The Optimism Bias

Why we're wired to look on the bright side

Author: Tali Sharot

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1780333943

Category: Psychology

Page: 160

View: 443

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Psychologists have long been aware that most people tend to maintain an irrationally positive outlook on life. In fact, optimism may be crucial to our existence. Tali Sharot's original cognitive research demonstrates in surprising ways the biological basis for 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 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 how the workings of the brain create our hopes and dreams.
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Inspiring a Medico-Legal Revolution

Essays in Honour of Sheila McLean

Author: Pamela R. Ferguson,Graeme T. Laurie

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317115961

Category: Medical

Page: 324

View: 1767

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This book marks the retirement of Professor Sheila McLean, whose contribution to the discipline of medical law has been truly ground breaking. As one of the pioneers of the discipline, Sheila McLean inspired a revolution in the ways in which lawyers, doctors, courts and patients perceive the relationship between medicine and the law. The first International Bar Association Professor of Law and Ethics in Medicine, she has worked tirelessly to champion the importance of law’s role in regulating medicine and protecting patients’ rights. The span in content of this book reflects the range of contributions that Professor McLean has herself made. Her work gave direction and shape to a new field of study at a time when few questioned the authority of medicine or thought much about the plight of the patient. This collection brings together 21 leading scholars in healthcare law and ethics to honour the depth and significance of her contribution. Including authors from the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the contributions cover areas as diverse as start and end of life, reproductive rights and termination of pregnancy, autonomy of patients, the protection of vulnerable patient groups, and the challenges posed by new technologies.
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Behavioural Economics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michelle Baddeley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191071188

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 144

View: 7279

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Traditionally economists have based their economic predictions on the assumption that humans are super-rational creatures, using the information we are given efficiently and generally making selfish decisions that work well for us as individuals. Economists also assume that we're doing the very best we can possibly do - not only for today, but over our whole lifetimes too. But increasingly the study of behavioural economics is revealing that our lives are not that simple. Instead, our decisions are complicated by our own psychology. Each of us makes mistakes every day. We don't always know what's best for us and, even if we do, we might not have the self-control to deliver on our best intentions. We struggle to stay on diets, to get enough exercise and to manage our money. We misjudge risky situations. We are prone to herding: sometimes peer pressure leads us blindly to copy others around us; other times copying others helps us to learn quickly about new, unfamiliar situations. This Very Short Introduction explores the reasons why we make irrational decisions; how we decide quickly; why we make mistakes in risky situations; our tendency to procrastination; and how we are affected by social influences, personality, mood and emotions. The implications of understanding the rationale for our own financial behaviour are huge. Behavioural economics could help policy-makers to understand the people behind their policies, enabling them to design more effective policies, while at the same time we could find ourselves assaulted by increasingly savvy marketing. Michelle Baddeley concludes by looking forward, to see what the future of behavioural economics holds for us. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Happiness by Design

Change What You Do, Not How You Think

Author: Paul Dolan

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698156927

Category: Self-Help

Page: 256

View: 1041

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This is not just another happiness book. In Happiness by Design, happiness and behavior expert Paul Dolan combines the latest insights from economics and psychology to illustrate that in order to be happy we must behave happy Our happiness is experiences of both pleasure and purpose over time and it depends on what we actually pay attention to. Using what Dolan calls deciding, designing, and doing, we can overcome the biases that make us miserable and redesign our environments to make it easier to experience happiness, fulfilment, and even health. With uncanny wit and keen perception, Dolan reveals what we can do to find our unique optimal balance of pleasure and purpose, offering practical advice on how to organize our lives in happiness-promoting ways and fresh insights into how we feel, including why: • Having kids reduces pleasure but gives us a massive dose of purpose • Gaining weight won’t necessarily make us unhappier, but being too ambitious might • A quiet neighborhood is more important than a big house Vividly rendering intriguing research and lively anecdotal evidence, Happiness by Design offers an absorbing, thought-provoking, new paradigm for readers of Stumbling on Happiness and The How of Happiness.
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Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain

The New Science of Optimism and Pessimism

Author: Elaine Fox

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409022994

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 1157

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Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Glass half-full or half-empty? Do you look on the bright side or turn towards the dark? These are easy questions for most of us to answer, because our personality types are hard-wired into our brains. As pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist Elaine Fox has discovered, our outlook on life reflects our primal inclination to seek pleasure or avoid danger—inclinations that, in many people, are healthily balanced. But when our 'fear brain' or 'pleasure brain' is too strong, the results can be disastrous, as those of us suffering from debilitating shyness, addiction, depression, or anxiety know all too well. Luckily, anyone suffering from these afflictions has reason to hope. Stunning breakthroughs in neuroscience show that our brains are more malleable than we ever imagined. In Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, Fox describes a range of techniques—from traditional cognitive behavioural therapy to innovative cognitive bias retraining exercises—that can actually alter our brains’ circuitry, strengthening specific thought processes by exercising the neural systems that control them. The implications are enormous: lifelong pessimists can train themselves to think positively and find happiness, while pleasure-seekers inclined toward risky or destructive behavior can take control of their lives. Drawing on her own cutting-edge research, Fox shows how we can retrain our brains to brighten our lives and learn to flourish. With keen insights into how genes, life experiences and cognitive processes interleave together to make us who we are, Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain revolutionises our basic concept of individuality. We learn that we can influence our own personalities, and that our lives are only as 'sunny' or as 'rainy' as we allow them to be.
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