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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.

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."

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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