Study: Key to happiness is listen to others

first_imgWant to know what will make you happy? Then ask a total stranger — or so says a new study from Harvard University, which shows that another person’s experience is often more informative than your own best guess.The study, which appears in the current issue of Science, was led by Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard and author of the 2007 bestseller “Stumbling on Happiness,” along with Matthew Killingsworth and Rebecca Eyre, also of Harvard, and Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia.“If you want to know how much you will enjoy an experience, you are better off knowing how much someone else enjoyed it than knowing anything about the experience itself,” says Gilbert. “Rather than closing our eyes and imagining the future, we should examine the experience of those who have been there.Previous research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics has shown that people have difficulty predicting what they will like and how much they will like it, which leads them to make a wide variety of poor decisions. Interventions aimed at improving the accuracy with which people imagine future events have been generally unsuccessful.So rather than trying to improve human imagination, Gilbert and his colleagues sought to eliminate it from the equation by asking people to predict how much they would enjoy a future event about which they knew absolutely nothing — except how much a total stranger had enjoyed it. Amazingly enough, those people made extremely accurate predictionsIn one experiment, women predicted how much they would enjoy a “speed date” with a man. Some women read the man’s personal profile and saw his photograph, and other women learned nothing whatsoever about the man, but did learn how much another woman (whom they had never met) had enjoyed dating him. Women who learned about a previous woman’s experience did a much better job of predicting their own enjoyment of the speed date than did women who studied the man’s profile and photograph.Interestingly, both groups of women mistakenly expected the profile and photo to lead to greater accuracy, and after the experiment was over both groups said they would strongly prefer to have the profile and photograph of their next date.In the second experiment, two groups of participants were asked to predict how they would feel if they received negative personality feedback from a peer. Some participants were shown a complete written copy of the feedback. Others were shown nothing, and learned only how a total stranger had felt upon receiving the feedback. The latter group more accurately predicted their own reactions to the negative feedback. Once again, participants mistakenly guessed that a written copy of the feedback would be more informative than knowledge of a total stranger’s experience.“People do not realize what a powerful source of information another person’s experience can be,” says Gilbert, “because they mistakenly believe that everyone is remarkably different from everyone else. But the fact is that an alien who knew all the likes and dislikes of a single human being would know a great deal about the species. People believe that the best way to predict how happy they will be in the future is to know what their future holds, but what they should really want to know is how happy those who’ve been to the future actually turned out to be.Gilbert’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation.last_img read more

Energy institute informs how to do cold smarter

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

Next-Generation Optical Antennas to Control Light Instead of Radio Waves

first_imgAntennas today are used to convert radio waves into electrical signal and vice versa. Scientists at the University of Notre Dame, are working towards creating Optical Antennas, that enable engineers to control how light interacts with materials and can localize light to subwavelength dimensions for use with many of today’s nanoscale devices.Anthony J. Hoffman, associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, has been focusing his efforts on next-generation materials, technologies, and devices for infrared light. Most often associated with night vision, infrared light has many uses in optical sensing and detection.The paper titled “Monochromatic Multimode Antennas on Epsilon-Near-Zero Materials” that Hoffman and his team recently published in Advanced Optical Materials describes a special class of optical materials that can drastically alter the properties of optical antennas. This “control” of properties opens the door for new ways to engineer optical antennas. Epsilon-Near-Zero (ENZ) materials offer unique phenomena, including wavefront engineering, enhanced light funneling through subwavelength apertures, order-of-magnitude extension of the local wavelength in waveguiding structures, and spectrally-selective absorption and thermal emissions. Building optical antennas on an ENZ material allowed the team to design and demonstrate a multimode, nearly monochromatic antenna, a new class of optical antennas, that could have use in sensing, imaging, infrared optoelectronics, and thermal emission control applications. It also offers the potential for new types of optical devices.Hoffman, an affiliated member of the Center for Nano Science and Technology, and his team are currently working to incorporate their optical antennas into semiconductor devices in order to improve the interaction between light and semiconductor materials, thus creating the next generation of infrared sources.For more information on this research, click here.last_img read more

Hilcorp Treats Kenai Seniors To Thanksgiving Dinner

FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Hilcorp will sponsor the annual Kenai Senior Thanksgiving Dinner for local area seniors 60 years old or older. This is the sixth year Hilcorp has provided funding and volunteers for this event, which is hosted by the Kenai Senior Center. The City of Kenai received a donation from Hilcorp Energy Company in the amount of $3,500 for the purchase of food and supplies for hosting the annual event. The Annual Peninsula Wide Senior Thanksgiving Dinner is a senior tradition that began in 1976. A Homemakers Club provided and served the first meal to the seniors. From there it grew and has been passed on through Unocal Oil, Agrium, and Marathon Oil before Hilcorp took over. The Annual Peninsula Wide Senior Thanksgiving Dinner, which will be held on November 20. read more

Hogsett resigns after four years

first_img“It has been an honor to serve in this office for the last four years because I have had the privilege to do so alongside a talented group of Assistant United States Attorneys. I owe them and our tireless support staff a debt of gratitude for the dedication and resilience that has been displayed every day of my tenure…The result of this effort has been the most exciting period in the office’s history. We have set new records for the number of defendants charged and the total number of criminal convictions. The office has led the nation in average length of sentences imposed on criminal defendants. Fiscally, annual office spending has fallen every year I have served, and is currently at a level not seen since the Bush Administration.But numbers alone are not sufficient to describe the office’s accomplishments. Rather, the full story is told through the thousands of victims who found some sense of justice over the last four years – children who had faced horrific exploitation, grandmothers who had watched their retirement funds disappear, neighborhoods that used to live in fear of violent gangs that operated with no regard for the rule of law.”In July 2010, Joseph H. Hogsett was nominated to serve as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. He was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn into office on October 7, 2010. Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today his resignation from office, effective July 31, 2014.In a letter submitted to Attorney General Eric Holder this morning, Hogsett thanked his staff and reflected on his time as U.S. Attorney:last_img read more