Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

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Red Ryder
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Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:33 am

I picked this one up on Audible after listening to Jonathan Haidt on the Joe Rogan Podcast. I'm about an hour in so far and like what I'm hearing but I'm fighting a mental annoyance from the voice reading the book. I turned the bass down on the car stereo two notches and that seemed to help. :lol:

Here's a summary I found online:

https://fourminutebooks.com/the-happine ... s-summary/
Four Minute Book Summary wrote:These blinks show that Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and professor at NYU, has pulled out all the stops.

In the beginning of the book, he establishes a metaphor, which then serves throughout the rest of the book to explain happiness in different contexts.

He says our brain is divided into two main parts. Your limbic system is in charge of your basic instincts, the needs for sleep, food and sex.

The neocortex is, as its name suggests, a newer part of the brain, responsible for your rational thinking. It’s what keeps your limbic system in check and makes sure you don’t run around naked on the street, overeat, or sleep in when you’re supposed to go to work.

While the neocortex follows suit to your thoughts, your limbic brain doesn’t. It’s fully in charge of your heart rate, moving while you sleep or the knee-jerk reflex.

Haidt therefore describes the limbic brain as a wild elephant, with your neocortex being the rider, trying to control the elephant.

Unhappiness comes from the rider and the elephant disagreeing, and Haidt uses this metaphor to show you what you can do to close the gap between the two.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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slavereeno
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by slavereeno » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:51 pm

This sounds like an interesting book. I have read this principle WRT the conscious/subconscious relationship in our brain. I would have to find the source but the Elephant analogy reminded me of the analogy in the paper. That analogy compares our brain to a ship. That most people think we are like the helmsman of a large ship and that we can change the ship's direction but that it takes time. He suggest we really are just a passenger on the boat and that at best we can try to communicate with the captain who may or may not instruct the helmsman to steer the boat according to our command.

I would be interested to know how Haidt recommends closing the gap between rider and Oliphunt.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:39 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:51 pm
I would be interested to know how Haidt recommends closing the gap between rider and Oliphunt.
I'm getting sick of boat analogies... lately. :lol:

I listened to another hour during lunch today and he sums up closing the gap with 3 things.

1. Meditation
2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
3. Prozac

Or a combination of all 3.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by MerrieMiss » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:47 pm

I’ve read and enjoyed two of Haidt’s other books recently and am not opposed to reading this one, although it seems from the reviews that as the book was published in 2006, it contains some outdated ideas about anti-depressants.
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

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jfro18
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by jfro18 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:21 pm

When I first started researching all the church stuff I came across the Elephant analogy but didn't know it was from this book.

This was the image I saw early on that tried to explain why it's so hard to think about emotional things rationally.

Image

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Red Ryder
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:10 am

MerrieMiss wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:47 pm
I’ve read and enjoyed two of Haidt’s other books recently and am not opposed to reading this one, although it seems from the reviews that as the book was published in 2006, it contains some outdated ideas about anti-depressants.
Having listened to another chapter, he does explain that brain science and medicine have advanced beyond Prozac and has now given us numerous other antidepressant cousins which have created new benefits and bad experiences.

Further on he explains the principle of reciprocity and "tit for tat" really well. I'm probably missing a lot of understanding from listening while I drive but it's interesting how we ignore our own cognitive bias and weakness and exploit situations (people) for our own personal gain. I'll come back to this and try to explain later.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Mad Jax
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by Mad Jax » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:57 pm

NOM has a book club? How do you know if you're cool enough to join?
Free will is a golden thread flowing through the matrix of fixed events.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by RubinHighlander » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:27 pm

Mad Jax wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:57 pm
NOM has a book club? How do you know if you're cool enough to join?
Dude, you're a freakn bouncer, you can let yourself into any club.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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Mad Jax
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by Mad Jax » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:12 pm

Sweet what book are we reading? Or what book is next? Probably missed the window on discussing the current one.
Free will is a golden thread flowing through the matrix of fixed events.

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Ghost
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by Ghost » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:31 pm

My favorite of Haidt's books is The Righteous Mind, though I also enjoyed this one and The Coddling of the American Mind. The latter primarily for its discussion of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which I was not really familiar with.

In short, I would recommend all three books.

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Newme
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Re: Book Club? The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Post by Newme » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:30 pm

Fascinating ideas!
I’ve also heard that the elephant (or bigger part) is the subconscious and the rider - the conscious. The way to clean out and consciously & more functionally fill the powerful subconscious is through prayer/meditation. And I think an essential type of meditation is inner housecleaning - life traps and cognitive distortions.

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