Tali Sharot, The Optimism Bias:
Collectively we can grow pessimistic — about the direction of our country or the ability of our leaders to improve education and reduce crime. But private optimism, about our personal future, remains incredibly resilient. A survey conducted in 2007 found that while 70% thought families in general were less successful than in their parents’ day, 76% of respondents were optimistic about the future of their own family.
Science suggests that our hardwired bias toward optimism may be an evolutionary asset designed to keep us going even in the face of a bleak future – as well as a mechanism to help us learn from our mistakes.