Understanding Happiness

24 April 2008 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

Daniel Gilbert, the Harvard psychologist who wrote Stumbling on Happiness was interviewed in the NYTimes the other day. His book examines most people’s fundamental inability to truly predict what will make us happy-or unhappy. As he puts it: 

Bad things don’t affect us as profoundly as we expect them to. But that’s
true of good things, too. We adapt very quickly to either. So the good news
is that going blind is not going to make you as unhappy as you think it will.
The bad news is that winning the lottery will not make you as happy as
you expect.

If you haven’t read his book, it’s worth it; a great combination of humor, insight, examples and information that can make an immediate difference in your life. But in the interview he summarizes one of the significant studies described in the book.

…we know from studies is that people tend to take more
pleasure in experiences than in things. So if you have “x”
amount of dollars to spend on a vacation or a good meal
or movies, it will get you more happiness than a durable
good or an object. One reason for this is that experiences
tend to be shared with other people and objects usually aren’t.

The value of the experience, especially in the custom design process, should never be underestimated. What are you doing to add experience value to your design services?

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Entry filed under: Experience Enhancement. Tags: .

Ask For It Design Focus Friday #2

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