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Research by Subject: First Year Experience: Stumbling on Happiness

About the Author

Daniel Gilbert is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. His research with Tim Wilson on "affective forecasting" investigates how and how well people can make predictions about the emotional impact of future events.

Dan has won numerous awards for his teaching and research—from the Guggenheim Fellowship to the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology.

 More about Daniel Gilbert

Courtesy Random House Inc.

The Summer Reading Program

Incoming first year students at North Central College will be reading and discussing Stumbling on Happiness over the summer and revisiting themes from this text in the fall. Check out this guide for books, articles, and websites chosen by the Oesterle Librarians that relate to the themes found in the book.

Overview: Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink? Why do patients remember long medical procedures as less painful than short ones? Why do home sellers demand prices they wouldn't dream of paying if they were home buyers? Why does the line at the grocery store always slow down when we join it? In this book, Harvard psychologist Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. Using the latest research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Gilbert reveals what we have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there, and why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become.

Study Guide: Daniel Gilbert's complete study guide for the book is based on his own experience teaching this material at Harvard and includes information about the concepts covered in each chapter, questions for discussion, and recommended readings.

Courtesy Random House Inc.

Oesterle Librarians

John Small      F. Elizabeth Nicholson

Belinda Cheek      Lindsey LeFeber

Melissa Proulx