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What Makes People Happy?


Dr. Daniel Kahnerman




Daniel Khaneman discusses, with Erik Brynjoffsson, creating a world where AI leads to human well-being and flourishing at the January 2017 Asilomar conference organized by the Future of Life Institute.


The current trend among happiness researchers is an emphasis on meaning. And, and, and a sense of purpose. That's, you know, just wasn't the case 10 or 15 years ago, there is a great deal of debate as to the value of life satisfaction. And whether this is what we're trying to maximize. I have, in the past, proposed that we should put a lot of emphasis on what people experience in their daily life, which is a completely different thing from life satisfaction.

But if, you know, I think about what's been going on today, and one thing that hasn't been mentioned, and that has to do with well being, if there is a huge asymmetry between people's responses to gains and to losses, and there is a huge asymmetry between winners and losers, and losers suffer more than winners and joy. And so in in this whole issue, we have to think about losers. And losers fight harder than winners or potential winners. And that is where reforms in general fail or very frequently fail, is because the potential losers fight much harder than the potential winners.

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