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What Makes People Happy?

Daniel Kahnerman | 9:48


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.

And I would think that at least in the short run, when we're trying to understand what is going on, that thinking dynamically about losers and winners in the current change, and what are the losers going to do, and the trays that people will rise before machine do before machines do? That, I think is something that we should really focus on. The issue of what we're trying to maximize is interesting. But that leads me to another question. I'm impressed that there's a lot of optimism here, tempered in, as we saw in the last session, but but we've been complaining about what everybody has been complaining about that this is not a decent society, and so on. And I certainly concur. We can't be optimistic.

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