By Sandy Plone, Ph.D.

This article from Time magazine (6/6/11) seems more relevant today than it did even eight years ago. The question is raised about why some of us seem to have rose-colored glasses; why our brains may tilt toward the positive in spite of bad news blaring at us from our newspapers and TV’s every day.

While we think of ourselves as rational creatures, both neuroscience and social science suggest that we are more optimistic than realistic. The belief that the future will be better than the past is labeled the “Optimism Bias” and it occurs in every race, region and socioeconomic group.

The article also suggested that faith and hope enable us to believe that we can achieve positive results going forward. Even if a better future is often an illusion, optimism has clear benefits in the present. Hope, it seems, keeps our minds at ease, lowers stress and improves physical health.

A growing body of scientific literature points to the conclusion that optimism may be hardwired by evolution in the brain. The science of optimism is opening a new window on the workings of human consciousness, which could fuel a revolution in psychology as we understand that our brains are not only stamped by the past; they are often being shaped by the future.


Sandy Plone, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and member of the Independent Psychotherapy Network. Located on West L.A., she can be reached at dr.splone1@gmail.com or (310) 979-7473.

Copyright 2019 Sandy Plone, Ph.D.

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