  30. This video taught me alot about Natural Happiness, which is what we get when we achieved what we wanted, and Synthetic Happiness is what we get when we dont get what we wanted. I was shocked at first when Dan Gilbert showed how people were happy or themost happy when they didnt get what they want. The article at 06:50 about Harry S. Langerman and readign an article about a burger stand that he wanted to franchise in turned out to be unsuccessful and he said "I believe it turned out fot the best". Synthetic Happiness to me is better than Natural Happiness because it makes people believe in the brighter side of things instead of what they couldn't accomplish. People like Pete Ringo even though he was cast out i think that maybe his life just got better after the Beatles.
    Dan Gilbert explained how if we had freedom to choose what we want then there is no point to Synthetic Happiness because we are trying to get what we want instead of being happy and i quote " ...letting the chips fall were they may". I loved this video and i'll try to not alwyas get mad at what i can't get but just be happy that i had a chance to.

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  31. This video has everything to call your attention to anything he says and the best part is that you will remember the most important point, the way he introduces each point by introducing some seriousness, using graphs and facts then by some jokes changes everything and makes it clear, it certainty made me think about synthetic happiness and how it plays a part in everyones life and how makes a person go forward as an adaptation for humans and the evolution of the brain

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  32. this video about Dan Gilbert's speak was really interesting. My reaction about it is that is pretty amazing how human brain has changed throughout the time, and how new structures are now in our brain makes us different from our ancestors. Knowing now the two different types of happiness and how they work makes me think in a different way about life's experience.

    -Tonny G.

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  33. Jonghyuk Lee

    Dan Gilbert's lecture on happiness was interesting. I also liked the style of his lecturing because his voice was clear, the information he gave us were short and simple, and he had humor along with it.I learned a lot of new information such as the concept of synthetic happiness and the fact we use our experience stimulators to predict the outcome of our emotions after an action or decision is made. Natural happiness is experienced overtime unexpectedly, while synthetic happiness is made up by out stimulations regarding the emotional consequences of whatever events we decided to take upon. We play scenarios in our heads and decide upon whether that decision will make us feel good or not. All in all, Gilbert's lecture made me rethink and realize how amazing the human brain is.

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  34. Adrienne Nevarez

    I really enjoyed this video clip by Dan Gilbert. I learned a lot from it, i never thought there were two kinds of happiness and Gilbert explained this very well.There's Synthetic happiness which is what we make when we don't get what we want and Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we what we wanted.This video clip gave me a better understanding about happiness. Also Gilbert use very good examples to explain his lecture about happiness.I honestly enjoyed this clip.

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  35. This video opened my mind to how synthetic happiness and natural happiness differ. Synthetic happiness are things that we are able to process in our mind before they occur and natural happiness on the other hand is happiness that you stumble upon, sort of like a surprise. Dan Gilbert's twenty minute lecture didn't seem so long because he makes you want to know more. I find it fascinating how the human brain has developed over time and that we can now process thoughts before they happen. It makes me wonder how life was for our ancestors not being able to think of an outcome in their head before experiencing it. Gilbert's words made think about happiness in a different light, he not only conducted experiments in which the results left me in temporary disbelief but he also used quotes from famous historians and made me think twice about how realistic the meaning of those quotes are. Dan Gilbert has done an amazing job on explaining how the brain lets us think happiness through in advance.

    -Allison O'Keefe

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  36. Megan Synnott

    The lecture that Dan Gilbert gave was such a reality check. It is hard to believe that winning the lottery and a paraplegic have the same amount of happiness. He really made me see that we can make ourselves happy with something that isn't what we originally wanted. Synthesizing happiness is something everyone does because we all try to make the best of what we do have. The experiment based on the patients with amnesia was interesting because they don't synthesis happiness because they don't even know that they own the prints that they do. The experiment with the students was also interesting because people are so indecisive with their happiness because it is like you want what you can't, don't, or never will have. People always wonder what they are missing out on instead of focusing on what is right infront of them. Gilbert really broke down the components on happiness to its basic form and really helped me think deeper into what happiness is all about.

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  37. Gabrielle Santiago

    Dan Gilbert taught me more in twenty minutes then I would have expected. Time and again I have been in a situation where I had to try to tell myself to be happy with what I have rather than want something else. I believed that what I now know as synthetic happiness wasnt as good as natural happiness, or as real. Through the free choice paragigm I see that it can be just as good. Also, I agree that the freedom to choose is the enemy of synthetic happiness. Having so many options only makes it that much harder to be happy with what you have. Its very easy to overexaggerate the outcomes to only dissapoint yourself.
    I found this video extremely interesting and enjoyed every minute of it. It was things I felt I knew but to hear it scientifically and not just in my head, made it that much realer. Also, I agreed with most of this because of my own experiences and I feel it made it that much easier to maybe be okay with my current situation.

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  38. Minas Polychronakis

    i Found this video very interesting and i like the way he explain all of the details from the evolution of humans to the examples of the experiments he discussed. i found it interesting how he has the audience as well as me laughing with some of the things he mentioned like an example @1 58 he mentions the part about Ben and jerrys liver and onion ice cream, that was Funny. the other part that caught my attention when he mentions the simulator part in the first 10 minutes of the video. overall its a great explanation of happiness.

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  39. Gulzar V
    I think this video clip of Dan Gilbert is very informative. I learnt a new perspective of 'Happiness'.I liked the way he gave different interesting examples to prove his point. Before watching this video, I didn't knew that our brain has grown 3 times bigger than it was years before.It has a new part called the frontal lobe, particularly the Prefrontal cortex.Dan says that this part does lots of things, but one important thing it does,is an experience simulator. Human beings have this marvellous adaptation that they have an experience in their heads before they can actually try out in their real life. The interesting part is that no other animal can do as human beings(we) can.
    Further,I was surprised with the data of 2 groups-"winning the lottery" & 'becoming paraplegiecs'.
    I was amazed to know the fact that a year after, both the lotto winners and paraplegiecs are equally happy with their lives. I also learned the 2 types of happiness which I had never thought before watching this video. I like the way Dan explained Synthetic happiness v/s Natural happiness.Human beings usually do not get what they want in life, so to stay happy always,one should be happy with what they have and make the most of it. Dan gave a good example of Gall Bladder Surgery and the trip to Paris.
    In the end, I really liked the way he explained the results of our ambitions and fears that are bounded and unbounded.Overall, I enjoyed watching this video clip.I think Dan Gilbert is a great speaker who holds his audience throughout the end.

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  40. Hearing Dan Gilbert's speech about happiness changed my entire perspective on what I thought "happiness" was. Now I can say that happiness isn't really what everyone thinks it is and not everyone has the same interpretation or definition to the word happiness. Some people might think that a brand new Lamborghini would make them happy but after they have it they wont be happy.
    Find a way to be happy with what you have. Nothing is ever as bad as we think it is. Our minds are able to fore see what a our feelings would be like in different situations so why not use this gift. We are able to change the way we feel about things within so why not try. You don't need to be in the Beatles or to win the lottery in order to be happy.

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  41. JUAN LONDONO -In attempt of explaining the roots and meaning of happiness, Dan Gilbert mentions a variety of topics. He mentions the existence of natural and synthetic happiness and how we subconsciously create it. Ides as such are mind boggling. I just think that the average person does not take the time to analyze his/her behavior deep enough to arrive to such conclusion. As Dan explain in 8:53-9:10, "natural happiness is what we have when we get what we wanted." And "Synthetic happiness is what we make what we don't get what we wanted" Never had i thought of this, but it makes complete sense.

    Furthermore, Dan goes on to mention the psychological immune system and how we change our views of the world to make us feel better about the world we live in. This, in part relates to what Sir. Isaac Newton meant when he stated that "nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so." Here we see how we humans attempt to make the world seem better and therefore make us feel better about it just by thinking so. In every point Dan made, I agreed. Although his points were valid, happiness is a part of our behavior that differs in meaning from person to the next and therefore, a universal definition of the term should not be established.

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  42. Seeing this video has surprised me in a good way.
    learning how happiness is not all about what you get and the advantages of life.happiness is something to live up to. surprising whats the data showing how a person winning a multi million lottery ticket could be equaly happy as a disable person never came to my mind that could be in fact true. Amaizing is to know that every year that goes by our celeberum grows to makes us smarter and how new part come to make a future of more ideas better generation and more intelligent.It was good to know that our brains try to synthesize happiness when we are in bad conditions. Also that to think to much of a choice makes it difficult for us to not be happy and when we dont have a choice we just assimilate our self to what we have and are happy with it.

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  43. A great monolog from pioneer Dan Gelbert in the field of researching happiness. In his unique presentation, he try to defines what happiness means for the human mind, and how we humans percept happiness.
    I enjoy his presentation, but i parttialy desagree with his perception on what he defines: Syntetic Happiness. The quote " Freedom is the enemy of syntetic happiness i found it somehow not true for the universal world. What happiness means for a Harward student, might not be the same for a peasent or a farmer working the field in remote Pakistan or Mexico.
    A perfect example i think it is the end of the movie " The Crash", and is when a chinese imigrant enter an american supermarket and he sees the diversity of products.

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  44. I really enjoy this video clip. I feel that people who can talk for 20 mintues about happiness is a freaking genesis because i sure cant talk for 20 minutes about happiness. Dan Gilbert has this crazy philsophy of happiness. he use alot of example to define happiness using the human mind and qoutes from cartoons and other philsophers. i think a good example of happiness was from the movies the pursuit of happiness when will smith finslly has sommething good happrns to him after alot of diffcult events happen to him and his son in the movie.

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  45. Jose Torres
    Eng 101
    Professor McCormick
    Happiness
    His lecture was clear and informative about how people view and experience happiness. He explained how and why our brain grew 2 million years ago, the frontal cortex part of our brain, it gave us experience simulators and that give us advantage to other species. Mr. Gilbert gave an example on experience simulator on how pilots practice on simulators instead of using real plane; that way they won't make a mistake in real live. Something that I found interesting was that a person that won the lottery and a person that was a paraplegic felt the same happiness a year later.
    Mr. Gilbert explained the difference between synthesize happiness and natural happiness. Synthesizes happiness is the thing that we don’t want but at the end we are stuck with. In the other hand natural happiness is the thing that we want in the first place. He explained that through his research freedom is the enemy of synthesize happiness, that when we are given the opportunity to choose we might not be happy at the end with our choice. He gave examples on people that are on the pinecle of their success like that Senator that lost all or that prison guy that was released after 37 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit; their common denominator was that they were happy at the end of their journey, they didn't fell remorseful or anything negative. Mr. Gilbert explained that is synthetic happiness, he said that when ambition is bounded human being tend to cheat and lie, and when we feel fear we tend to be cowardly.

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  46. Jose Torres
    Eng 101
    Professor McCormick
    Happiness
    His lecture was clear and informative about how people view and experience happiness. He explained how and why our brain grew 2 million years ago, the frontal cortex part of our brain, it gave us experience simulators and that give us advantage to other species. Mr. Gilbert gave an example on experience simulator on how pilots practice on simulators instead of using real plane; that way they won't make a mistake in real live. Something that I found interesting was that a person that won the lottery and a person that was a paraplegic felt the same happiness a year later.
    Mr. Gilbert explained the difference between synthesize happiness and natural happiness. Synthesizes happiness is the thing that we don’t want but at the end we are stuck with. In the other hand natural happiness is the thing that we want in the first place. He explained that through his research freedom is the enemy of synthesize happiness, that when we are given the opportunity to choose we might not be happy at the end with our choice. He gave examples on people that are on the pinecle of their success like that Senator that lost all or that prison guy that was released after 37 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit; their common denominator was that they were happy at the end of their journey, they didn't fell remorseful or anything negative. Mr. Gilbert explained that is synthetic happiness, he said that when ambition is bounded human being tend to cheat and lie, and when we feel fear we tend to be cowardly.

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  47. Well he's both a good speaker and a genius. But anyway, I much enjoyed that little film. It highly gave a better understanding of the brain with happiness. I'd always thought that happiness was just some emotion you felt with things or people, but it's all in the brain. I found his graphs confusing though, never really was good at graphs..., but his data was pretty detailed (when he spoke of it, not showed it.) Other than that, his little pop quiz towards the beginning got a lot of people. Generally winning the lottery would make a whole lot of people happy, but I never would have thought the lotto and being paraplegic would have equal happiness. That's just insane! How do you come up with data like that?! I'd much rather have millions than be paralyzed! I don't understand that at all...at any rate, I guess I'll just have to go with his data. Aside from that, I much enjoyed how he used past figures and their quotes to sort of prove them wrong (like he did to Shakespeare), or other important figures. Great clip in all, 20 mins on happiness, ... I can rant about the opposite, but not on happiness in general.

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  48. Diana Guevara

    I believe this video was actually pretty entertaining. I really liked the part where the statistical studies showed that the parapalegic was equally happy after a year compared to the people winning the lottery. I liked it because no one would ever think that the parapalegic person would be equally happy. I enjoyed how he explained synthesized and natural happiness. Saying natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted and synthetic happiness is what we make when we dont get what we wanted. I also found his experiment with the photoraphy students educating and entertaining because I would have been one of the students that chose the class with more time to make the photograph swap. I believe he was an entertaining speaker.

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  49. Omadai Rajahlall
    This is a brilliant and outstanding video by Dan Gilbert. I have definitely learned something new. He gave many different aspects of happiness that i've never even knew and thought about. It's amazing the way he point out " what would make u happier? Winning the lottery or becoming paraplegic". I totally agree that they are equally happy with there lives, because when i actually think about it, they are happy alike at the end of the day. Well, the impact bias is a personal experience I had when I had lost my job. I was thinking of the worse possible outcome, but everything turned out to be not so bad, it actually was a new begining for me.
    This is the first time I'm hearing about Synthetic happiness and Natural happiness. Syntetic happiness is what we make when we don't get what we wanted. Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted. This is a good explanation for synthetic happiness when people who has difficulties getting what there aiming for. It is also very true the way he point out the condition and growing of synthetic happiness, because I would probally be one of the 65 % to choose that I may changed my picture. I'm sure that I am not the only who thinks so. This is indeed an interesting video by Dan Gilber

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  50. I really like the way Dan Gilbert speaks about happiness. He gives exellent examples like different quotes also using students and other types of people. It's not like he studies one particular group, but he looks into everything that deals with happiness. Past, present and future. He also makes his audience happy by making them laugh and keeping them entertained. Over all, a good speech, I learned a lot.
    -Lisbeth Miranda

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  51. Tanaisha Tatum...the video was interesting and i found somethings that were said relating to myself.the little pop quiz that he gave was very unique and of course i failed..dan gilbert look at thing in a very optomistic way...i have actuallly learned something all the thing that i was settling for i thought was happiness was synthesised happiness...i never knew the diffence...lol...this message has taught me to appricate things more and really ask myself what is happiness.everything i say that i always wanted will that even make me happy? good question and thanks to dan gillbert i will actually start looking for an answer

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  52. the message has also taught me to think of situations idealisticly....dan made a good point about how majority of time we think thaT Situations would have a far long negative than they actually do..that wsa very good advice and it will definatly help me get ova a break up faster lol....

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  53. I POSTED THIS ON 103 BLOG SOORY ;)
    timothy giral homework number one
    Timothy Giral
    When Dr. said we are going to view a video about a man named Dan Gilbert, at first I thought it was going to be another boring lecture. After I viewed the video an actually gave the video a chance, ironically I actually enjoyed hearing Mr.Gilbert speak on what is happiness. The way he explained the scientific explanation on what stimulates happiness.How the brain works to simulates happiness.Also how he showed how many things that people would think they would be happy actually doesn’t make u happier.


    I also like how Dan explained the diifernce between synthetic happiness and and natural happiness. Which I realized that thery is a difference cause a lot of times people get the two mixed up and don’t even realize the difference.i enjoyed the humor that he put into the lecture which made it a lot more interesting.also how g=he talks about the people with memory problems and the study he did on them.i really liked this video and look forward to the next interesting video we view in class next time.

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