Synthetic and natural happiness, and freedom to choose

Dan Gilbert talks about the difference between natural happiness and synthetic happiness, i.e., the happiness we feel because we decide to be happy in a particular situation. This means that we can be happy depending on how we perceive our reality.

He also makes a point on freedom which is increases natural happiness but decreases synthetic happiness. This is because psychologically we find ways of protecting ourselves by being happy when we don’t have options. Hences, the more choice we have, the unhappier we are. We do need to have preferences, but if we overrate difference between options, they will make us less happy!

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