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  • Everybody talks about happiness these days.

    最近大家都在談論快樂

  • I had somebody count the number of books

    我請人數了有多少本書

  • with "happiness" in the title published in the last five years

    在近五年來出版書名有提到"快樂"

  • and they gave up after about 40, and there were many more.

    他們數到大約超過40本,並且還有更多

  • There is a huge wave of interest in happiness,

    越來越多人對快樂的議題感到有興趣

  • among researchers.

    展開研究

  • There is a lot of happiness coaching.

    其中更多訓練教導人如何變快樂

  • Everybody would like to make people happier.

    人人都想讓人更快樂

  • But in spite of all this flood of work,

    雖這類書籍多如牛毛

  • there are several cognitive traps

    仍有些認知上的陷阱

  • that sort of make it almost impossible to think straight

    讓人幾乎難以直接領會

  • about happiness.

    快樂的本質

  • And my talk today will be mostly about these cognitive traps.

    我今天主要談論的就是這些認知陷阱

  • This applies to laypeople thinking about their own happiness,

    它們既會影響一般人對自身快樂的觀感

  • and it applies to scholars thinking about happiness,

    也會影響學者對快樂的判斷

  • because it turns out we're just as messed up as anybody else is.

    因為我們和任何人一樣都會出錯

  • The first of these traps

    第一個陷阱

  • is a reluctance to admit complexity.

    是不願去承認快樂並不簡單

  • It turns out that the word "happiness"

    事實證明快樂這個詞

  • is just not a useful word anymore,

    已經再也不實用了

  • because we apply it to too many different things.

    因為我們拿它來詮釋太多事情

  • I think there is one particular meaning to which we might restrict it,

    我想我們應該限定它的意思

  • but by and large,

    不過,一般而言

  • this is something that we'll have to give up

    我們得放棄這個想法

  • and we'll have to adopt the more complicated view

    並用更複雜的觀點來看

  • of what well-being is.

    何謂快樂生活

  • The second trap is a confusion between experience and memory;

    第二個陷阱是經驗和記憶間的混淆

  • basically, it's between being happy in your life,

    基本上這是在生活中體會快樂

  • and being happy about your life

    和覺得生活很快樂

  • or happy with your life.

    樂觀生活之間的差別

  • And those are two very different concepts,

    這兩者意義相差甚遠

  • and they're both lumped in the notion of happiness.

    論及快樂常混為一談

  • And the third is the focusing illusion,

    第三點是大事幻覺論

  • and it's the unfortunate fact that we can't think about any circumstance

    不幸,當我們想到一些

  • that affects well-being

    關於快樂生活的情境

  • without distorting its importance.

    勢必會覺得它特別重要

  • I mean, this is a real cognitive trap.

    這是真正的認知陷阱

  • There's just no way of getting it right.

    避無可避

  • Now, I'd like to start with an example

    現在,我想以一個例子開頭

  • of somebody who had a question-and-answer session

    有個人上過我的課後

  • after one of my lectures reported a story,

    在Q&A回應了一則故事

  • and that was a story --

    這個故事是這樣的

  • He said he'd been listening to a symphony,

    他說他有次在聽交響樂時

  • and it was absolutely glorious music

    覺得音樂真是動聽極了

  • and at the very end of the recording,

    但在演奏快結束時

  • there was a dreadful screeching sound.

    卻冒出了可怕刺耳的聲音

  • And then he added, really quite emotionally,

    接著他生氣地表示

  • it ruined the whole experience.

    這毀了整個愉快的經驗

  • But it hadn't.

    事實並非如此

  • What it had ruined were the memories of the experience.

    毀了的是對於這段經驗的記憶

  • He had had the experience.

    他經歷了這段經驗

  • He had had 20 minutes of glorious music.

    經歷了20分鐘的聽覺饗宴

  • They counted for nothing

    現在都不算數了

  • because he was left with a memory;

    因為他只剩下記憶

  • the memory was ruined,

    有污點的記憶

  • and the memory was all that he had gotten to keep.

    他就只剩下這段記憶

  • What this is telling us, really,

    這告訴我們

  • is that we might be thinking of ourselves and of other people

    我們在思考自己和別人時

  • in terms of two selves.

    用了兩種我

  • There is an experiencing self,

    經驗的我

  • who lives in the present

    活在當下

  • and knows the present,

    感受當下

  • is capable of re-living the past,

    也能感受過去的經驗

  • but basically it has only the present.

    但基本上他只屬於當下

  • It's the experiencing self that the doctor approaches --

    當醫生要接觸的是經驗的我

  • you know, when the doctor asks,

    他會問

  • "Does it hurt now when I touch you here?"

    "我碰你這裡會痛嗎?"

  • And then there is a remembering self,

    另一個是記憶的我

  • and the remembering self is the one that keeps score,

    負責記錄生活

  • and maintains the story of our life,

    抒寫生活故事

  • and it's the one that the doctor approaches

    醫生要找他時

  • in asking the question,

    會這麼問

  • "How have you been feeling lately?"

    "最近感覺如何?"

  • or "How was your trip to Albania?" or something like that.

    或"去阿爾巴尼亞好玩嗎",類似的問題

  • Those are two very different entities,

    經驗的我和記憶的我

  • the experiencing self and the remembering self,

    兩者十分不同

  • and getting confused between them is part of the mess

    我們之所以不懂快樂

  • about the notion of happiness.

    兩者的混淆是部分原因

  • Now, the remembering self

    記憶的我

  • is a storyteller.

    負責說故事

  • And that really starts with a basic response of our memories --

    故事從記憶中直接擷取

  • it starts immediately.

    即時上傳

  • We don't only tell stories when we set out to tell stories.

    我們講故事的時候並不是我們在講

  • Our memory tells us stories,

    是我們的記憶在說故事

  • that is, what we get to keep from our experiences

    我們從經驗中儲存下來的

  • is a story.

    是故事

  • And let me begin with one example.

    讓我用一個例子開頭

  • This is an old study.

    以前有個研究

  • Those are actual patients undergoing a painful procedure.

    由真正的病人接受痛苦的治療

  • I won't go into detail. It's no longer painful these days,

    細節不多說,現今的療法已不再難受

  • but it was painful when this study was run in the 1990s.

    但在實驗進行的90年代,治療令人痛不欲生

  • They were asked to report on their pain every 60 seconds.

    病人必須每分鐘報告痛苦指數

  • Here are two patients,

    這邊有兩個病患

  • those are their recordings.

    還有他們的紀錄

  • And you are asked, "Who of them suffered more?"

    我問你,"誰受苦多一點?"

  • And it's a very easy question.

    這問題很簡單

  • Clearly, Patient B suffered more --

    顯然,是病人B

  • his colonoscopy was longer,

    他的結腸鏡檢查時間較長

  • and every minute of pain that Patient A had,

    病人A每分鐘感覺的疼痛

  • Patient B had, and more.

    病人B也感覺到了,而且更久

  • But now there is another question:

    但現在有另一個問題

  • "How much did these patients think they suffered?"

    "誰感覺比較痛?"

  • And here is a surprise.

    這裡有個小意外

  • The surprise is that Patient A

    意外的是病人A

  • had a much worse memory of the colonoscopy

    對於結腸鏡檢查的記憶比病人B

  • than Patient B.

    還糟糕

  • The stories of the colonoscopies were different,

    兩段結腸鏡檢查的故事不同

  • and because a very critical part of the story is how it ends.

    重點在於故事的結尾

  • And neither of these stories is very inspiring or great --

    兩個故事都不怎麼啟發人心

  • but one of them is this distinct ... (Laughter)

    不過其中之一

  • but one of them is distinctly worse than the other.

    顯然感受比另一個還差

  • And the one that is worse

    感覺較糟的這一個

  • is the one where pain was at its peak at the very end;

    結尾時處於疼痛高峰

  • it's a bad story.

    這不是個好故事

  • How do we know that?

    我們怎知道的?

  • Because we asked these people after their colonoscopy,

    因為我們在檢查結束後問他們

  • and much later, too,

    稍晚之後問說

  • "How bad was the whole thing, in total?"

    "整體而言,感覺多糟?"

  • And it was much worse for A than for B, in memory.

    而A的記憶感覺比B糟糕許多

  • Now this is a direct conflict

    顯然經驗的我和記憶的我之間

  • between the experiencing self and the remembering self.

    有了直接衝突

  • From the point of view of the experiencing self,

    就經驗的我來看

  • clearly, B had a worse time.

    顯然B比較難受

  • Now, what you could do with Patient A,

    那病人A的情況該怎麼解釋

  • and we actually ran clinical experiments,

    我們實際做了臨床實驗

  • and it has been done, and it does work --

    實驗完成了,確實有用

  • you could actually extend the colonoscopy of Patient A

    病人A的檢查結果能得到解釋

  • by just keeping the tube in without jiggling it too much.

    在於持續插入導管時不晃動得太厲害

  • That will cause the patient

    雖然病人還是會痛

  • to suffer, but just a little

    但只有一點點

  • and much less than before.

    比先前好受許多

  • And if you do that for a couple of minutes,

    繼續這樣做,幾分鐘下來

  • you have made the experiencing self

    病人A的經驗的我

  • of Patient A worse off,

    感覺每況愈下

  • and you have the remembering self of Patient A

    而病人A記憶的我

  • a lot better off,

    感覺好多了

  • because now you have endowed Patient A

    因為你給了病人A

  • with a better story

    一個好一點的故事

  • about his experience.

    記憶他的經驗

  • What defines a story?

    故事好壞由什麼決定?

  • And that is true of the stories

    記憶告訴我們的故事

  • that memory delivers for us,

    是真實的

  • and it's also true of the stories that we make up.

    我們講的故事也是真的

  • What defines a story are changes,

    故事好壞取決於變化

  • significant moments and endings.

    重要時刻和結尾的變化

  • Endings are very, very important

    結尾非常重要

  • and, in this case, the ending dominated.

    上面的例子是結尾由主導

  • Now, the experiencing self

    經驗的我

  • lives its life continuously.

    延續這個生活經驗

  • It has moments of experience, one after the other.

    擁有各種時刻的經驗,一個接一個

  • And you can ask: What happens to these moments?

    你會問"這些時刻怎麼了?"

  • And the answer is really straightforward:

    答案很簡單

  • They are lost forever.

    他們永遠消失了

  • I mean, most of the moments of our life --

    我們生活中大多數時刻

  • and I calculated, you know, the psychological present

    我算了算,以心理學上的現在而言

  • is said to be about three seconds long;

    據說長達三秒

  • that means that, you know,

    這表示

  • in a life there are about 600 million of them;

    一個人一生中有大約6億個時刻

  • in a month, there are about 600,000 --

    一個月有60萬個時刻

  • most of them don't leave a trace.

    它們大多數不留痕跡

  • Most of them are completely ignored

    大多數被全然忽視了

  • by the remembering self.

    被記憶的我忽視

  • And yet, somehow you get the sense

    但是現在你發現

  • that they should count,

    他們應該也算數

  • that what happens during these moments of experience

    因為我們經驗的每分每秒發生的一切

  • is our life.

    組成了我們的人生

  • It's the finite resource that we're spending

    他們是我們活在地球上

  • while we're on this earth.

    就會消耗的有限資源

  • And how to spend it

    該如何使用

  • would seem to be relevant,

    似乎很重要

  • but that is not the story

    但這不是故事

  • that the remembering self keeps for us.

    也不是記憶的我會留給我們的

  • So we have the remembering self

    我們有記憶的我

  • and the experiencing self,

    和經驗的我

  • and they're really quite distinct.

    兩者很好區別

  • The biggest difference between them

    其中最大的不同

  • is in the handling of time.

    在於處理時間的方式

  • From the point of view of the experiencing self,

    就經驗的我而言

  • if you have a vacation,

    如果你有一個假期

  • and the second week is just as good as the first,

    第二週和第一週同等快樂

  • then the two-week vacation

    那麼兩週下來

  • is twice as good as the one-week vacation.

    快樂的份量是一週假期的兩倍

  • That's not the way it works at all for the remembering self.

    記憶的我不是這樣算

  • For the remembering self, a two-week vacation

    對記憶的我來說,兩週假期

  • is barely better than the one-week vacation

    沒有比一週假期好多少

  • because there are no new memories added.

    因為沒有新的記憶加入

  • You have not changed the story.

    你沒有改變故事的劇情

  • And in this way,

    因此

  • time is actually the critical variable

    以時間長短

  • that distinguishes a remembering self

    區分記憶的我和經驗的我

  • from an experiencing self;

    是不可靠的

  • time has very little impact on the story.

    時間對故事影響不大

  • Now, the remembering self does more

    記憶的我所做的

  • than remember and tell stories.

    不只記憶和說故事

  • It is actually the one that makes decisions

    他也是真正做決定的人

  • because, if you have a patient who has had, say,

    因為,假如你的病人有選擇權

  • two colonoscopies with two different surgeons

    先由兩個醫生分別檢查一次

  • and is deciding which of them to choose,

    然後選擇醫生

  • then the one that chooses

    負責選擇的

  • is the one that has the memory that is less bad,

    會選擇感覺較好的記憶中

  • and that's the surgeon that will be chosen.

    執行檢查的醫生

  • The experiencing self

    經驗的我

  • has no voice in this choice.

    做選擇時無從置喙

  • We actually don't choose between experiences,

    我們事實上不是在兩段經驗中做選擇

  • we choose between memories of experiences.

    而是在兩段經驗的記憶中選擇

  • And even when we think about the future,

    而且,當我們在想未來的時候

  • we don't think of our future normally as experiences.

    一般我們不會以經驗的形式去思考

  • We think of our future

    我們把未來

  • as anticipated memories.

    以預想的記憶形式呈現

  • And basically you can look at this,

    基本上你可以看這個

  • you know, as a tyranny of the remembering self,

    記憶的我是個暴君

  • and you can think of the remembering self

    你可以把記憶的我想成

  • sort of dragging the experiencing self

    有點像是在跩著經驗的我

  • through experiences that

    透過經驗的我用不著的經驗

  • the experiencing self doesn't need.

    主宰個人的思考

  • I have that sense that

    我有個想法

  • when we go on vacations

    當我們放假時

  • this is very frequently the case;

    往往

  • that is, we go on vacations,

    之所以放假

  • to a very large extent,

    有很大一部分

  • in the service of our remembering self.

    是為了記憶的我

  • And this is a bit hard to justify I think.

    我想這有點難辯證

  • I mean, how much do we consume our memories?

    我們使用了多少記憶

  • That is one of the explanations

    可以解釋

  • that is given for the dominance

    記憶的我

  • of the remembering self.

    為何能主導

  • And when I think about that, I think about a vacation

    這讓我想起一次假期

  • we had in Antarctica a few years ago,

    幾年前在南極度過的假期

  • which was clearly the best vacation I've ever had,

    可說是我最棒的一個假期

  • and I think of it relatively often,

    和其他假期相比

  • relative to how much I think of other vacations.

    我比較常想起他

  • And I probably have consumed

    這趟三周的旅程

  • my memories of that three-week trip, I would say,

    我大概用掉了

  • for about 25 minutes in the last four years.

    過去四年來大約25分鐘的記憶量

  • Now, if I had ever opened the folder

    現在,如果我打開資料夾

  • with the 600 pictures in it,

    裡面有600張照片

  • I would have spent another hour.

    我可能要多花一小時回憶

  • Now, that is three weeks,

    三周的旅程

  • and that is at most an hour and a half.

    最多用一個半小時回憶

  • There seems to be a discrepancy.

    這似乎不成比例

  • Now, I may be a bit extreme, you know,

    現在,這讓我有點不滿

  • in how little appetite I have for consuming memories,

    因為我記得的真是太少了

  • but even if you do more of this,

    不過就算你記得再多

  • there is a genuine question:

    這裡有個實際的問題

  • Why do we put so much weight on memory

    為什麼我們這麼依賴記憶

  • relative to the weight that we put on experiences?

    比依賴經驗還多

  • So I want you to think

    所以我希望你能思考

  • about a thought experiment.

    一個有關思考的實驗

  • Imagine that for your next vacation,

    想像你的下次假期

  • you know that at the end of the vacation

    你知道假期結束後

  • all your pictures will be destroyed,

    你的所有照片會被銷毀

  • and you'll get an amnesic drug

    你將吞下一顆遺忘藥

  • so that you won't remember anything.

    所以你什麼都不會記得

  • Now, would you choose the same vacation? (Laughter)

    這樣,你還會想過同樣的假期嗎?

  • And if you would choose a different vacation,

    如果你選了個不同的假期

  • there is a conflict between your two selves,

    你的兩個我之間將產生衝突