The negative side of positive thinking

  • Study finds optimism may curb action

Τwo Democratic fundraising emails were sent to supporters.

In one version, the candidate was leading a closely contested race; in the other, he was trailing. Which email got more clicks and coaxed more donations?

Pretty young teenage girl laying on a grass
Pretty young teenage girl laying on a grass

Perhaps counterintuitively, the losing candidate’s message sparked the most action.

The experiment was part of a study that explored how optimism can lead to inaction.

Behavioral scientist Todd Rogers of the Harvard Kennedy School and colleagues conducted six related studies that explored “belief in a favorable future” across various contexts and…

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