Memory vs. Experience, by Daniel Kahneman

Happiness is a state of mind. But, conditions apply. Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel laureate and founder of Behavioral Economics, asks: “Are you happy in your life?” OR, “Are you happy about your life?” Kahneman delves further into the inconspicuous riddle that camouflages the thin line of difference between an experience driven happiness and a memory driven one. He deduces that people are more likely to determine the happiness quotient based on memories of experience rather than the experience itself. He explains this with an example, where two patients underwent colonoscopy at the same time. One was in intense pain for a few minutes while the other experienced pain with varying intensities for more time. For an onlooker, it is obvious that the patient in pain for more time suffered more. However for the patients themselves, their experience of pain now etched as memories made them think differently. The one, who experienced pain for fewer minutes, felt the memory of pain more strongly than the other. Although life is all what happens during an experience, the memory of the experience latches to a person strongly. Which is why, memories influence the thought process in a person in a very powerful manner. Watch this interesting video to understand the conundrum of experience and memory and the happiness quotient. If you are interested in learning more from Daniel Kahneman you can read our article titled after his famous book Thinking, Fast And Slow.

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