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Excess Optimism Impedes People from Taking Actions: Study

According to the study, people who believe that everything will workout for the best are less likely to take a command on their future

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Excess optimism can often become a problem. Pixabay
  • Excess optimism often poses a problem for many people as they become less likely to take a command on their future
  • Lead author of the study said the belief in a favourable future may lessen the likelihood that people will take a step to turn it into reality
  • The findings of the study have been published in the journal Psychological Science

August 20, 2017: A new study states that people who are too optimistic and believe in the fact that everything will workout for the best are less likely to take a command on their future. Excess optimism often poses a problem for many people.

Talking to Daily Mail, lead author from Harvard University of the study, Todd Rogers said: there exist people who think that they are so correct that gradually others will come to see the “obviousness of their correctness.” However, the findings of their study showed that the belief in a favorable and bright future may lessen the likelihood that people will take a step to turn it into reality.

Also read: Being optimistic likely to Lengthen your Life: Study

Researchers from the universities of Berkeley, California, and Harvard carried out the study by examining six studies investigating people’s scientific beliefs, political views, and entertainment and product preferences. The results of the study showed that being optimistic and believing others would come around or things will improve made it less probable for people to take a step.

The findings have been published in the journal Psychological Science.

Prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025


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Are You Thriving In Life? Scientists Explain What Makes a Person Thrive

The study, published in the journal European Psychologist, outlines a 'shopping list' of requirements for thriving in life

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Persons thriving in life. Pixabay

London, Sep 10, 2017: Doing well in life, it seems, is not as difficult as we tend to assume when life throws a few tough challenges at us. A new study has found that what it takes to thrive, rather than merely survive, could be as simple as feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something.

Until now and despite plenty of theories, there has been no agreement on what makes a person thrive or on how people can try and ensure they do.

To come up with a definitive catch-all, the researchers pulled together research on what makes people thrive, from studies of babies and teenagers, to studies of artists, sportspeople, employees and the elderly.

“Thriving is a word most people would be glad to hear themselves described as, but which science hasn’t really managed to consistently classify and describe until now,” said Daniel Brown, a sport and exercise scientist at the University of Portsmouth in Britain.

“It appears to come down to an individual experiencing a sense of development, of getting better at something, and succeeding at mastering something,” he added.

“In the simplest terms, what underpins it is feeling good about life and yourself and being good at something,” Brown added.

The study, published in the journal European Psychologist, outlines a ‘shopping list’ of requirements for thriving in life.

Also Read: 6 Reasons Why Green Tea Should Be a Part of Your Everyday Life- What Makes It So Healthy? 

According to the list one has to be optimistic, spiritual or religious, motivated, proactive, someone who enjoys learning and is flexible, adaptable, socially competent, believes in self/has self-esteem.

Moreover, one should also have the opportunity and employer/family/other support. The other requirements in the list include challenges and difficulties are at manageable level, environment is calm, is given a high degree of autonomy and is trusted as competent.

To thrive does not need all the components, but a combination of some from each of the two lists may help, the researchers said.

Thriving has been examined at various stages of human life and has at times been described as vitality, learning, mental toughness, focus, or combinations of these and other qualities.

It has also been examined in various contexts, including in the military, in health and in child development.

“Since the end of the 20th century, there has been a quest in science to better understand human fulfilment and thriving, there’s been a shift towards wanting to understand how humans can function as highly as possible,” Brown said.

“Part of the reason for a lack of consensus is the research so far has been narrowly focused. Some have studied what makes babies thrive, others have examined what makes some employees thrive and others not, and so on. By setting out a clear definition, I hope this helps set a course for future research,” Brown added. (IANS)

 

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US to probe into complaint: Does Harvard University discriminate against Indians, Asians?

Harvard University's alleged biased behavior against students from the India and Asia, US will take a look into this.

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Harvard University
Harvard University. wikimedia

August 4, 2017: US President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to probe a complaint by four Indian-American organizations and other Asian groups that Harvard University discriminates against students from the communities in its admission process.

Justice Department Spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said on Wednesday the department wants to investigate the “administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior Administration left unresolved”.

Flores said: “The complaint alleges racial discrimination against Asian-Americans in a university’s admission policy and practices.”

The Global Organisation of Persons of Indian Origin (Gopio), National Federation of Indian-American Associations, American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin, and BITS Sindri Alumni Association of North India were among the 64 Asian groups that jointly filed the federal complaint.

The complaint said: “Many Asian-American students who have almost perfect SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores, top one per cent GPAs (Grade Point Average), plus significant awards or leadership positions in various extracurricular activities have been rejected by Harvard University and other Ivy League Colleges while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted.”

SAT is one of the common entrance exams for college admission.

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Though officially the affirmative action programmes are meant to aid African American and Latino students, in reality, the quota system — similar to reservations in India — has expanded to also helps white students at the expense of Indian and other Asian students.

To ensure diversity, elite universities set academic standards for Asian students that are higher than that for even whites to prevent high-scoring Asians dominating the universities if admissions were based solely on merit.

A study by a Princeton University academic found that Asian-American students had to score 140 points more than whites in the SAT to gain admission to elite universities.

If a comparison is to be made to the Indian situation, Asians would be classified as “most forward” over the “forward” category.

Gopio International Chairman Thomas Abraham said he welcomed the Trump administration’s move to take up the complaint by the Indian and other Asian organizations.

Also Read: “Buddhism Through its Scriptures”: Due to rising demand, now Harvard University has an Online course on Buddhism!

He conceded that there was a need for affirmative action programmes to right the historical injustices done to the African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans and, therefore, he supported it for only those communities.

But “in the general quota for all the others there should not be any discrimination against Indians or Asians,” he added.

“A white kid should not get preferred treatment at the expense of Asians and the general quota should be based solely on merit” and this was the central point in the complaint,” he said.

Under former President Barack Obama, the Education Department dismissed a similar complaint by another organization, while the Justice Department did not follow up on the complaint made to its Office of Civil Rights that is now being taken up for review.

When it became known that the Justice Department was seeking lawyers to investigate the Asians discrimination suit, some major, mainstream American media twisted it and put out fake news that the Trump administration was preparing to sue universities over affirmative action admissions policies that were seen as discriminating against whites.

Flores denied the reports and said it was only the Asian complaint that was being taken up and that the department “has not received or issued any directive, memorandum, initiative or policy related to university admissions in general”.

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“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting all Americans from all forms of illegal race-based discrimination,” she added.

A former civil rights official, Vanita Gupta, told The New York Times that the person sought for the investigation will be in “the political front office” and this “suggests that this person will be carrying out an agenda aimed at undermining diversity in higher education without needing to say it”.

Gupta was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in President Barack Obama’s administration and led the civil rights division. She is now the President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. (IANS)

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‘Livelihood Creation in India’ : The Socio-economic well being of Women through West Bengal’s Murshidabad Handlooms

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Women weaving , Wikimedia

Murshidabad, Jan 20, 2017: Handloom weaves have breathed a new lease of life in vulnerable women in West Bengal’s Murshidabad who would otherwise be at the risk of being trafficked thanks to a livelihood-creation project taken up by Harvard University’s South Asia Initiative (SAI) in collaboration with Tata Trusts.

Freeset Fabrics, an NGO working in Murshidabad, was selected by SAI as one of the six social enterprises that were given grants and support for rural livelihood creation in the Indian crafts sector.

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This is part of an 18-month project named ‘Livelihood Creation in India’.

“Our objective of supporting the NGO is livelihood creation in poor rural communities of Murshidabad for vulnerable women who would otherwise be at risk of trafficking into prostitution, bonded labour or migration,” said Shashank Shah, Project Director and Fellow Harvard University SAI.

The other five social enterprises that also received grants are Women Weave from Madhya Pradesh, Kumaun Grameen Udyog (KGU) from Uttarakhand, Craftizen Foundation from Karnataka, Chitrika from Andhra Pradesh and Raah Foundation from Maharashtra.

They have chosen handloom textiles to build on a tradition that was once thriving in this area but which has declined over recent decades, Shah added.

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The core theme of the project focuses on three key areas: rural livelihood creation through emphasis on the handicrafts and handloom sectors, educational, social and economic empowerment of women and science and technology-based social entrepreneurship.

“As part of this program, budding social entrepreneurs and crafts enterprises in India applied for social innovation grants totaling Rs 50 lakh, to stimulate interventions and scale up existing initiatives that can lead to greater impact in select geographies,” a statement said. (IANS)