Posted by: wolf | December 20, 2007

Subjective experience and psychological measurement

I am reading (and enjoying!) Daniel Gilbert’s “Stumbling on Happiness“, a book that has won a major prize and deserves it. On the metro today, I almost made a fool of myself by cheering aloud when I read the following:

“Scientists who rely on the honest, real-time reports of attentive individuals often feel the need to defend that choice by reminding us that these reports correlate strongly with other measures of happiness. But in a sense, they’ve got it backward. After all, the only reason why we take any of these bodily events — from muscle movement to cerebral blood flow — as indices of happiness is that people tell us they are.”

I can only agree so much.


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