Is the glass half empty, or half full? According to neuroscientist Tali Sharot, our brains might be hardwired to go with the latter. In her new book, The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain, Sharot explains how and why human beings are relentlessly positive in light of dire circumstances by drawing upon traditional psychological studies and brain imaging. The author also explores the seeming paradox of how humans can display pessimism regarding collective issues such as the economy, but cannot do the same concerning personal goals or plans. How did such a rosy outlook evolve as a survival trait? Is being optimistic a good or a bad thing? Do you consider yourself to be optimistic?
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