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1

Wisdom is now so cheap and abundant that it floods over us from calendar pages, tea bags, bottle caps,.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

2

Shakespeare: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. ”1.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

3

Helping people find happiness and meaning is precisely the goal of the new field of positive psychology,2.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

4

The mind is divided into parts that sometimes conflict. Like a rider on the back of an elephant, the conscious, reasoning part of the mind has only limited control of what the elephant does.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

5

Shakespeare’s, about how “thinking makes it so. ” (Or, as Buddha4 said, “Our life is the creation of our mind. ”) But we can improve this ancient idea today by explaining why most people’s minds have a bias toward seeing threats and engaging in useless worry.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

6

Reciprocity is the most important tool for getting along with people,.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

7

One is that happiness comes from getting what you want, but we all know (and research confirms) that such happiness is short-lived. A more promising hypothesis is that happiness comes from within and cannot be obtained by making the world conform to your desires.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

8

Changing your mind is usually a more effective response to frustration than is changing the world.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

9

For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. —ST. PAUL, GALATIANS 5:171.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

10

If Passion drives, let Reason hold the Reins. —BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

11

Human thinking depends on metaphor. We understand new or complex things in relation to things we already know. 3.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

12

Buddha, for example, compared the mind to a wild elephant: In days gone by this mind of mine used to stray wherever selfish desire or lust or pleasure would lead it. Today this mind does not stray and is under the harmony of control, even as a wild elephant is controlled by the trainer. 4.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

13

Sigmund Freud offered us a related model 2,300 years later. 6 Freud said that the mind is divided into three parts: the ego (the conscious, rational self); the superego (the conscience, a sometimes too rigid commitment to the rules of society); and the id (the desire for pleasure, lots of it, sooner rather than later).

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

14

The metaphor I use when I lecture on Freud is to think of the mind as a horse and buggy (a Victorian chariot) in which the driver (the ego) struggles frantically to control a hungry, lustful, and disobedient horse (the id) while the driver’s father (the superego) sits in the back seat lecturing the driver on what he is doing wrong.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

15

For Freud, the goal of psychoanalysis was to escape this pitiful state by strengthening the ego, thus giving it more control over the id and more independence from the superego.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

16

The last third of the century: Social psychologists created “information processing” theories to explain everything from prejudice to friendship. Economists created “rational choice” models to explain why people do what they do. The social sciences were uniting under the idea that people are rational agents who set goals and pursue them intelligently by using the information and resources at their disposal.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

17

I am dragged along by a strange new force. Desire and reason are pulling in different directions. I see the right way and approve it, but follow the wrong. 7.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

18

I was a rider on the back of an elephant. I’m holding the reins in my hands, and by pulling one way or the other I can tell the elephant to turn, to stop, or to go. I can direct things, but only when the elephant doesn’t have desires of his own. When the elephant really wants to do something, I’m no match for him.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

19

Trying to improve the workings of the head brain can directly interfere with those of the gut brain.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

20

Ancient Indian theories in which the abdomen contains the three lower chakras—energy centers corresponding to the colon/anus, sexual organs, and gut.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

21

The corpus callosum is the largest single bundle of nerves in the entire body, so it must be doing something important. Indeed it is: It allows the two halves of the brain to communicate and coordinate their activity.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

22

The brain divides its processing of the world into its two hemispheres—left and right. The left hemisphere takes in information from the right half of the world (that is, it receives nerve transmissions from the right arm and leg, the right ear, and the left half of each retina, which receives light from the right half of the visual field) and sends out commands to move the limbs on the right side of the body.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

23

The left hemisphere is specialized for language processing and analytical tasks. In visual tasks, it is better at noticing details. The right hemisphere is better at processing patterns in space, including that all-important pattern, the face. (This is the origin of popular and oversimplified ideas about artists being “right-brained” and scientists being “left-brained”).

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

24

These dramatic splits of the mind are caused by rare splits of the brain. Normal people are not split-brained. Yet the split-brain studies were important in psychology because they showed in such an eerie way that the mind is a confederation of modules capable of working independently and even, sometimes, at cross-purposes.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

25

Gazzaniga’s “interpreter module” is, essentially, the rider.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

26

Perhaps the frontal cortex is the seat of reason: It is Plato’s charioteer; it is St. Paul’s Spirit. And it has taken over control, though not perfectly, from the more primitive limbic system—Plato’s bad horse, St. Paul’s flesh.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

27

The limbic system underlies many of our basic animal instincts. 14.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

28

When people suffer damage to the frontal cortex, they sometimes show an increase in sexual and aggressive behavior because the frontal cortex plays an important role in suppressing or inhibiting behavioral impulses.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

29

A brain scan found that an enormous tumor in his frontal cortex was squeezing everything else, preventing the frontal cortex from doing its job of inhibiting inappropriate behavior and thinking about consequences.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

30

In fact, the frontal cortex enabled a great expansion of emotionality in humans. The lower third of the prefrontal cortex is called the orbitofrontal cortex because it is the part of the brain just above the eyes (orbit is the Latin term for the eye socket). This region of the cortex has grown especially large in humans and other primates and is one of the most consistently active areas of the brain during emotional reactions. 16.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

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