Week 1 : Day 4 : Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman / Well-Being

This one belongs in Happiness and Values (Week 3) and here.

I am choosing here because at about 28:00 in this long, somewhat technical talk Kahneman makes an important point. There are two selves, the first is our experiencing self. This is the one who lives in the moment, doing the things, feeling the feelings, and having experiences. The other is the remembering self. The remembering self functions strangely and is often incorrect about what exactly happened and the true nature of what happened.

Kahneman discusses how the remembering self makes mistakes reporting evaluations of pleasure and pain, regardless of duration. He also points out how an objective observer evaluates another subject’s experience is entirely different than how the subject evaluates their experience and it relates directly to how the remembering self functions. In the last part of the video he discusses the question of which is more important, the experiencing or remembering self, and I’ll have questions about that in the Happiness and Values section.

The choices people make are guided by their memory, they are not guided by the reality of their experience.


The remembering self need not be right about what actually happened.

Everything you think you know about your life may not be true, and probably isn’t.

How might this problem with the remembering self influence your self-image?

How might this problem with the remembering self influence your relationships?

How might this problem with the remembering self influence your choices in work, play, and connection?

Now that you know how an evaluation of an experience by an observer and by the person doing the experiencing will differ, how will this influence your judgement of others?

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