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Tom_Breton comments on Prolegomena to a Theory of Fun - Less Wrong

27 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 December 2008 11:33PM

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Comment author: Tom_Breton 20 December 2008 10:48:58PM 0 points [-]

In other words, "what is well-being?", in such terms that we can apply it to a completely alien situation. This is an important issue.

One red herring, I think, is this:

One major set of experimental results in hedonic psychology has to do with overestimating the impact of life events on happiness.

That could be read two ways. One way is the way that you and these psychologists are reading it. Another interpretation is that the subjects estimated the impact on their future well-being correctly, but after the events, they reported their happiness with respect to their new baseline, which became adjusted to their new situation. The second thing is effectively the derivative of the first. In this interpretation the subjects' mistake is confusing the two.