The Optimism Bias by Tali Sharot

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Synopsis

From one of the most innovative neuroscientists at work today, an investigation into the bias toward optimism that exists on a neural level in our brains and plays a major part in determining how we live our lives.
 
Psychologists have long been aware that most people maintain an often irrationally positive outlook on life. In fact, optimism may be crucial to our existence. Tali Sharot’s experiments, research, and findings in cognitive science have contributed to an increased understanding of the biological basis of optimism. In this fascinating exploration, she takes an in-depth, clarifying look at how the brain generates hope and what happens when it fails; how the brains of optimists and pessimists differ; why we are terrible at predicting what will make us happy; how emotions strengthen our ability to recollect; how anticipation and dread affect us; and how our optimistic illusions affect our financial, professional, and emotional decisions.
 
With its cutting-edge science and its wide-ranging and accessible narrative, The Optimism Bias provides us with startling new insight into the workings of the brain.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Tali Sharot

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Tali Sharot's research on optimism, memory, and emotion has been the subject of features in Newsweek, The Boston Globe, Time, The Wall Street Journal, New Scientist, and The Washington Post, as well as on the BBC. She has a Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience from New York University and is currently a research fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London. She lives in London.
 
Published June 14, 2011 by Vintage. 272 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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What is most stunning, however, are the ways in which optimism not only evokes new behavior in the individual (optimistic heart-attack victim modeling healthy new behavior), but helps deliver the irrationally expected goods (Joe Namath guaranteeing victory in Super Bowl III).

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Optimism Bias

New York Journal of Books

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fascinating trip into why we prefer to remain hopeful about our future and ourselves.” The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain by Tali Sharot is an intelligently written look into why most people take an optimistic view of life.

Jun 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Optimism Bias

We Love This Book

If you think you’re going to get more work done this month than last month, you are probably suffering from the optimism bias.

Jun 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Optimism Bias

Portland Book Review

Through scrupulous documentation and helpful, guiding analyses of recent studies in psychology, cognition and neuroscience, she gives a strong reason to believe “that our brains have evolved to over-predict future happiness and success, because, funnily enough, doing so makes health and progress ...

May 21 2012 | Read Full Review of The Optimism Bias

David G. Schwartz

Also, her use of Lance Armstrong as a case study in the power of optimism seems a bit off, in light of the doping allegations that continue to surround him.

Jul 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Optimism Bias

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