Psychologists have long been aware that most people maintain an irrationally positive outlook on life—but why? Turns out, we might be hardwired that way. In this absorbing exploration, Tali Sharot—one of the most innovative neuroscientists at work today—demonstrates that optimism may be crucial to human existence. The Optimism Bias explores 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; and more. Drawing on cutting-edge science, 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.
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.
Author: Tali Sharot
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2017-09-19
A cutting-edge, research-based inquiry into how we influence those around us and how understanding the brain can help us change minds for the better. In The Influential Mind, neuroscientist Tali Sharot takes us on a thrilling exploration of the nature of influence. We all have a duty to affect others—from the classroom to the boardroom to social media. But how skilled are we at this role, and can we become better? It turns out that many of our instincts—from relying on facts and figures to shape opinions, to insisting others are wrong or attempting to exert control—are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how people’s minds operate. Sharot shows us how to avoid these pitfalls, and how an attempt to change beliefs and actions is successful when it is well-matched with the core elements that govern the human brain. Sharot reveals the critical role of emotion in influence, the weakness of data and the power of curiosity. Relying on the latest research in neuroscience, behavioral economics and psychology, the book provides fascinating insight into the complex power of influence, good and bad.
Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Glass half-full or half-empty? Do you look on the bright side or turn towards the dark? These are easy questions for most of us to answer, because our personality types are hard-wired into our brains. As pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist Elaine Fox has discovered, our outlook on life reflects our primal inclination to seek pleasure or avoid danger—inclinations that, in many people, are healthily balanced. But when our “fear brain” or “pleasure brain” is too strong, the results can be disastrous, as those of us suffering from debilitating shyness, addiction, depression, or anxiety know all too well. Luckily, anyone suffering from these afflictions has reason to hope. Stunning breakthroughs in neuroscience show that our brains are more malleable than we ever imagined. In Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, Fox describes a range of techniques—from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy to innovative cognitive-retraining exercises—that can actually alter our brains’ circuitry, strengthening specific thought processes by exercising the neural systems that control them. The implications are enormous: lifelong pessimists can train themselves to think positively and find happiness, while pleasure-seekers inclined toward risky or destructive behavior can take control of their lives. Drawing on her own cutting-edge research, Fox shows how we can retrain our brains to brighten our lives and learn to flourish. With keen insights into how genes, life experiences and cognitive processes interleave together to make us who we are, Rainy Brain, SunnyBrain revolutionizes our basic concept of individuality. We learn that we can influence our own personalities, and that our lives are only as “sunny” or as “rainy” as we allow them to be.
Author: D. T. Max
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2006-09-05
Genre: Health & Fitness
For two hundred years a noble Venetian family has suffered from an inherited disease that strikes their members in middle age, stealing their sleep, eating holes in their brains, and ending their lives in a matter of months. In Papua New Guinea, a primitive tribe is nearly obliterated by a sickness whose chief symptom is uncontrollable laughter. Across Europe, millions of sheep rub their fleeces raw before collapsing. In England, cows attack their owners in the milking parlors, while in the American West, thousands of deer starve to death in fields full of grass. What these strange conditions–including fatal familial insomnia, kuru, scrapie, and mad cow disease–share is their cause: prions. Prions are ordinary proteins that sometimes go wrong, resulting in neurological illnesses that are always fatal. Even more mysterious and frightening, prions are almost impossible to destroy because they are not alive and have no DNA–and the diseases they bring are now spreading around the world. In The Family That Couldn’t Sleep, essayist and journalist D. T. Max tells the spellbinding story of the prion’s hidden past and deadly future. Through exclusive interviews and original archival research, Max explains this story’s connection to human greed and ambition–from the Prussian chemist Justus von Liebig, who made cattle meatier by feeding them the flesh of other cows, to New Guinean natives whose custom of eating the brains of the dead nearly wiped them out. The biologists who have investigated these afflictions are just as extraordinary–for example, Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, a self-described “pedagogic pedophiliac pediatrician” who cracked kuru and won the Nobel Prize, and another Nobel winner, Stanley Prusiner, a driven, feared self-promoter who identified the key protein that revolutionized prion study. With remarkable precision, grace, and sympathy, Max–who himself suffers from an inherited neurological illness–explores maladies that have tormented humanity for centuries and gives reason to hope that someday cures will be found. And he eloquently demonstrates that in our relationship to nature and these ailments, we have been our own worst enemy.
Author: Raymond Dolan
Publisher: Academic Press
Release Date: 2012
One of the most pressing questions in neuroscience, psychology and economics today is how does the brain generate preferences and make choices? With a unique interdisciplinary approach, this volume is among the first to explore the cognitive and neural mechanisms mediating the generation of the preferences that guide choice. From preferences determining mundane purchases, to social preferences influencing mating choice, through to moral decisions, the authors adopt diverse approaches to answer the question. Chapters explore the instability of preferences and the common neural processes that occur across preferences. Edited by one of the world's most renowned cognitive neuroscientists, each chapter is authored by an expert in the field, with a host of international contributors. Emphasis on common process underlying preference generation makes material applicable to a variety of disciplines - neuroscience, psychology, economics, law, philosophy, etc. Offers specific focus on how preferences are generated to guide decision making, carefully examining one aspect of the broad field of neuroeconomics and complementing existing volumes Features outstanding, international scholarship, with chapters written by an expert in the topic area
An assessment of the human condition in the twenty-first century presents data demonstrating that life quality, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise throughout the world because of the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.
Author: Edward Chin-Ho Chang
Publisher: Amer Psychological Assn
Release Date: 2001-01-01
Through the examination of cultural, biological and psychological factors, this volume illustrates a dynamic interplay between optimism and pessimism and enables readers to recognize the importance of balance in understanding their relative powers.
There are a lot of personality and intelligence tests out there designed to label you and put you in a particular box. But Dr. Caroline Leaf says there's much more to you than a personality profile can capture. In fact, you cannot be categorized! In this fascinating book, she takes readers through seven steps to rediscover and unlock their unique "you quotient"--the brilliantly original way each person thinks, feels, relates, and makes choices--freeing them from comparison, envy, and jealousy, which destroy brain tissue. Readers learn to be aware of what's going on in their own minds and bodies, to lean in to their own experience rather than trying to forcefully change it, and to redefine what success means to them. Released from the suffocating box of expectations, they'll embrace their true identity and develop a clear sense of divine purpose in their lives. Knowing and understanding our identity empowers our choices. Unlocking one's you quotient is not optional--it is essential.
Author: Robert Meyer
Publisher: Wharton Digital Press
Release Date: 2017-02-07
Genre: Business & Economics
"The Ostrich Paradox boldly addresses a key question of our time: Why are we humans so poor at dealing with disastrous risks, and what can we humans do about it? It is a must-read for everyone who cares about risk." —Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow We fail to evacuate when advised. We rebuild in flood zones. We don't wear helmets. We fail to purchase insurance. We would rather avoid the risk of "crying wolf" than sound an alarm. Our ability to foresee and protect against natural catastrophes has never been greater; yet, we consistently fail to heed the warnings and protect ourselves and our communities, with devastating consequences. What explains this contradiction? In The Ostrich Paradox, Wharton professors Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther draw on years of teaching and research to explain why disaster preparedness efforts consistently fall short. Filled with heartbreaking stories of loss and resilience, the book addresses: •How people make decisions when confronted with high-consequence, low-probability events—and how these decisions can go awry •The 6 biases that lead individuals, communities, and institutions to make grave errors that cost lives •The Behavioral Risk Audit, a systematic approach for improving preparedness by recognizing these biases and designing strategies that anticipate them •Why, if we are to be better prepared for disasters, we need to learn to be more like ostriches, not less Fast-reading and critically important, The Ostrich Paradox is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand why we consistently underprepare for disasters, as well as private and public leaders, planners, and policy-makers who want to build more prepared communities.
Author: Helen Keller
Publisher: American Roots
Release Date: 2015-05-31
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Rendered deaf and blind by scarlet fever at the age of a year and a half, Helen Keller, with the help of Anne Sullivan, other teachers, and her own determination, learned to read, write, and speak several languages. Keller became an advocate for people with disabilities and fought for human rights her entire life. In 1903, while attending Radcliffe College — she was the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree — she wrote her essay, Optimism. Presented here is part one, "Optimism Within." "If I am happy in spite of my deprivations, if my happiness is so deep that it is a faith, so thoughtful that it becomes a philosophy of life, if, in short, I am an optimist, my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing." This short work is part of Applewood's "American Roots" series, tactile mementoes of American passions by some of America's most famous writers and thinkers.
Author: Great Britain. Treasury
Publisher: Stationery Office
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Business & Economics
This new edition incorporates revised guidance from H.M Treasury which is designed to promote efficient policy development and resource allocation across government through the use of a thorough, long-term and analytically robust approach to the appraisal and evaluation of public service projects before significant funds are committed. It is the first edition to have been aided by a consultation process in order to ensure the guidance is clearer and more closely tailored to suit the needs of users.
Author: Daniel Kahneman
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 2011-10-25
Major New York Times bestseller Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012 Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011 A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions. Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.
Trajectory presents classics of world literature with 21st century features! Our original-text editions include the following visual enhancements to foster a deeper understanding of the work: Word Clouds at the start of each chapter highlight important words. Word, sentence, paragraph counts, and reading time help readers and teachers determine chapter complexity. Co-occurrence graphs depict character-to-character interactions as well character to place interactions. Sentiment indexes identify positive and negative trends in mood within each chapter. Frequency graphs help display the impact this book has had on popular culture since its original date of publication. Use Trajectory analytics to deepen comprehension, to provide a focus for discussions and writing assignments, and to engage new readers with some of the greatest stories ever told. Pollyanna is a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter that is now considered a classic of children's literature, with the title character's name becoming a popular term for someone with the same optimistic outlook. The book was such a success that Porter soon produced a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up. Eleven more Pollyanna sequels, known as "Glad Books", were later published, most of them written by Elizabeth Borton or Harriet Lummis Smith. Further sequels followed, including Pollyanna Plays the Game by Colleen L. Reece, published in 1997.\nPollyanna has been adapted for film several times. Some of the best-known include Disney's 1960 version starring child actress Hayley Mills, who won a special Oscar for the role, and the 1920 version starring Mary Pickford.
Author: George Marshall
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2015-08-18
The director of the Climate Outreach and Information Network explores the psychological mechanism that enables people to ignore the dangers of climate change, using sidebars, cartoons and engaging stories from his years of research to reveal how humans are wired to primarily respond to visible threats.