Perception of Happiness by Gilbert – Essay Example

The paper "Perception of Happiness by Gilbert" is a great example of a philosophy essay. Gilbert indicates that the nature of what makes one happy depends on how one perceives a situation. He notes that the frontal lobe of man enables him to visualize experiences in the mind and thereby have a perception of future outcomes or experiences. This ability produces impact bias whereby man simulates results more differently than they are in the future. Outcomes have less impact than that perceived by the mind. According to Gilbert, outcomes have less durability than perceived by the mind. Happiness that one sees in the mind is usually more than the actual joy he gets from the real situation. Gilbert explains this concept as resulting from the ability of minds to create synthetic happiness. People tend to generate happiness to feel comfortable in their daily lives. According to Gilbert, mind-created happiness is equal or even greater than actual natural happiness. Gilbert indicates that the availability of choice is an enemy of synthetic happiness or the perceived value of something. According to Gilbert, when there is a choice between two objects, man does not derive as much joy from the object he chooses compared to another man who had no choice. The man with no choice is happier because he can focus and get by with the subject matter and generate more happiness from it. The man with a choice does acquire full happiness from his chosen object since he keeps thinking about the other object he can choose. In conclusion, Gilbert says that worries and yearnings are usually overrated as we have the ability to generate happiness internally. Focusing on something that one already has created more happiness than keeping on wishing for another.