Dan Gilbert’s research was recently published in Science and featured in the New York Times and discussed in my blog entry from 20 November 2010. Here is an excerpt in case you missed that:
A recent article in Science (reviewed in the New York Times) lends support to what practitioners of mindfulness already know. First, our minds wander a lot. According to the study about 47% of the time (and the percentage of wandering varied considerably by activity). Second we are happier when concentrated on what we are doing. Not surprising being engaged in sex produced the least amount of stray thinking (only 10%) and the highest level of happiness.
In this talk, he discusses the power of imagination–the “experience simulator.” Simulator bias is a fault in the system and one that mindfulness can help to overcome as we become less beholden to imagination and more keyed to reality. He also talks about “synthesizing” happiness, pointing to the constructed nature of experience — especially in the realm of emotions. Again, here, mindfulness can help us to “synthesize” the experience we want through the power of accepatnce.
Enjoy this informative and funny talk.