Customer Reviews for

Stumbling on Happiness

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
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(21)

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(8)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Interesting read but very little is said here that isn't said elsewhere.

It is an interesting read if you have never read anything else on positive psychology but if you're familiar with some aspects of happiness research then there is very little that is new in this book. The book takes a tour through a number of "happiness fallacies" but t...
It is an interesting read if you have never read anything else on positive psychology but if you're familiar with some aspects of happiness research then there is very little that is new in this book. The book takes a tour through a number of "happiness fallacies" but there is very little action oriented advice about combating these fallacies.

posted by davidk01 on March 13, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A reviewer

Don't buy or read this book. I got it as a gift and I regret wasting my time reading it. The author uses too many over simplified examples and analogies to explain complicated concepts. He 'dumbs-it-down' so much that he never actually gets around to explaining what the...
Don't buy or read this book. I got it as a gift and I regret wasting my time reading it. The author uses too many over simplified examples and analogies to explain complicated concepts. He 'dumbs-it-down' so much that he never actually gets around to explaining what the points of his arguments are. I had to look at the cover of this book and check the title several times ('Stumbling on Happiness') to figure out what the subject of this book was. This book was also a choppy read with many small breaks within chapters that created discontinuity from one sub-chapter to another. Don't allow this author's resume (or the word 'Happiness' in the title) to mislead you. (Alot of 'misleading' is what goes on in this book.) This is a poorly written self-help book after-all because you have only yourself to figure out what the author is trying to say. At the end, nothing he proposes is that enlightening either....

posted by Anonymous on August 11, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    Don't buy or read this book. I got it as a gift and I regret wasting my time reading it. The author uses too many over simplified examples and analogies to explain complicated concepts. He 'dumbs-it-down' so much that he never actually gets around to explaining what the points of his arguments are. I had to look at the cover of this book and check the title several times ('Stumbling on Happiness') to figure out what the subject of this book was. This book was also a choppy read with many small breaks within chapters that created discontinuity from one sub-chapter to another. Don't allow this author's resume (or the word 'Happiness' in the title) to mislead you. (Alot of 'misleading' is what goes on in this book.) This is a poorly written self-help book after-all because you have only yourself to figure out what the author is trying to say. At the end, nothing he proposes is that enlightening either....

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting read but very little is said here that isn't said elsewhere.

    It is an interesting read if you have never read anything else on positive psychology but if you're familiar with some aspects of happiness research then there is very little that is new in this book. The book takes a tour through a number of "happiness fallacies" but there is very little action oriented advice about combating these fallacies.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Raw research data presented in a digestible and highly entertaining fashion

    I came upon this book as a result of catching Dr. Gilbert's series on PBS called "This Emotional Life". I found the book to be full of a great amount of information regarding emotions, and the presentation had me laughing out loud at almost every page. I do have to say that my favorite quote from the book is, "My friends tell me that I have a tendency to point out problems without offering solutions, but they never tell me what I should do about it." (page 245). I found this to be true of a lot of the book, however things are wrapped up at the end with some common sense recommendations for happiness. This book is highly entertaining.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2007

    Great read, amazing personality

    I have met Dan Gilbert and he is as funny and interesting as his book. He really has come from an untraditional background and has made it all the way to Harvard. His book combines humor with scientific facts and research and really is a great read!! If you ever have the opportunity to see Dan Gilbert speak in person, GO!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2006

    Enjoy it, but keep your wits about you

    Imagine a standup comic with an encyclopaedic knowledge of psychological research, and you'll have an idea what it is like to read this book. I enjoyed it and recommend it, but I also recommend that you maintain a skeptical attitude while reading. The text is a stew of insightful observations, quirky research results, and fallacious reasoning, so keep your wits about you as you enjoy. Beware the poor description of the law of large numbers on page 68.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    Hilarious, Hip and Eye-Opening

    The writing is so smooth and funny and enjoyable it almost does the subject matter a dis-service. One of the better books I've read in quite some time. It definately goes into the re-read pile. Pick it up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2007

    Memory is a poor guide to ask for directions.

    I was amazed as I read this book at how easily we succumb to our memory's inaccurate remembrances. I was amazed that is until I went back and read a journal I had written while on a particularly disappointing vacation. My memory of that vacation was so much more positive 'I was even considering repeating the trip' than I felt as I was experiencing the vacation. Precisely the effect that Dan Gilbert says we should expect, but we simply don't believe it. Well believe it. He's right and he's got a lot to teach us about the way in which we keep tricking ourselves into making the wrong choices about what will make us happy. A definite keeper.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2007

    Great

    This book was amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Extraordinary

    This is an engaging, well written, well documented book about "happiness" and why it eludes so regularly. Don't read it fast. 3-4 pages a day, savored and contemplated is worth it. Speed readers will likely not get much from this text.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Interesting read!

    This book gives some insight into the psychological reasons that happiness can sometimes be elusive. It is a little technical in places but the author has a good sense of humor that keeps the material from being too dry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    An insighful journey into the mind

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

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  • Posted December 4, 2011

    Excellent

    Very informative and interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2008

    A reviewer

    Every human being should read (or listen to) this book because we should understand how our brains work. Like the author says, this is not a 'how to be happy' book, and it's not intended to help you overcome your brain's shortcomings. But, it's very enlightening and entertaining (I love Gilbert's playful writing style), and after this book, you'll know why you think, do, and say the things you do. One problem with this audio book, though: you'll use too much gas, and try to find excuses for hopping in the car, driving around and listening. I couldn't stop listening!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007

    Gain insight, not a quick fix

    If you're frustrated that you are not as happy as you feel you ought to be, or that you don't know whether a particular choice will bring you the happiness you expect, this is a book well worth your time to read. Professor Gilbert explores the meaning of happiness and the psychological impediments, good and bad, that the human mind puts in the path toward its achievement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2006

    Happy I read it.

    This book is mostly easy to understand and especially valuable for its insigt and explantions of why and what makes any and/or all of us content from time to time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2006

    Wonderful, Insightful Book!

    I loved reading this book. It gave me a lot more to consider, subjectively speaking, with where my happiness comes from, and why. It's a great book, and a great read. I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Well written and easy to follow

    Children predict what occupation will make them happy when they grow up. That forecasting rarely holds up because humans have a poor track record of envisaging what will make a person happy. That is the premise behind Harvard psychologist Dr. Daniel Gilbert¿s treatise STUMBLING ON HAPPINESS. His concept is finding happiness can be sort of like finding a needle in a haystack as most people do not know where to start because the eye and brain do not always agree. He uses other amusing anecdotal and statistical evidence to make his case that individuals make errors when it come to deciding what will make them happy. Dr. Gilbert also employs thought provoking questions and puzzles as part of a survey to collect information and to get people to think what it is they desire. For instance, If Bergman stayed with Bogart at the end of Casablanca, would they have been happy together? Is the letter O or the number 0 easier to find in a haystack of other numbers and letters? Finally he provides steps to achieve personal happiness rather than stumble around like a drunk. Well written and easy to follow, this is a thought provoking look at how to attain happiness.----- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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