“The rose-colored glow, no matter how unwarranted, helped people to maintain a healthier mental state. Depression bred objectivity. A lack of objectivity led to a healthier, more adaptive, and more resilient mind-set.”
Maria Konnikova recounts how researchers have found, over and over again, that people with depression have a clearer and more accurate picture of how much control they have in life than optimists do – and that optimists’ positive outlook, deluded though it be, wards off depression and tends to lead to better outcomes in life.
“What Martin actually gives us is a fantasy version of what the historian Alfred Crosby called the Post-Columbian exchange: the globalizing epoch of the 16th and 17th centuries. A world where merchants trade exotic drugs and spices between continents, where professional standing armies can number in the tens or hundreds of thousands, where scholars study the stars via telescopes.”
“Many people correctly solved more problems if the previous person had a high score rather than a low one. But, crucially, this effect was found only for a specific subset of individuals: Those who (a) tended to process information in an intuitive, System 1 way, and (b) actually touched the paper that had allegedly been handled by the previous test-taker.”
“No one publicly celebrates the virtues of balancing one’s books and of audits with great art or gripping characters. Occasionally an accounting hero emerges, bringing a billion-dollar loss to light, but few people appreciate it, as the Dutch did, as a profound moral advance in business and public affairs.”