The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope


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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Nov 26, George rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction , ipad , ted-books.


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It gives you almost the whole book and more, in under 18 minutes. Jan 05, Natasha rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , psychology. Fascinating look into and accessible descriptions of experiments and the potential meanings of their findings related to optimism, health, age, and happiness. The author explains some studies from the field of neuroscience and explains the concepts clearly.

I appreciated that she maintained a cautious approach to interpreting study results: neuroscience is a new field and the tools used are giving scientists new data to collect and interpret and scientists are still figuring out what exactly the Fascinating look into and accessible descriptions of experiments and the potential meanings of their findings related to optimism, health, age, and happiness.

0. Introduction

I appreciated that she maintained a cautious approach to interpreting study results: neuroscience is a new field and the tools used are giving scientists new data to collect and interpret and scientists are still figuring out what exactly they are looking at. Jan 07, Timothy Finucane rated it liked it. Dec 12, Maria rated it liked it. Short and informative. Plenty of references for those who want to follow up on the topics. Self Help.

About Tali Sharot. Tali Sharot. Her research on the neuroscience of optimism, emotion, memory and decision making has been published in top scientific journals including Nature and Nature Neuroscience, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Bost Tali Sharot is a Wellcome Trust fellow and principle investigator at the Cognitive Perceptual and Brain Science Division at University College London. Her research on the neuroscience of optimism, emotion, memory and decision making has been published in top scientific journals including Nature and Nature Neuroscience, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, the New Scientist, the BBC, and more.

She has previously taught courses in psychology and neuroscience and conducted research at New York University where she received her PhD , Harvard University, and the University of California. She is from Israel. Books by Tali Sharot. Trivia About The Science of Op No trivia or quizzes yet. The way I approach the problem of multiple priorities is by focusing on just one main metric: my energy.

I make choices that maximize my personal energy because that makes it easier to manage all of the other priorities. One of the most important tricks for maximizing your productivity involves matching your mental state to the task. If your view of the world is that people use reason for their important decisions, you are setting yourself up for a life of frustration and confusion. Few things are as destructive and limiting as a worldview that assumes people are mostly rational. Being selfish can be good. The most important form of selfishness involves spending time on your fitness, eating right, pursuing your career, and still spending quality time with your family and friends.

Adams argues that once your needs are met, you can focus on the needs of others. Children are accustomed to a continual stream of criticisms and praise, but adults can go weeks without a compliment while enduring criticism both at work and at home. Adults are starved for a kind word.

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When you understand the power of honest praise as opposed to bullshitting, flattery, and sucking up , you realize that withholding it borders on immoral. If you see something that impresses you, a decent respect to humanity insists you voice your praise. As a long-time subscriber to the physical newspaper, I cut the cord in July Adams argues that it broadens his exposure. I read the news to broaden my exposure to new topics and patterns that make my brain more efficient in general and to enjoy myself, because learning interesting things increases my energy and makes me feel optimistic.

Another manifestation of what we think influences what we do but what we do influences what we think. This is, at its core, the finding of the Stanford prison experiment. We fake it until it becomes real.

What is unrealistic optimism?

It actually does make you happier. The ability to change your mind is probably one of the best life skills you can ever hope to develop. This was fascinating. Adams has looked for examples of people who use systems versus those who use goals. The system-versus-goals model can be applied to most human endeavours. In the world of dieting, losing twenty pounds is a goal, but eating right is a system. In the exercise realm, running a marathon in under four hours is a goal, but exercising daily is a system.

In business, making a million dollars is a goal, but being a serial entrepreneur is a system. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous pre-success failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do.

The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good every time they apply their system. Goal-oriented people mostly fail. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you will constantly think that you are not at your goal until you reach it. The only way to reach your goal is to lose 20 pounds. What you really want is a system that increases your odds of success. Even if that system only improves the odds a little it adds up over a long life.

In organizations, this means, for example, you should care more about the process by which you make decisions than analysis. It also means that you should focus on building a system that evolves, improves, and survives ego. Systems increase the odds of getting lucky. Or, if you want to put it another way, they reduce stupidity.

Understanding psychology is key. This is why Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is one of the books I think everyone should read before they turn Consider the people who routinely disagree with you. See how confident they look while being dead wrong? When it comes to making decisions, your ability to think through problems is important.

Consider this your raw mental horsepower. Most of us never tap into our available horsepower because we are hampered by one important and overlooked aspect: our environment.

The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain

Sure, they consistently make good decisions , but they also share a few traits that enable them to get the most out of their mental horsepower. A big chunk of their ability to think through problems comes from how they structure their environment. Your opinion is superficial, at best. You know this but rationalize that everyone else put the same 5-minute effort into it that you did, so you carry on. Getting back to your desk, you find 5 missed calls. This is a reality for a lot of people in large organizations.

The unwritten arrangement is that you have to do these things to justify your job. Now picture Warren Buffett sitting at his desk with his feet up reading. He has no computer in his office. He just reads and thinks. So he moved to Omaha from New York. Putting Buffett in a modern office is like giving Superman kryptonite. His superpowers would disappear.

The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope
The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope
The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope
The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope
The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope
The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope
The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope
The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope The Science of Optimism: Why Were Hard-Wired for Hope

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