Optimism Bias

Looking at the bright side of life, and putting more weight on the likelihood of positive events happening around us is known as Optimism Bias.

The two beliefs that form this bias are:

  1. A belief that we possess a greater amount of positive traits than others.
  2. A belief to have some kind of control over the world around us.

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How 'optimism bias' shapes our decisions and futures

bbc.com

Optimism bias provides us with a certain level of confidence, which may be just false, but is effective in stopping the constant worry, doubt and fear that arises when we try new and potentially difficult things.

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Unexpected negative events keep happening, but we choose hope and positivity over despair and cling to the positive things that help us survive the crisis.

Reality cannot be seen with positivity goggles at all times, and being constantly positive blinds us from the actual facts, rendering us unprepared for potential hazards.

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Genetics play a 30 to 40 percent role in optimism bias. Actively believing that positive changes are going to happen boosts our motivation to try harder than we normally would, impacting the final outcome. Positive expectations make us happier and reduce our anxiety.

In the corporate world, CEOs and entrepreneurs tend to lean towards optimism as their success sometimes depends on them not quitting in despair.

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As beneficial as it is, complete optimism has its downside, as we need to be realistic on what can be done in the given circumstances.

Seeing a situation from all possible angles and as objectively as possible is recommended. Optimism, like any other strength, can turn into a weakness if overplayed.

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