Taking a bit of a flyer on this one. Not particularly thought through, but it struck me in preparation for a talk entitled The Science of Happiness.
In a line from Daniel Nettle’s great book ‘Happiness, The Science behind your Smile’ he states ‘…happiness, though, is not calculated by a simple summing up of all the positive moments and a subtraction of the negative ones. It also involves more complex cognitive processes, such as comparison with alternative possible outcomes (note: this quote refers to something he calls ‘level two happiness’ which is all about ‘judgements about the balance of feelings’. A hybrid of emotion and judgement about emotion.
Now it’s a very pop. psychology way of thinking about it, but could this element of our happiness ‘assessment’ also operate as a pre-assessment in advance of activities?