What makes us happy?

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert speaking at the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado.
Dan Bayer/Courtesy of the Aspen Ideas Festival

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert spoke at the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival about his research on what makes us happy, and why happiness often eludes us.

Gilbert is the author of "Stumbling on Happiness." He has a PhD in social pyschology from Princeton University, and he's won numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the Harvard College Professorship, the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Over the past decade, Gilbert has pioneered a field of research called "affective forecasting." He studies why people sometimes incorrectly predict their reactions to future events, and why we often guess wrong about what will make us happy.

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