Daniel T. Gilbert

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Daniel Gilbert, 2014.

Daniel Todd Gilbert (born November 5, 1957) is an American social psychologist, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, and writer. He is known for his research (with Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia) on affective forecasting.

Quotes[edit]

  • We live in a world in which people are censured, demoted, imprisoned, beheaded, simply because they have opened their mouths, flapped their lips, and vibrated some air. Yes, those vibrations can make us feel sad or stupid or alienated. Tough shit. That's the price of admission to the marketplace of ideas. Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we're in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it's time to make a run for the fence.

"Ordinary personology." 1998[edit]

Daniel T. Gilbert, "Ordinary personology." The handbook of social psychology 2 (1998): 89-150

  • Heider began by assuming that just as objects have enduring qualities that determine their appearances, so people have stable psychological characteristics that determine their behavior.
    • p. 94; As cited in Bertram F. Malle, "Attribution theories: How people make sense of behavior." Theories in social psychology (2011): 72-95; p. 74
  • If a pitcher who wishes to retire a batter (motivation) throws a burning fastball (action) directly into the wind (environmental influence), then the observer should conclude that the pitcher has a particularly strong arm (ability). If a batter tries to hit that ball (motivation) but fails (action), then the observer should conclude that the batter lacked coordination (ability) or was blinded by the sun (environmental influence).
    • p. 96; as cited in Malle (2011, 75)

Stumbling on Happiness, 2006[edit]

Daniel M. Gilbert (2006), Stumbling on Happiness

  • Among life’s cruelest truths is this one: Wonderful things are especially wonderful the first time they happen, but their wonderfulness wanes with repetition. Just compare the first and last time your child said "Mama" or your partner said "I love you" and you’ll know exactly what I mean. When we have an experience hearing a particular sonata, making love with a particular person, watching the sunset from a particular window of a particular room—on successive occasions, we quickly begin to adapt to it, and the experience yields less pleasure each time. Psychologists call this habituation, economists call it declining marginal utility, and the rest of us call it marriage. But human beings have discovered two devices that allow them to combat this tendency: variety and time.
    • p. 30
  • 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. In one chapter after another, I've described the ways in which imagination fails to provide us with accurate previews of our emotional futures. I’ve claimed that when we imagine our futures we tend to fill in, leave out, and take little account of how differently we will think about the future once we actually get there. I’ve claimed that neither personal experience nor cultural wisdom compensates for imagination’s shortcomings. I’ve so thoroughly marinated you in the foibles, biases, errors, and mistakes of the human mind that you may wonder how anyone ever manages to make toast without buttering their kneecaps. If so, you will be heartened to learn that there is a simple method by which anyone can make strikingly accurate predictions about how they will feel in the future. But you may be disheartened to learn that, by and large, no one wants to use it.
    • p. 223

External links[edit]

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