Do you believe things will be good in the long run? Scientists say that believing in a positive future could be detrimental to your real life success, because hopefulness stops you from taking action now.
Some people are so certain that they are right, they are convinced that others will have no choice but eventually see their point. A recent study published in a series of articles in Psychological Science examines how common this belief really is, where it comes from and what are some causes and consequences of biased believing in a positive outcome.
The belief in a favorable future can influence people’s behavior right here, right now
While working with the DGA, the researchers sent two variants of emails designed to raise money for the campaign to more than 600 thousand supporters. The subject line in the first variant indicated that Democratic candidate was winning and the second one implied the candidate was falling behind. Science Daily reported what happened in each case:
- The addressees tended to open the email less often if the subject indicated that a Democratic candidate gained the lead in a tight race, as opposed to the letter in which he was portrayed as falling behind.
- Among those who still have read the letter, fewer people clicked on the donation link if a candidate was portrayed as having the upper hand.
- As a result, most Democratic supporters were too sure of their frontrunner leading and eventually winning, and would not take any action to support their candidate, although the letter stated that the race was tight.
In a similar way, the researchers asked more than 250 people participating in an online survey to give their opinion on a range of topics such as same-sex marriage, Trump, NBA, abortions, etc. They were also asked to make an assumption about how people’s answers to all these questions may change after a while.
As expected, 91% of those who supported easier access to abortion were confident that the majority of people would approve their point of view in the future. In comparison, only 41% of those who advocated for restricting access to abortion thought others would move to thing in the same way.
Belief in favorable future stops you from acting now
The study findings show that the belief in a future that will be rosy and in accord with one’s own convictions is present in many different situations and contexts and can be found across the globe, which makes it a cross-cultural phenomenon and a common “syndrome”.
Additional findings indicate that this one-sided belief is different from other phenomena like optimism or the false-consensus bias when people tend to project onto others their way of thinking.
Even when people are prompted to make an educated guess about how others will change their views in the future, respondents still cling to their belief that this change will be in accordance with their own position at the time.
Or, as the case with fundraising emails has shown, a Democrat could have fallen short of much-needed votes to win the race solely because of people’s confidence in a positive outcome that made them disinterested in clicking the link.
As the researchers say, this kind of stubborn faith in a favorable future is more likely to reduce the chances that people will start acting now to make the future happen.
Do you also believe your relationship will work out without problems?
Most men are willing to spend thousands of dollars on visiting an online girlfriend in Ukraine or Russia, but they feel it will work out okay without them learning what can go wrong (and what to do if things go wrong).
However, things do go wrong at times and one small (and preventable) disagreement can throw off a potential future with your sweetheart as a happy family with kids. Sensitive situations do arise and when the relationship is new, small problems can create a big divide.
Make sure you do not suffer from the hopefulness syndrome. Ensure you know what can go wrong and how to fix it, because when it happens, you may only have minutes to make the right step.
Download VIP Coaching Program for men dating Ukrainian, Russian women by Elena Petrova now. It highlights all potential problem situations and solutions, during your online correspondence, visit, and beyond. Protect yourself from hopefulness bias!
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