Not Moving Towards Happiness

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 6 2012 @ 8:44am

Would we be happier living in constant sunshine? Not necessarily:

[Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s] decades of cognitive research, much of it done in collaboration with longtime colleague Amos Tversky, has shown that humans are subject to what he calls a "focusing illusion." We focus on the moment, overestimating the importance of certain factors in determining our future happiness and ignoring the factors that really matter. For this reason, people commonly assume that moving to a warmer climate will make them significantly happier. This is not the case at all, as a 1998 large-sample study of Kahneman’s showed; overall life satisfaction in the Midwest and California, the regions sampled, was nearly identical. 

Earlier Dish on Kahneman here and here.