From a leading neuroscience researcher, an exploration of the neural basis of optimism, and how the brain simulates the future. How does the brain generate hope? How does it trick us into moving forward? What happens when it fails? How do the brains of optimists differ from those of pessimists? Psychologists have long been aware that most people tend to entertain an irrationally positive outlook on their lives. Optimism may be so crucial to our existence that it is hard-wired into our brains. With the emergence of MRI brain imaging, we are beginning to understand the neural mechanisms and to understand the biological basis of optimism, and how our optimistic illusions affect our financial, professional and emotional decisions.
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"Her fascinating book offers compelling evidence for the neural basis of optimism and what it all means. . . . The Optimism Bias provides startling new insight into the workings of the brain."
—Scientific American Book Club
"In this lively, conversational book, the author puts on firm footing what many of us have sensed all along—that we are, by and large, a pretty optimistic bunch. . . . Sharot is a friendly writer—her book brims with anecdotes and scientific studies that attest to optimism's gentling hand—though no empty smiley face. . . . A well-told, heartening report from neuroscience's front lines."
“Entertaining and readable, and the subject matter is fascinating. . . . The Optimism Bias provides scientific confirmation of a long-standing hunch about human behaviour.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“Fascinating. . . . Even if you’re a dedicated cynic, you might be surprised to learn that your brain is wearing rose-colored glasses, whether you like it or not.”
About the Author:
TALI SHAROT has a PhD in psychology and neuroscience from NYU, and is currently a research fellow at Wellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging at University College London and a British Academy PDF. Her research on optimism, memory and emotion has been featured in Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, TIME magazine, the Sunday Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Scientist, the BBC, Science, Nature and more.