Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Interdisciplinary need. Happiness, economics, and decision making

I have some impression that sometimes, happiness researchers and economists just live in two different worlds. Different languages assumptions etc.

The sad part is that much of the happiness research is not adopted by policy makers, because economists have much more power. But also that the language differs so much.

It touches on:
Convincing, as some happiness research is not conducted the way to "force" the conclusionson skeptics.
Usefulness, as it is hard for psychologists to offer practical economic advice etc. + considering reality of markets etc.
Good heart. The value gaop is sometimes quite high. And psychologists talking on values, life etc. can hardly sound rational to an economist ear. There is enough strong data that would convince even the most cynical "maximizer" economist about stuff. But once "nice" words enter the discussion some start feeling strange.

An interdisciplinary center is very needed to integrate psychological hard proved findings with practical and theoretical maximization principles of economics etc. etc. as well as considering the practical (various intersts, dynamics etc.) forces in the way of positive change. Decision making perspective is also criucial whenever things relate to real persons making decisions.

A conference integrating the parties, would also help. provided it is with the purpose of mutual learning and cooperations as mentioned above.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

trouble gets superimposed on us. Why? Any escape?

I was running to the airport dragging my bags, somewhatg suffering along the way, but totally consumed in this bad feeling of the bags the hurry and the train.

I was amazed. How come that all of me has only one thing in my being at this moment. Is this baggage dragging (with ailing bag wheels, for sure) all there is in my world?
I tried to make a little thinking into other things, totally unsuccessfully.

1) why is it so consuming? (some fight-flight comes to mind. Or that body is what counts cf. Damasio. Only reflective reactions here.)
2) Can we do something about it? Idea etc.? Below I tell what I did, but what counts is whether there are essential ways to feel better in such situations.

I tried to do meditationm along the way (it helped a little), and technical triocks like escaping the queue while others save my place and going for a walk.)

Very essential point, since muhc of our lives is dominated by such stuff and other things that fall broadly under a similar point.

Content of mind. the flexibility

I woke up in the morning like a rat I jump to the computer some emails etc. etc. and my mind is there. Fixed of the things I were reading there. They are small incosequential and uninteresting things. But there they stay filling my mind. I even do not remember what was in my mind before that.

the content of our mind is so influenced by outside influence or by things we do and look after just by sheer impulse. But it is many times a big waste, of mind of energy and of life.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

do people pursue happiness seriousely?

It feels at times that people's way of going throught life is not like they are trying to maximize happiness.
Sure, people try to feel better and have various lovely things. But they are laso running after a whole bunch of things that do not look like happiness maximizing. If you start talking to people on the street about happiness you will find that while in theory they value it, in practice it does not stay in their mind, and does not alway gets "due" weight in decisions.

Several explanations are possible. but this is not the point here.

If people actually prefer some other things to happiness, or if they do not have it in highest priority, shoudl we try to convince them about this? can we say that happiness is most important when people do not think so?

flexibility of preferences and kinds of happiness and self

We have various kinds of happiness, various preferences, and various facetes of the self.
Lots of our decisions and preferences are innate, while much is also subject to framing effects dynamics and various biases as well as intentioned actions (?).

How should we look at this?

PS. Even the ways to sum up events and moment are flexible etc.

Leverage for good and for bad

We leverage our experience in life. A good event is savored time before vai anticipation, and afterward. Same for bad.
Can we leverage good experience more and bad ones less? taht would be great!