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The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain

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The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of the most innovative neuroscientists at work today investigates the bias toward optimism that exists on a neural level in our brains and plays a major part in determining how we live our lives.

Psychologists have long been aware that most people tend to maintain an often irrationally positive outlook on life. In fact, optimism may be crucial to our existence. Tali Sharot's experiments, research, and findings in cognitive science are at the center of an emerging technology that has lead to increased understanding of the biological basis of 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; how the expectation of pleasure is formed; how anticipation and dread affect us; and how our optimistic illusions influence 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 the workings of the brain.

Review:

"Lively, conversational....A well-told, heartening report from neuroscience's front lines." Kirkus

Review:

"Most readers will turn to the last page not only buoyed by hope but also aware of the sources and benefits of that hope." Booklist

Review:

"An intelligently written look into why most people take an optimistic view of life...stimulating discussion...in easily understood language...fascinating trip into why we prefer to remain hopeful about our future and ourselves." Nicole Parker, Ph.D., New York Journal of Books

Review:

"Her fascinating book offers compelling evidence for the neural basis of optimism and what it all means." Scientific American Book Club

Review:

"Tali Sharot's book The Optimism Bias (a book I'd suggest to anyone) offers evolutionary, neurological, and even slightly philosophical reasons for optimism" Terry Waghorn, Forbes

Review:

"I'd argue — as Tali Sharot does in her enlightening cover story and her book from which it was adapted — that optimism is an evolutionary trait, that it helped our ancestors strive and survive. Optimism is in part a self-fulfilling prophecy: it allows us to attempt things we might not otherwise try and to imagine ourselves succeeding. At the same time, it is, as Tali puts it, a cognitive illusion — the Great Deception — that can prevent us from anticipating the negative outcomes that lie ahead. We see the world not as it is but as we'd like it to be. That's not always the best recipe for dealing with reality. But if you read her story, you'll get a better grip on how we function in it. I'm optimistic about that." Time

Synopsis:

From one of the most innovative neuroscientists at work today, an investigation into the bias toward optimism that exists on a neural level in our brains and plays a major part in determining how we live our lives.

 

Psychologists have long been aware that most people maintain an often irrationally positive outlook on life. In fact, optimism may be crucial to our existence. Tali Sharot’s experiments, research, and findings in cognitive science have contributed to an increased understanding of the biological basis of 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 emotions strengthen our ability to recollect; 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 the workings of the brain.

About the Author

Tali Sharot's research on optimism, memory, and emotion has been the subject of features in Newsweek and The Washington Post. She has a Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience from New York University and is currently a research fellow at the Welcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging at University College London. She lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307378484
Author:
Sharot, Tali
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Subject:
Philosophy & Aspects
Subject:
Psychology-Mind and Consciousness
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20110631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.52 x 5.74 x 0.98 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

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Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
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Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Neurobiology

The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Pantheon - English 9780307378484 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Lively, conversational....A well-told, heartening report from neuroscience's front lines."
"Review" by , "Most readers will turn to the last page not only buoyed by hope but also aware of the sources and benefits of that hope."
"Review" by , "An intelligently written look into why most people take an optimistic view of life...stimulating discussion...in easily understood language...fascinating trip into why we prefer to remain hopeful about our future and ourselves."
"Review" by , "Her fascinating book offers compelling evidence for the neural basis of optimism and what it all means."
"Review" by , "Tali Sharot's book The Optimism Bias (a book I'd suggest to anyone) offers evolutionary, neurological, and even slightly philosophical reasons for optimism"
"Review" by , "I'd argue — as Tali Sharot does in her enlightening cover story and her book from which it was adapted — that optimism is an evolutionary trait, that it helped our ancestors strive and survive. Optimism is in part a self-fulfilling prophecy: it allows us to attempt things we might not otherwise try and to imagine ourselves succeeding. At the same time, it is, as Tali puts it, a cognitive illusion — the Great Deception — that can prevent us from anticipating the negative outcomes that lie ahead. We see the world not as it is but as we'd like it to be. That's not always the best recipe for dealing with reality. But if you read her story, you'll get a better grip on how we function in it. I'm optimistic about that."
"Synopsis" by , From one of the most innovative neuroscientists at work today, an investigation into the bias toward optimism that exists on a neural level in our brains and plays a major part in determining how we live our lives.

 

Psychologists have long been aware that most people maintain an often irrationally positive outlook on life. In fact, optimism may be crucial to our existence. Tali Sharot’s experiments, research, and findings in cognitive science have contributed to an increased understanding of the biological basis of 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 emotions strengthen our ability to recollect; 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 the workings of the brain.

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