The power of daydreams: 4 studies on the surprising science of mind-wandering

Originally posted on TED Blog:

What makes us happy? It’s one of the most complicated puzzles of human existence — and one that, so far, 87 speakers have explored in TEDTalks.

In today’s talk, Matt Killingsworth (who studied under Dan Gilbert at Harvard) shares a novel approach to the study of happiness — an app, Track Your Happiness, which allows people to chart their feelings on a moment-by-moment basis. As they go about their day, app users get random pings, asking them to share their current activity and note their mood. When Killingsworth gave this talk at TEDxCambridge in 2011, the app had collected data from more than 15,000 people in 80 countries, representing a wide range of ages, education levels and occupations. In this talk, Killingsworth reveals a very surprising finding: that mind-wandering appears to factor heavily into this happiness equation.

“As human beings, we have this unique ability to have…

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