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Our species is misnamed. Though sapiens defines human beings as "wise" what humans do especially well is to prospect the future. We are homo prospectus. In this book, Martin E. P. Seligman, Peter Railton, Roy F. Baumeister, and Chandra Sripada argue it is anticipating and evaluating future possibilities for the guidance of thought and action that is the cornerstone of huma ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published July 13th 2016 by Oxford University Press, USA
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This is an absolutely fascinating study of the human mind and behaviors. The authors dive into very compelling arguments detailing how our brains function as prospective machines, showing how dated the psychological studies focusing on the past and present really are (though still important in their own right). I highly recommend this read to anyone who is even slightly interested in psychology and philosophy. My hope is that this field opens up so we can dig deeper into this theory and gain a b ...more
Seligman is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology in the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Psychology. He was previously the Director of the Clinical Training Program in the department. Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association by the widest margin in its history and served in that capacity during the 1998 term. He is the founding editor-in-chief ...more
“Expectation always introduces an element of bias, because it anticipates outcomes without waiting to see what actually happens. However, if expectations are consistently modified in the face of experience in a (*)-like or Bayesian manner, then over time, the influence of initial expectations will tend to diminish as new experiences “tune” expectations to actual frequencies through the reduction of prediction error. As experience grows in magnitude and diversity, Bayesians point out, initial expectations tend to “wash out,” and individuals who began from different starting assumptions, but encountered similar experience, will tend to converge in their expectations. And importantly, they will tend to converge on the actual “natural statistics” of their environment”More quotes…