Why did I love this book?
We will need optimism to tackle the big challenges ahead of us. We should therefore understand some of the strengths and pitfalls of this mindset. I read Tali Sharot’s The Optimism Bias while I was working on a research project about self-deception and the book made a big impression. Sharot is one of the world’s leading cognitive neuroscientists and in this book she offers more than a description of a decision-making bias. Instead, she provides a detailed, sweeping account of how optimism works in the brain, operates in cognition, and plays out in diverse areas of human life. One key lesson: optimism about the future should be embraced with an awareness of both its adaptive benefits and its potentially devastating costs.