Everyone's an optimist until they get shot in the head with a magnetic gun.
But seriously, researchers at Universty College London have just published research that shows there is a part of the brain responsible for our "optimism bias." That's the miscalculation that each of us makes about how bad things are more likely to happen to other people than to ourselves.
Using a technique called "transcranial magnetic stimulation," researchers turned off a portion of the brain called the "left inferior frontal gyrus" which tracks information that is better than the person expected. The right portion handles information that is worse than expected. The result? Test subjects believed the chance of bad things happening to them increased to their rightful amount.
As TheScientists notes, "Of course, it may not always be beneficial to suppress such natural biases. Unwarranted optimism can lead us to take unnecessary risks with our health or finances, but Sharot and Kanai noted that it could also be adaptive, by encouraging people to try new things or avoid the stress of potential illness or failure."