Sunday, October 23, 2011

How Happiness and Psychology Relate

Nothing is Good or Bad

Jonathan Haidt speaks about happiness and how nothing is good or bad.


Jonathan Haidt is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures and political ideology.

Haidt created a "Happiness Theory" that can be read (and downloaded) by going to this link http://www.positiveworkplacealliance.com/files/Abstract%20Happiness%20Hypothesis%20Haidt%202006.pdf

My favorite idea about Haid is about the "divided self" or divided mind and how he uses the analogy of the rider and the elephant.

Basically, he states the mind is divided into parts that sometimes conflict. People are driven by strange forces.They are able to see the right way and approve it, but follow the wrong. People are not really in charge of their behavior. They know and see the right way but they just can't do it. The reason for this is the mind is divided in many ways: Automatic cognition and controlled cognition.

Automatic cognition is all the stuff neuro-networks do on their own without any conscious direction. Automatic cognition or "intuition" (the elephant) makes up 99% of all cognition.

The controlled cognition (the rider) or reasoning is not connected to motivational centers, is  fast, easy, don't get tired, and ultimate is the one responsible for controlling our behavior.

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