It's a wonderful thing to be optimistic. It keeps you healthy and it keeps you resilient.
People like leaders who look like they are dominant, optimistic, friendly to their friends, and quick on the trigger when it comes to enemies. They like boldness and despise the appearance of timidity and protracted doubt.
People's mood is really determined primarily by their genetic make-up and personality, and in the second place by their immediate context, and only in the third and fourth place by worries and concerns and other things like that.
Negotiations over a shrinking pie are especially difficult because they require an allocation of losses. People tend to be much more easygoing when they bargain over an expanding pie.
Friends are sometimes a big help when they share your feelings. In the context of decisions, the friends who will serve you best are those who understand your feelings but are not overly impressed by them.
We think, each of us, that we're much more rational than we are. And we think that we make our decisions because we have good reasons to make them. Even when it's the other way around. We believe in the reasons, because we've already made the decision.
One thing we have lost, that we had in the past, is a sense of progress, that things are getting better. There is a sense of volatility, but not of progress.
Policy makers, like most people, normally feel that they already know all the psychology and all the sociology they are likely to need for their decisions. I don't think they are right, but that's the way it is.
If people do not know what is going to make them better off or give them pleasure, then the idea that you can trust people to do what will give them pleasure becomes questionable.
I think one of the major results of the psychology of decision making is that people's attitudes and feelings about losses and gains are really not symmetric. So we really feel more pain when we lose $10,000 than we feel pleasure when we get $10,000.
Nobody would say, 'I'm voting for this guy because he's got the stronger chin,' but that, in fact, is partly what happens.
Happiness is determined by factors like your health, your family relationships and friendships, and above all by feeling that you are in control of how you spend your time.
It is the consistency of the information that matters for a good story, not its completeness. Indeed, you will often find that knowing little makes it easier to fit everything you know into a coherent pattern.
There are domains in which expertise is not possible. Stock picking is a good example. And in long-term political strategic forecasting, it's been shown that experts are just not better than a dice-throwing monkey.
When people evaluate their life, they compare themselves to a standard of what a successful life is, and it turns out that standard tends to be universal: People in Togo and Denmark have the same idea of what a good life is, and a lot of that has to do with money and material prosperity.
Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is while you're thinking about it.
Intuitive diagnosis is reliable when people have a lot of relevant feedback. But people are very often willing to make intuitive diagnoses even when they're very likely to be wrong.
We're generally overconfident in our opinions and our impressions and judgments.
If people are failing, they look inept. If people are succeeding, they look strong and good and competent. That's the 'halo effect.' Your first impression of a thing sets up your subsequent beliefs. If the company looks inept to you, you may assume everything else they do is inept.
Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders - not average people. They got to where they are by seeking challenges and taking risks.