Humans (except for lawyers) Are Predisposed Towards Optimism

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, our brains seem to be wired for optimism. That is, unless you are a lawyer. Robert Lee Hotz writes that two research teams exploring the anatomy of expectations offer a new perspective on the power of a positive outlook. For the first time, scientists at New York University have mapped the upbeat brain -- finding in a cluster of neurons the size of a martini olive the seed of a sunny outlook on life. At its core, the brain is built for optimism, their work suggests. Except in lawyers.

Surveying law students at the University of Virginia, he found that pessimists got better grades, were more likely to make law review and, upon graduation, received better job offers. There was no scientific reason. "In law," he said, "pessimism is considered prudence."

You can read the article here.

Hat tip to Labor Prof Blog