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Your Optimism Bias: One of the Best and Worst Tricks Your Brain Plays on You

Your Optimism Bias: One of the Best and Worst Tricks Your Brain Plays on You | Business Brainpower with the Human Touch | Scoop.it

We believe we'll beat the odds of getting cancer even when we smoke a pack of cigarettes a week. This is the result of our optimism bias, and it both helps us succeed and make some of the dumbest decisions of our lives. Here's how it works, and how you can make it work for you.


Optimism bias is the phenomenon that causes us to look on the upside of just about everything, whether that's to our benefit or not. There are many upsides, such as believing you will succeed against all odds. It's the part of our brains that helps us take important chances and risks in the face of adversity so we can achieve something great.


It's something we'd barely be human without. It's also responsible for convincing us that smoking is going to kill someone else rather than us. It keeps us from buying health insurance because we'll never get hurt. It makes us believe we could actually win the lottery, and that winning the lottery could make us happy. If you've ever been excited about the possibility of anything, you have an idea about how it works.

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's insight:

By nature, we're optimistic. We think we're better than most people at virtually everything we do. 

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Why Optimists Seem To Handle Stress Better

Why Optimists Seem To Handle Stress Better | Business Brainpower with the Human Touch | Scoop.it

Ever wondered how it is your optimistic friend always seems to be unfazed by stress? Scientists may have pinpointed a possible reason for why.

Researchers from Concordia University found that optimists' stress hormone levels remain more stable in the face of stressful moments compared with pessimists.


"On days where they experience higher than average stress, that's when we see that the pessimists' stress response is much elevated, and they have trouble bringing their cortisol levels back down," study researcher Joelle Jobin, who is a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at the university, said in a statement. "Optimists, by contrast, were protected in these circumstances."

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's insight:

Ever wondered how it is your optimistic friend always seems to be unfazed by stress? Scientists may have pinpointed a possible reason for why.

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7 Things You Need to Be More Magnetic

7 Things You Need to Be More Magnetic | Business Brainpower with the Human Touch | Scoop.it
Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor's insight:

Think of the most engaging people you know. My guess is they're charming, interesting, and make you feel special.

We all want to be perceived that way, don't we? Here are several character traits you should work on if you want to be magnetic and likeable.

Curiousity


By nature children are curious, but we lose much of our inquisitiveness as we age. Yet it's such a vital trait, especially in business. Curiousity drives you to continuously learn about your industry, understand your customers, and create innovative products.

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Kristy Schofield's curator insight, September 28, 2013 6:40 PM

I believe this- especially with curiosity 

donhornsby's curator insight, September 30, 2013 9:00 AM

My favorite people are direct and not afraid to share things about themselves that might even make them look bad. In doing so they convey a sense of humility, honesty, and vulnerability that work to lower people's defenses. If you can do that, you're well on your way to engaging with them.

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The Optimism Bias

The Optimism Bias | Business Brainpower with the Human Touch | Scoop.it
For all of life's flintier times, overall we're a bubbly bunch. In fact, neuroscience and social science suggest we're more optimistic than realistic.


There is increasingly strong evidence of the links between our psychological and physical health. A new study by Harvard of nearly 1000 people over a 10 year period has found that optimistic individuals have higher levels of antioxidants (which help to reduce cell damage and prevent disease).


Previously, it has been found that positivity also offers a level of protection against heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems.

The studies controlled for health, however they acknowledge that positive people are more likely to engage in healthy behaviours such as exercise, a balanced diet and taking the time to get sufficient sleep.

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