Divination Lecture: "Happiness: What Your Mother Didn’t Tell You"

Most of us think we know what would make us happy and that our only problem is getting it. But research in psychology, economics, and neuroscience shows that people are not very good at predicting what will make them happy, how happy it will make them, and how long that happiness will last.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University presents the free lecture "Happiness: What Your Mother Didn’t Tell You" on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at the Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St., Cambridge) at 6:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Avenue). The lecture is the fourth in a year-long series about divination.

Is the problem that we can’t really imagine what our futures will hold? Is the problem that society lies to us about the true sources of human happiness? Yes, and yes again. Harvard professor of psychology and bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness Daniel Gilbert will explain why, when it comes to finding happiness, we can’t always trust our imaginations—or our mothers.

Daniel Gilbert has won numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology. In 2008 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His 2007 book, Stumbling on Happiness, spent 6 months on the New York Times bestseller list, has being translated into 30 languages, and was awarded the Royal Society’s General Book Prize for best science book of the year.

In 2010, he hosted and co-wrote the award-winning NOVA television series This Emotional Life which was seen by more than 10 million viewers.

He is a contributor to Time, The New York Times, and NPR's All Things Considered, and has been a guest on numerous television shows including The Today Show, Charlie Rose, 20/20, and The Colbert Report.

His first TED talk is one of the 15 most popular of all time.


Divination lecture seriesLook for the tarot card icon on the Peabody Museum calendar for more lectures on divination.









Daniel Gilbert. Harvard professor of psychology and bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness.  Photo by Rachel Lieff Axelbank.

"Happiness: What Your Mother Didn’t Tell You," part of the free Peabody Museum Divination lecture series, is Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge.

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

Public information: 617-496-1027