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The Optimism Bias

A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain

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Hardcover published by Pantheon (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book

Psychologists have long been aware that most people maintain an irrationally positive outlook on life. Tali Sharot—one of the most innovative neuroscientists at work today—takes this a step further. Optimism, she shows, may in fact be crucial to our existence.
 
In this absorbing exploration, Sharot 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
 
• how our optimistic illusions affect our financial, professional, and emotional decisions
 
With its cutting-edge science and its wide-ranging narrative, The Optimism Bias provides us with startling new insight into the workings of the brain and the major role that optimism plays in determining how we live our lives.

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Psychologists have long been aware that most people maintain an irrationally positive outlook on life. Tali Sharot—one of the most innovative neuroscientists at work today—takes this a step further. Optimism, she shows, may in fact be crucial to our existence.
 
In this absorbing exploration, Sharot 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
 
• how our optimistic illusions affect our financial, professional, and emotional decisions
 
With its cutting-edge science and its wide-ranging narrative, The Optimism Bias provides us with startling new insight into the workings of the brain and the major role that optimism plays in determining how we live our lives.

Product Details
Hardcover (272 pages)
Published: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Pantheon
ISBN: 9780307378484
Other books byTali Sharot
  • The Optimism Bias

    The Optimism Bias
    Why we're wired to look on the bright side
    Psychologists have long been aware that most people tend to maintain an irrationally positive outlook on life. In fact, optimism may be crucial to our existence. Tali Sharot's original cognitive research demonstrates in surprising ways the biological basis for 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 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 how the workings of the brain create our hopes and dreams.

    The Optimism Bias

    The Optimism Bias
    From a leading neuroscience researcher, an exploration of the neural basis of optimism, and how the brain simulates the future. How does the brain generate hope? How does it trick us into moving forward? What happens when it fails? How do the brains of optimists differ from those of pessimists? Psychologists have long been aware that most people tend to entertain an irrationally positive outlook on their lives. Optimism may be so crucial to our existence that it is hard-wired into our brains. With the emergence of MRI brain imaging, we are beginning to understand the neural mechanisms and to understand the biological basis of optimism, and how our optimistic illusions affect our financial, professional and emotional decisions. From the Hardcover edition.

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