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You and the Real You

How well do you know of YOU? That depends on how much you remember of you.

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explains that the actual experiences you go through in your life most often does not collate of how you view your own life. You are much more inclined to “know” your life from just a few memories – consisting of just a few minutes – you kept over directly or indirectly from those experiences. 

The reason is that there are two yous, so to say. The you that experience every moment and the you that remembers just a few moments. You often perceive your life differently than it really is.

In the TED talk, Kahneman reveals how the “experiencing self” and the “remembering self” can be two very different characters and that your actual well-being is only how happy you think you are.

Excerpt: “Now, the experiencing self lives its life continuously. It has moments of experience, one after the other. And you can ask: What happens to these moments? And the answer is really straightforward: They are lost forever. I mean, most of the moments of our life — and I calculated, you know, the psychological present is said to be about three seconds long; that means that, you know, in a life there are about 600 million of them; in a month, there are about 600,000 — most of them don’t leave a trace. Most of them are completely ignored by the remembering self. And yet, somehow you get the sense that they should count, that what happens during these moments of experience is our life. It’s the finite resource that we’re spending while we’re on this earth. And how to spend it would seem to be relevant, but that is not the story that the remembering self keeps for us.”

About Daniel Kahneman, quoting from TED: “Widely regarded as the world’s most influential living psychologist, Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel in Economics for his pioneering work in behavioral economics — exploring the irrational ways we make decisions about risk.”

06/19/2012, Category: society. Tags: .

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