The Economic Power of Positive Thinking

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New research shows that optimists do better in life, but that you can also be too optimistic.

"The differences between optimists and extreme optimists are remarkable, and suggest that over-optimism, like overconfidence, may in fact lead to behaviors that are unwise," said Puri.

The findings could lead to useful ways to consider individuals' investment and career planning decisions, and help people understand or overcome personality characteristics that can negatively affect important financial decisions, the authors say.

"Doctors tell us that one or two glasses of red wine a day can be really healthy," Robinson said. "But no one tells you to drink the whole bottle. It's the same with optimism. A little bit is really beneficial, but too much can lead to some really bad economic choices."

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