The Surprising Downside Of Looking On The Bright Side

October 2, 2014 2:11 PM

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The Surprising Downside Of Looking On The Bright Side

As a culture, we love to tout the power of positive thinking. We're told to look on the bright side, focus on the good, and reach for the stars. We love a good story of dreams coming true against all odds, and from a young age we're taught that whatever we believe, we can achieve. Optimism is practically in our DNA as Americans. But on an individual level, what if this type of incessant positive thinking is exactly what's keeping us from achieving our goals?

According to New York University psychologist Gabriele Oettingen, our society's cult of optimism may not be making us much happier or more successful. In fact, Oettingen's research has found that the principles of optimism and positive thinking we so often hear aren't rooted in the latest science of...

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