Fall 2012 Happiness Class Study Questions and Answers

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Return to Happiness

August 30, 2012

  • 1. Distinguish the Greek philosophical conceptions of happiness in Plato and Aristotle from the Greek cultural conception of happiness.
    • Though Plato and Aristotle felt you could not achieve happiness on Earth, there were still good things you could spend your time doing by seeking happiness. The Greek cultural conception of happiness consisted of Dionysian culture, meaning that you can’t achieve happiness so you might as well enjoy fleeting moments of pleasure. Incredibly tragic, believe that happiness is not a part of the human condition, happiness is only for the gods. (EWakefield)

  • 2. What is Plato's view of happiness?
    • Though Plato and Aristotle felt you could not achieve happiness on Earth, there were still good things you could spend your time doing by seeking happiness. The Greek cultural conception of happiness consisted of Dionysian culture, meaning that you can’t achieve happiness so you might as well enjoy fleeting moments of pleasure. Incredibly tragic, believe that happiness is not a part of the human condition, happiness is only for the gods. (EWakefield)

  • 3. What is Aristotle's view of happiness?
    • Happiness is the final end of all activities. You “do” happiness for the sake of happiness, not to achieve another end. Happiness is not completely transcendent. What is real consists of form + matter. Happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. We should work towards being what we are, realizing your nature. (EWakefield)
  • 4. How can one use ordinary reflection on experiences of happiness to start theoretical reflection?

September 4, 2012

  • 1. Follow major concepts introduced by Haidt, such as: adaptation, hedonic treadmill, set point theory, maximizers vs. satisficers.
    • Adaption according to Haidt, involves the utility curve, which as time goes on, more utility is available, but then slowly diminishes (the lottery winner's happiness), and the quadriplegics happiness goes down below the horizontal axis and then bell curves and comes back to 0 utility. These are to show that everyone has a basal level of happiness that equalizes over time. The hedonic treadmill can be described with Dr. Alfino's love of ice cream sandwiches. The first is a 10 on the happiness scale, but after a while one doesn't cut it. Two are needed to attain the same level of happiness, then three. Set point theory is the idea that we have a set amount of happiness that we can not change, our basal level. The difference between maximizers and satisficers is that maximizers must have the best possible deal and ultimately feel less happy than those that are satisficers and will take whatever seems to do the trick.
    • Adaption: We are very sensitive to changes in our conditions and overestimate the intensity and duration of our reactions to these changes. Does not take long for us to return to our baseline level of happiness after we experience pleasure and pain. After time what we are experiencing becomes a new normal and it no longer makes us happier or less sad than we were before. Haidt Ch. 5 p 85 (EWakefield)
    • Hedonic treadmill: We can’t change our natural state of tranquility regardless of what we do. Therefore, we seek riches and whatever else but never really get ahead, just like being on a treadmill. Even if we get everything we think we want, now our expectations are raised and we will still never be satisfied just like before. Yet, we continue to run and strive regardless of how futile it is. p. 86 (EWakefield)
    • Set Point Theory: Idea that we all have a set point fixed into our brain of happiness. The only way to find happiness is then to change our internal setting rather than trying to change our environment. We now understand that our genes are very important but they are sensitive to environmental conditions. We have a personal level of happiness but it is more of a range rather than a point. We can influence whether we operate on the low or high end of this range depending on external factors and how much we allow them to affect us. p. 90 (EWakefield)
    • Maximizers vs. satisficers: Choice is very important to us, though it can make us unhappy when we have too many choices and are therefore stressed that we did not make the correct decision. Greatly affects people called maximizers. They evaluate all of their options, seek out information and want to make the best choice. Satisficers are more laid back about choice. They find an option that is good enough and then stop looking. They aren’t stressed out over whether or not they made the BEST choice. “Maximizers end up making slightly better decisions than satisficers, on average but they are less happy with their decisions, and they are more inclined to depression and anxiety.” Haidt Ch. 5 pg. 102 (EWakefield)
  • 2. Why doesn't one adapt to the happiness effect of cosmetic surgery?
    • A day to day struggle with a cosmetic defect leads to a daily baseline increase once relieved.
    • Many people report a higher level of happiness after cosmetic surgery because shame is very powerful in our society. When we feel our body has a deficiency we constantly think about it and try to make it less noticeable. Taking away the stress of having to worry about something you think is wrong with your body can increase confidence and overall well being. (EWakefield)
  • 3. What is Haidt's happiness formula and how might if be justified given his perspective?
    • Happiness (H) = Biological Set Point (S) + Conditions (C) + Voluntary action (V). These three variables are the main effectors of happiness according to Haidt. His happiness is a strategy, and is external and internal.
    • H= Set point + Conditions + Voluntary activities. Conditions of your life and the activities you undertake voluntarily are both external factors. Conditions = things you can’t change such as race, age, a disability and things you can change such as wealth, marital status, and where you live. Remain fairly constant so we adapt to them. Important to change some conditions that can affect your happiness level such as being around a lot of noise, having a horrible commute, having good relationships.

Voluntary = what we choose to do. Exercise, meditate, learn, travel. Require effort so they have a better chance of increasing happiness while avoiding adaption than conditions we are used to. Makes sense given everything else Haidt said just because he seems to believe that we have a range of happiness and we can operate on the high end if we participate in the correct activities. So, we should change our conditions as much as we can if they are something bad we have adapted to and participate in voluntary activities that we enjoy and receive ongoing happiness from our effort and progress. (EWakefield)

  • 4. What are "top down and bottom up theories" of LS? How do researchers try to assess this, according to Schimmack?
    • We subjectively approach happiness to find what will cause happiness. Will this happiness be at a transitory level or a neurochemical level? Can we classify the happiness as life long happiness or momentary?

5. What are some explanations of the independence of NA and PA, according to Schimmack?

September 6, 2012

  • 1. What are some of the major correlations and causes of happiness, according to Argyle?
  • Age
  • Education
  • Social Status
  • Income
  • Marriage
  • Ethnicity
  • Employment
  • Leisure
  • Religion
  • Life Events

Synopsis by major factor:

  • Age
  • The older are slightly happier, notably in postive affect. Some evidence that women become less happy with age. In assessing causality, we might need to acknowledge a cohort effect (older people are those who survive, hence not nec. representative of a sampling of all age groups). Older people are less satisfied than others with their future prospects.
  • Old people could have lower expectations, and hence their greater self-reported happiness might not be comparable to a younger person's self-reported happiness.
  • Puzzle: objective conditions are worse for old people (health, depression and lonliness!), yet they are more satisfied. (Neural degeneration has got to be on the table as a hypothesis.)
  • Education
  • The educated are slightly happier. Effect weak in US. Data suggest the education effect is greater in poorer countries. Control for income and job status effects and there is still a slight effect from education. [From personal achievement?] But income and job status account for most of the education effect.
  • Social Status
  • About twice the effect of education or age, but half of the effect is from job status. Greater effect for stratified societies. [Comment on being a professor in Italy, for example.]
  • Argyle suggest the causal mechanisms are straightforward. Lots of positive life indicators are clustered with social class. "s? The overall effect, including .the effect of income and education, is easy to ex¬plain: there is a multiple effect of better jobs,housing, relationships, and leisure. We show later that there are massive class differences in leisure—middle-class individuals engage in much more active leisure, belong to twice as many clubs, take much more exercise, take more holidays and outings, read more, have more social life, and pursue more hobbies. Working-class people just watch more television." 356
  • Income
  • Average correlation of .17 across studies. See chart on p. 356 -- curvilinear, with slight upward tail at highest incomes. (intriguing)
  • Steep relation of income from poverty to material sufficiency.
  • Diener found a stronger correlation when using multiple income measures (such and GNP, purcasing power indexes, etc.)
  • Famous Myers and Diener 1996 study: "In the United States, average personal income has risen from $4,000 in 1970 to $16,000 in 1990 (in 1990 dollars), but there has been no change in average happiness or satisfaction." Some evidence that happiness is sensitive to economic downturns (Belgium), some evidence of variation in strength of effect across culture.
  • Lottery winner studies may not be a good way to test income effects since you get lots of disruptions with winning the lottery.
  • Cluster effect with income: Income comes with host of other goods: p. 358.
  • Michalo's "goal achievement gap model" p. 358: "whereby happiness is said to be due to the gap between aspirations and achievements and this gap is due to comparisons with both "average folks" and one's own past life (see figure 18.3).
Other Resources:
  • Kahneman and Deaton, "High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being"
  • Graham, et. al, "The Easterlin Paradox and Other Paradoxes: Why both sides of the Debate May be Correct"
  • Marriage
  • Average effect from meta-analysis of .14. Stronger effects for young. Does more for women than men, though stronger effect on male health.
  • Causal model: Married people have higher social well being indicators (mental and physical health). These indicators are independent factors for happiness. Marriage is a source of emotional and material support. Married people just take better care of themselves. Men might benefit from emotional support more since women provide that to male spouses more than males? (differently?)
  • Effects of marriage has a life-stage dimemsion to them. (figuure 18.4) Having children has a small effect.
  • Reverse causation is a consideration, but hard to support since 90% of people get married.
  • Good example in this section of distinguishing between correlational data and causal discussion.
  • Ethnicity
  • Widely confirmed studies show that average happiness for US African Americans is lower than for US whites.
  • Mostly accounted for by income, education, and job status.
  • Interestingly, African American children enjoy higher self-esteem than white kids.

  • Employment
  • Studies of unemployed and retired help isolate effects.
  • Unemployed sig less happy: "The unemployed in nearly all countries are much less happy than those at work. Inglehart (1990) found that 61 percent of the unemployed were satisfied, compared with 78 percent of manual workers."
  • Effects greater during high employment.
  • The retired are happier on average than those at work (.25 standard dev). Notes sensitivity to retirment income.
  • Causal model: income and self-esteem account for most of effect.
  • Leisure
  • Relatively strong correlation: .2 in meta-studies.
  • Leisure effects observed in lots of contexts (social relations from work, adolescent leisure habits, even a short walk. Sport and exercise include both social effects and release of endorphins.
  • Flow is a factor. Comparisons of high engagement and high apathy (tv) leisure activities.
  • TV watching as a leisure activity. Soap opera watchers!
  • Volunteer and charity work were found to generate high levels of joy, exceeded only by dancing!
  • Religion
  • The strength of religion on happiness is positive, sensitive to church attendance, strength of commitment, related to meaningfulness and sense of purpose (an independent variable). Overall modest effect, but stronger for those more involved in their church. note demographic factors.
  • Reverse causation: Are happier people more likely to be religious?
  • Causal model: Religion works through social support, increasing esteem and meaningfulness.
  • Kirpatrick 1992 study: self-reported relationship with God has similar effects as other relationships.
  • Churchgoers are healthier.
  • Life events and activities (especially on affect)
  • "' A study in five Eu European countries found that the main causes of joy were said to be relationships with friends, the basic pleasures of food, drink, and sex, and success experiences (Scherer etal. 1986)."..."Frequency of sexual intercourse also correlates with happiness, as does satisfaction with sex life, being in love, and frequency of interaction with spouse, but having liberal sexual attitudes has a negative relationship." "...alcohol, in modest doses, has the greatest effects on positive mood."
  • 2. What are some of the difficulties in studying happiness across nations, according to Diener and Suh?
  • 3. What are some of the broad differences in SWB and how are they explained causally, according to Diener and Suh?

September 11, 2012

  • 1. Identify and discuss some of the features of our evolved brain that complicate the problem of happiness.
    • Happiness may be affected than more things than we thought. We spend a lot of time thinking about our reflection and not enough about our impulses and bodies. This goes along with the new brain concept that we are more socially and popularly based, and to have a deficiency in the public standing means less happiness.

September 13, 2012

1. Identify some of the features and reference points of the classical conception of happiness in the Roman Empire. How do they connect or fail to connect with classical Greek and Hellenistic conceptions? (add later)

2. What's different about the Early Christian conception of happiness? How is this reflected in the narrative of Perpetua and Felicitas?

3. What is the basic model of happiness in Yogic thought, as explicated by Barbara Miller?

4. Identify the significance of samadhi, the kleshas, the gunas, Arjuna's conversation with Krisna, the brahmavihara.

September 18, 2012

  • 1. Explain the four noble truths.
    • The four nobel truths are:
      • There is suffering.
      • There is an origin to this suffering.
      • There is a cessation of suffering.
      • The 8XP will end suffering.

2. What are the consequence of success in following the Eight fold path? Evaluate, from your own perspective, the kind of life this would result in.

3. Is the Buddhist prescription for ending suffering also an attractive model for happiness, in your opinion?

September 20, 2012

  • 1. Reconstruct and evaluate Epicurus' view of pleasure, virtue, and happiness.
    • Key Idea: Pleasure is the Good.
      • accepts reality of gods in spite of atomistic metaphysics
      • recall tetrapharmakos: Don't fear gods. Death is nothing. What is good is easy to get. What is evil is easy to endure.
      • Why not worry about the Gods? (fill in from Prinicipal Doctrines)
      • Why not worry about death?
      • Clasification of desire: p. 2
      • Plain fare (Letter); PD 8ff: analysis of pleasure
      • PD 5: Relation of virture to pleasure
      • PD 25: something akin to mindfulness.
      • Letter to Menoeceus, "not aware of being dead so don't be afraid alive or dead - death is nothing to you in both states.
    • Hedonistic, mechanistic, atomist, deistic look at the Gods (they do not want anything to do with us), desires are natural and groundless, of the natural desires there are necessary and unnecessary and we tend to think we need the unnecessary desires fulfilled (actually needing comfort, happiness, etc.)
  • 2. Reconstruct and evaluate Epictetus advice for living. What is the relationship of this advice to happiness?
    • Stoics look at permanence to justify the emotions they should feel, and how to react. See themselves as trying to understand the natural order in the world and to act in accordance with/to their "hegemonikon", to be sorrowful about something that one has no control over is foolish and shameful to the "virtue" or "driving force." We must realize our rational nature, understand what we can control, have some control, and cannot control. The stoic would rather die for reason and logic than live in shame of his emotions or misinterpretations of order. Happiness may be the absence of all of these negative emotions and the conquering of our emotive selves. The lack of happiness maybe the only form of happiness worth having.

September 25, 2012

  • 1. What are the rationales for negative visualization? Assess it's likely effectiveness.
    • Lessens the impact of negative events; increase desire for good things; increase pessimism?
    • Tragic events, even one's that would normally produce grief, should not elicit emotions that betray a lack of understanding of the world.
    • Reasons for contemplating bad things.
      • Adaptation: wants to reverse it. "creating a desire in us for the things we already have" 67-68. Two fathers thought experiment.
      • Contemplation of our own death.
      • Sources of evidence: children, people who survive disasters (catastrophe-induced transformation), grace, unluckiness to stimulate sense of being lucky.
      • Objections: p. 81: Doesn't this heighten loss?

  • 2. What problem leads Irvine to the trichotomy of control? Does his solution work?
    • It is a mixed case: we have some, but not all control of our emotions or situations in life
    • We should therefore base our goals on where we can have control (for example, not a goal to win the game, but to play our best during the game)
    • Irvine's treatment of the dichotomy of control in consistent with Stoic thought. In a practical manner, it instructs how specifically to respond to the world, and to realize human limitations.
  • Some things up us, somethings aren't.
  • Internal strategy: changing ourselves. Desire not to be frustrated by future desires.
  • Irvine's critique of dichotomy: ambiguity -- total or partial control.
  • Complete control of opinions, desires, and aversions. (?) moves desires on basis of casino argument.
  • Complete control (irvine): goals 91, values
  • Should you want to win the tennis match, as a Stoic? internal/externally expressed goals.

September 27, 2012

October 2, 2012

  • 1. How does Chritian culture of the renaissance and reformation rethink and revise the tradition understanding of the relation of happiness and earthly existence captured in the idea of "contemptus mundi"?
    • In the renaissance there is a renewed awareness and justification of natural felicity from otherworldly aestheticism and union with God and the belief that happiness can happen in this world and in nature. It coincides with the increase in wealth in Florence. They had time and money to study comfortably the ideas of happiness from the ancients... thus a rebirth in Roman and Greek thought. Luther emphasized health and happiness. His view of marriage was that it is natural and allows sensual and transcendent pleasure. The enlightenment was characterized by more modern thought. Enlightenment is the first modern experiment in the limits of wealth and material pleasure. It is a revival of hedonism started by Locke’s “tabula rasa” in which pleasure and plain is etched from the world. It also proposed that we have an equal claim on happiness (promotion of democracy and liberty). It is also here where the idea of modern skepticism about relationship of reason to happiness. "contempus mundi" - contemplative world
  • 2. How does Locke's view of the mind alter assumptions about the search for happiness?
    • An openness to natural felicity leading to hedonism returns to Renaissance Western thought through art in Reuben, Virgil and Horace; philosophy through Locke; and religion through Aquinas. In Reuben’s “The Felicity of Regency,” we see the potentiality for earthly happiness. It’s a good example because it’s full of naked people as an expression of sensuality. We can also say that through religion, the novel idea is one can achieve happiness. There was an increase in the belief that we generated momentum for our own happiness. Poems of Horace and Virgil urged themes of simplicity and acceptance, harmony and peace. Locke refers to political happiness and equal opportunity within society and government regardless of class, wealth or status. A necessary element to human dignity is the ability to determine pleasure and pain for ourselves. St. Thomas Aquinas believed “that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs Divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act. He, like Locke believes truth through reason and faith. The goal of human existence is union and eternal fellowship with God. This goal can be achieved through the beatific vision, an event where a person experiences perfect, unending happiness by comprehending the very essence of God. The way to happiness is through charity, peace and holiness.
    • Locke's happiness and the mind: Locke was an empiricist and knowledge is acquired from the senses in that particular branch of epistemology. Started as a tabula rasa mind which lead to the question what was on the mind before then? Original sin, according to the church, tabula rasa, was a way of thinking about the mind with the burdens that came from religion. The removal of suffering was revolutionary in thought and maybe human desire drives us to happiness.
  • 3. What approaches to and critiques of happiness do we find in Enlightenment British and French culture? How does the question about the nature of happiness change in European culture during this time?
    • In 18th century Europe, countries started building parks for furthered human happiness. Pope Alexander maybe happiness is something government should help us with and is our right (200). "Bare to live or dare to die." Not only philosophers but theologians are saying maybe happiness can be found on Earth. Wealth as causal driver, medical sciences improving, longevity increases. Bentham starts up with ethical calculus and wanting to look at public health and how to engineer society in to the direction of happiness.

4. What evidence do we have, according to Gilbert, of the importance of control in people's wellbeing?

5. What's important about the prefrontal lobe for the pursuit of happiness, according to Gilbert?

October 4, 2012

  • 1. Identify some of Gilbert's evidence for doubting the reliability of subjective reports of happiness.
    • Evidence of corruption in everyday judgement: "Yellow Swatch Test" - describers do not remember their color as well as non-describers. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but less if you speak them. Also "Happy Frank Zappa" - was brought happiness through killing his family. In the discussion of awareness of our actual world, there was the "Door Study" - pedestrian is asked for detailed directions but cannot remember the actual person he is being asked by (see the YouTube video). Study was meant to show that details shroud the mind from the general overview of the situation, one may experience happiness and be lost in another detail.
  • 2. How does the plausibility of "language squishing" and "experience stretching" hypotheses affect our sense of the reliability of subjective reports of happiness?
    • Language squishing is when you feel the same, but discuss it differently because there is a language barrier. Experience stretching is when you have different feeling, but discuss it in the same way. This proves that happiness is relative and we can’t rely on the experience or how one relates the experience. The law of large numbers states that the experiences cancel each other out.
    • Language squishing is when two or more people experience the same emotions but disagree on a description for those emotions or for their level of intensity. Experience Stretching is when they use the same descriptions to describe different emotions or different levels of intensity of emotion.
    • Language squishing hyp: We "squeeze" our happiness scale (language) to fit the range of our objective exp.
      • R&L twins feel exactly like you do (about a birthday cake, for example) but talk about it differently.
      • consistent with ideas that the same feeling or state could receive a higher assessment by someone with limited experience.
    • Experience stretching hyp: We take the range of our objective experience and stretch it to fit our scale.
      • R&L talk about experiences the same as you do but feel something different.
      • consistent with idea that we might be "ruined" by 4 star hotels, but that absence of peak experiences is not a problem. (Alfino)
    • Experience squishing, kind of like the whining kids from studying abroad, must learn to re-calibrate their experience in order to give a similar rating of the experience as before, e.g. traveling to Italy made Sodexo pizza taste like trash, but now we must understand the experience was greater, and the maybe the pizza wasn't all that different? Pizza as you knew it at the COG may have been a 7 before Italy, but now is a 5 due to the 8 you experienced abroad.
  • 3. What evidence does Gilbert identify for claiming that we might not always know what we're feeling?
    • The bridge study was where men were forced to cross a rope bridge suspended over a river. The men were confronted by a woman at mid-bridge or at the end. The woman gave out her phone number letting them know if they were interested in learning more about the experiment, they should call. The results show that the men called the woman if they were confronted at mid-bridge. This was supposedly from their fear that was converted to sexual attraction by the men’s brain. While evaluating this study, we were concerned by certain factors – for instance, we are not aware if the same woman was used, the men’s opinion on what they were thinking when they saw the woman at mid-bridge, and what they were feeling when they called the woman. The study is meant for us to realize and be skeptical about how actually aware we are of our situation – past, present, or future – and the external factors that influence us.
      • We are not completely aware of our experiences as Gilbert shows through the experiments. We find that our brain actually fills in our memory by taking snap shots of the events that occurred and filling in the gaps. This is seen in the Stop sign-Yield car experiment where the views filled in the yield sign with the stop sign. Our brain is not like a recorder, but much like a camera in that regard, where the memory between snap shots is filled.
    • Sometimes we experience multiple things at the same time. The experience that is more stimulating at the time distracts us so that we don’t necessarily recall any other experiences during that moment. Examples are reading the paper while experiencing the scent of baking bread and the chirping of birds and not recalling reading the text, blindsight (eyes function but the brain does not register an act of vision) and numbfeel (emotions function but the memory does not recall having the emotions). Experience can be equated to participation while awareness can be equated to seeing.
  • 4. Where does the evidence and theorizing about objectivity in Chapters 2 and 3 leave us? How does the law of large numbers help? What, if any, problems remain?
    • In probability theory, the law of large numbers (LLN) is a theorem that describes the result of performing the same experiment a large number of times. According to the law, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed. In this case, happiness can be looked at as a more general experience and looked at more objectively.

October 9, 2012

  • 1. What is the cultural dimension of love?
    • The romantic period stressed the idea of a soul-mate, expression and incitation of emotion, and embraced the will. The will is the life force that drives all decisions. It drives you to your soul mate, but there are so many people that it is only by chance that you actually get to your soul mate. If you do not find said soul mate then suicide is an acceptable solution because life isn’t worth living without the one you love… the other half of your soul. The challenge to this view is that the people that hold this view are typically young and if all the young people who didn’t find this love in the timeframe they think they should find this love they’d just all kill themselves and we wouldn’t have a decent population base. ALSO intimacy is not necessarily unique; there are many people in the world that a person can be content or happy with so how could you know that any person is the absolute perfect “other half” for you. Don’t kill yourself if you haven’t found s/he yet. A life of contentment is a better alternative than a life of pain and disappointment.
    • They believe in all or nothing when it comes to love – one true soulmate, and if you don’t find them or if your love is unrequited, then you should commit suicide. Some challenges to this view are knowing how long to wait to find your one true love, and in recognizing them when you do find them. One way in which this is attractive to many people is that many religions advocate this type of soulmate (although they do not usually approve of the suicide portion) – one love and only one love forever, there is no changing your mind. Some of the alternatives are to be happy by yourself, finding a less passionate or even non-sexual love, or simply knowing that you can love anyone that you choose to love.
  • 2. What is attachment theory and how does it provide a naturalist account of love?
    • Harlow's monkeys can be used as an example of the Freudian breast theory, behaviourists decide to turn to monkeys and cloth monkeys. Would the monkey choose the nurturing mother or the comforting mother? Children attach with parents, can be happy only if their attachment styles match with the lover or family member. Attachments are not to directly cause happiness but to allow one to grow and negotiate life with an idea of comfort to foster them. (Tension of parents helping in growth).
  • 3. What effect, if any, does thinking about love through a naturalist theory (such as attachment) make to our experience of love, given that that experience is deeply cultural?
    • If we exapt the mechanism in three, we look at attachment theory as an explanation of maternal love. It is a theory of bonding between parents and children as well as adult-adult relationships (as of two million years ago). The shirt smelling experiment gives us some insight into how we un-knowingly know what we want more than our conscience selves. [Shirt Smelling Exp.]
  • 4. What critical resources or principles can we develop around the question of a "healthy" or "unhealthy" culture of love? Look to the Albert, Lotte, and Werther. (Discussion in one.)

October 11, 2012

  • 1. Why does de Botton find the rise of material culture since WWII important? What is his view of status comparison?
  • 2. How does de Botton use historical evidence about attitudes toward human difference to rethink our contemporary culture of meritocracy?
  • 3. How does Gilbert support his view that the mind fills in memories and forecasts of the future with information that is not relevant or distorts judgement?
  • 4. How might describing the future change our attitutde toward it? (consider esp. the UVA sports fans study)

October 16, 2012

October 18, 2012

October 23, 2012

October 25, 2012

October 30, 2012

November 1, 2012

November 6, 2012

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November 13, 2012

November 15, 2012

November 27, 2012

November 29, 2012

December 4, 2012

December 6, 2012