Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memoryKahneman on memory and happiness.
Mines our obsession with happiness, arguing that we think, talk, read, and write so much about it that the term is no longer useful. Happiness is far more complex and ambiguous than it appears on the surface, and because of cognitive traps, we do not fully understand the emotion.
Notes that you might think of yourself as having two sides: the experiencing self in the present moment and the remembering self that reflects on past stories of your past experiences.
Several points experiences influence your memory of the story. These points are changes, significant moments, and endings. The endings of experiences tend to have a heavy influence on how things are remembered.
Time adds to the complexity of how we remember stories. How happy you are in the moment of the experience is far different than the level of happiness you remember. For example in the moment of a colonoscopy, the experience may not be that bad. However, if there is a slight moment of pain at the end, our remembering selves may only capture the pain of the experience.
The speaker is the father of the field of study of behavioral economics. He demonstrates the complexity of how happy we are in the moment compared to our memory of the story after the fact.
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Source is TedTalks.com
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