You know how it is said that we should be optimistic or to keep our chin up when we are pursuing a goal? Well according to a new study collaboration between University College London, the Free University in Berlin, and the Humboldt University in Berlin, optimism may actually be a flaw in the human mind.
According to the article provided by PopSci.com, the research establishments carried out a study where volunteers were to rate the likelihood of a list of negative events happening to them. The volunteers would have their brain activity tracked while answering these questions in order to see which parts of the brain were active during optimistic answers (which comprised the majority of answers.)
According to the research, the areas of the brain in charge of estimation (located in the prefrontal cortices) would have a spike of activity directly correlated to how optimistic the given answers were. The main premise of these outcomes can be seen with the saying, "it-can't-happen-to-me."
From looking through this article, it seems that it was a well constructed experiment, with a high sense of internal validity and replicabilty, especially since it was done between three research institutions. However, I do think that other research pursuits could be constructed to test the falsifiability of this particular finding, such as if optimism is only a flaw in certain scenarios and a strength in others. Also, i think that a study on how pessimistic thinking plays into usefulness would be a nice parallel study to see if it too could be considered a flaw or not.