Journey to Elsewhen 01
The View from in Here 02
Outside Looking In 03
In the Blindspot of the Mind's Eye 04
The Hound of Silence 05
The Future Is Now 06
Time Bombs 07
Paradise Glossed 08
Immune to Reality 09
Once Bitten 10
Reporting Live from Tomorrow 11
In Chapter 8, I describe the third mistake that prevents us from accurately imagining our future happiness. People are remarkably good at making the best of bad situations—changing their views of the world in order to feel better about the world in which they find themselves. For instance, psychologists Camille Wortman and Roxy Silver show that people cope with loss far better than most of us would expect.
Psychologists Shelley Taylor and Jonathan Brown argue that certain kinds and amounts of self-deception are the cornerstones of mental health. On the other hand, psychologist Roy Baumeister argues that self-deception has a cost, and that people who fool themselves about their own wonderfulness are a threat to themselves and others.
People change their views of reality in order to feel better about it, but should we teach and encourage or discourage such behavior?
C.B. Wortman and R.C. Silver, "The Myths of Coping with Loss Revisited," in Handbook of Bereavement Research: Consequences, Coping, and Care ed. M. S. Stroebe and R. O. Hansson (Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, 2001) 405-429.
S.E. Taylor and J.D. Brown, "Illusion and Well-Being: A Social-Psychological Perspective on Mental Health," Psychological Bulletin, 103, 193-210 (1988).
R.F. Baumeister, "Violent Pride: Do People Turn Violent Because of Self-Hate, or Self-Love?" Scientific American, 284, 96-101 (2001).
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