Tali Sharot: The optimism bias

optimism

 

Optimism, or Pollyanna you want to call it, has remained an inseparable trait of human nature. We need optimism as it gives us silver linings for all possible positive consequences of everything we see, whatever we do, or how the reality perceives us to be. The belief that the world will be a better place than yesterday, that our future will be more fulfilling than the lives we are living today, or that we will find our eternal love life, thus giving no spaces for all unexpected occurrences.

Up to that point, however, optimism has shown itself to be a bias. When we are being tottered with our ‘rose-tinted spectacles’ about reality, that things will go smooth as everything is under control, that our marriages will go well with zero probabilities of divorce, or that our career will flourish with little or no stains, we often overlook any harbingers, any dangerous signs that may have been lurking deep within it, all beyond our vision.

Things strike like we never predict, afterwards. 40% of marriages in Western world (where most people surveyed dismiss any possibilities of a split) end up in divorce, millions of people are laid off, accidents happen, financial collapse is inevitable, etc, etc. Optimism bias, one that has so blinded us with way too many positive interpretations about the reality, instead becomes our own double-edged sword.

Cognitive neuroscientist Tali Sharot will talk in details about optimism bias from numerous aspects and ways we can do to handle its side-effects.

Listen, and think again.