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The Optimism Bias

The Optimism Bias

Winner of the British Psychological Society Book Award for Popular Psychology

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.
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British Psychological Society Book Award, 2014

Genre: Society & Social Sciences

On Sale: 5th January 2012

Price: £9.99

ISBN-13: 9781780332635


Lively, conversational...A well-told, heartening report from neuroscience's front lines.
An intelligent written look into why most people take an optimistic view on life...stimulating discussion...in easily understood language...fascinating trip into why we prefer to remain hopeful about our future and ourselves.
New York Journal of Books
Her fascinating book offers compelling evidence for the neural basis of optimism and what it all means.
Scientific American Book Club
Read it and cheer. It's important to your longevity.
A book I'd suggest to anyone.
Most readers will turn to the last page not only buoyed by hope but also aware of the sources and benefits of that hope.
If you read her story, you'll get a much better grip on how we function in it. I'm optimistic about that.
Lucid, engaging and cutting-edge... a must-read for anyone interested in imagining the future. - David Eagleman, Neuroscientist and bestselling author of Sum and Incognito.
Very enjoyable, highly original and packed with eye-opening insight, this is a beautifully written book that really brings psychology alive. - Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge University Professor and author of Zero Degrees of Empathy and The Science of Evil.
What a treat. A charming, engaging and accessible book written by a scientist who knows how to tell a story. - Richard Thaler, author of Nudge
Engaging....Sharot studies optimisim as the neural level and knows her subject well.
The Psychiatrist
Fascinating... Even if you're a dedicated cynic, you might be surprised to learn that your brain is wearing rose-colored glasses, whether you like it or not. - NPR
An insightful, Oliver Sacks-y first book. - The Village Voice
Once I started reading The Optimism Bias, I could not put it down. - Positive Psychology News Daily
A fascinating yet accessible exploration of how and why our brains construct a positive outlook on life. - BrainPickings.org
Fascinating and fun to read... Provides lucid accounts of [Sharot's] often ingenious experiments. - BBC Focus