The world may be a tough and tenuous place, but we humans tend to think that the future will be better than the past. Why? In the new TED ebook, The Science of Optimism: Why We’re Hard-Wired for Hope, author Tali Sharot expands on her earlier research into the optimism bias, and explores the many reasons why we are biologically predisposed to believe the best is yet to come. We imagine our kids will be a success or we’ll find true love and that great job — not because we are naturally positive creatures, but because of the way our frontal cortex communicates with subcortical regions deep in our brain. Not the stuff that pop songs are made of, but fascinating nonetheless. There’s another advantage to walking on the sunny side of the street. Optimism not only makes our lives easier and more pleasant, but can also breed success. “Optimism,” Tarot notes, “increases explorative behavior and innovation, which is why so many entrepreneurs are on the optimistic side.”
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At TEDGlobal 2012, Don Tapscott gave us an beautiful metaphor for how society could function: like a starling murmuration. By flying as a group — dipping and diving as a single unit — starlings successfully ward off predators through cooperation. While there is leadership, there is no discernable leader. Tapscott shares much more of his […]
Look on the bright side: A Q&A with TED ebook author Tali Sharot on our biological wiring for optimism
The mad rush of the holidays can stress out the sunniest soul, and yet somehow, beneath it all, we remain cheerfully optimistic. We look ahead, make New Year’s resolutions and generally believe next year will be better than this one and the year before. Why? Tali Sharot, who spoke at TED2012, says we homo sapiens are […]