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Humans can be 'vicariously optimistic' for those we care about, enabling us to view our own lives - and those of our friends and family - through ‘rose-tinted glasses’.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The research, which is the first to show that such an ‘optimism bias’ extends beyond the self, found that people readily changed their beliefs about a person they like when receiving good news but barely changed their opinions about them after receiving bad news. This ‘vicarious optimism’ in their learning about others was found to be stronger the more people cared about another person, and was even seen for strangers. The study was conducted by researchers from City, University of London, Oxford University and Yale University.

Find out more (University of Oxford website)

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