June 16, 2011

Can it be true that we are all wired to be optimists?

Research suggests that our brains are wired towards optimism. Our belief is that the future will be much better than the past and present. As the saying goes, tomorrow will always be a brighter day. It abides in every race, region and socioeconomic bracket. Since little children we've always played the game of "when I grow up" and even as adults we often think the glass is half full. Over time we may grow pessimistic, but ultimately we are born optimists. There is a glitch however, both neuroscience and social science suggest that we are more optimistic than realistic ( Noma Bar, TIME). We tend to overestimate outcomes such as test scores, marriage, promotions, etc. But do not be discouraged, because this evolutionary adaptation, is beneficial. How? Studies show that people who are often depressed tend to underestimate outcomes which in turn lowers standards and decreases motivation. Proving that expectations can change reality.
On a side note, I've always been told that...
"Your greatest competition should be yourself"- Dad
Whether you want to prove to others or see it as a way of defending yourself, its never the best weapon of choice when it comes to showing confidence.

The picture is irrelevant. It just looks so cute, I had to share :]

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