No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here's How To FIX IT! - Dr. Tali Sharot

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video features an interview with Dr. Tali Sharot, a leading expert on human decision making, optimism, and emotion, who discusses how optimism can be enhanced to combat the unhappiness that typically occurs during midlife.

The video features an interview with Dr. Tali Sharot, a leading expert on human decision making, optimism, and emotion. She discusses how children are the happiest and most optimistic, but as people reach their midlife, their happiness and optimism levels decrease. She also talks about the importance of enhancing optimism and how it can lead to an increase in salary. Dr. Sharot shares her background in cognitive neuroscience and psychology and how her interest in human behavior led her to study these fields. She also discusses a recent change in her perspective on happiness while writing her current book.

  • Children don't impact our happiness positively, and this is a fact.
  • Enhancing optimism is possible through a few ways.
  • Dr. Tali Sharot is a cognitive neuroscientist who mixes psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics.
  • Dr. Tali Sharot recently changed her mind about happiness while writing her current book.
  • Happiness is one of three factors that matter.
  • Variety is exploration, to move forward both as an individual and as a society.
  • People are not making enough change in their life.
  • Optimism can be enhanced to combat the unhappiness that typically occurs during midlife.
  • Optimism is believing that something is likely to happen.

No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here's How To FIX IT! - Dr. Tali Sharot - YouTube

No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Children and Midlife Unhappiness

  • Children don't impact our happiness positively, and this is a fact.
  • Children are the happiest and most optimistic, but it goes down and reaches rock bottom in midlife.
  • One tiny move up on the optimism scale is worth an extra $33,000 a year in salary.
  • Optimists interpret something that went well as something about them that caused the positive outcome.
  • Pessimists do the opposite and have a negative explanatory style, which leads to depression.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Enhancing Optimism

  • Happiness is one of three factors that matter, along with meaning and a third factor that is also interesting.
  • Enhancing optimism is possible through a few ways.
  • Optimism is about interpreting events in a positive way.
  • Gratitude is a powerful tool to enhance optimism.
  • Optimism can be learned and practiced.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Dr. Tali Sharot's Professional Background

  • Dr. Tali Sharot is a cognitive neuroscientist who mixes psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics.
  • She studied both neuroscience and psychology at university and post-grad.
  • She was interested in human behavior and the brain, which was a mysterious organ that orchestrates everything.
  • She wanted to understand herself and other people around her.
  • She finds the brain to be one of the most intriguing topics.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here's How To FIX IT! - Dr. Tali Sharot - YouTube

Changing Perspectives on Happiness

  • Dr. Tali Sharot recently changed her mind about happiness while writing her current book.
  • She used to think that happiness was the most important thing, but she realized that meaning and a third factor are also important.
  • She was in a workshop where they did a survey and asked who thinks that happiness is the most important thing.
  • She realized that everything you do is not just for happiness.
  • She is writing the book with Cass Einstein, the co-author of Nudge.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

The Three Factors That Matter

  • Happiness is one of three factors that matter.
  • The second factor is meaning.
  • The third factor is a psychological rich life, which is basically variety.
  • People do things for diversity, to try a lot of different things.
  • Exploration is necessary to move forward as an individual and as a society.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Why Humans Care About Variety

  • Variety is exploration, to move forward both as an individual and as a society.
  • Exploring different things may not necessarily give happiness immediately or at all.
  • Variety is a balance between exploration and exploitation.
  • Exploration is risky because there's uncertainty and fear.
  • Uncertainty is a state that usually people don't like and don't enjoy.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Why People Are Not Making Enough Change in Their Life

  • People are not making enough change in their life.
  • On average, making a change when you think you might want to make a change can make you happier.
  • It's tricky to study because people who go on and make a change probably had more reason to do it.
  • Randomizing whether people are going to make changes or not is necessary to study.
  • People are afraid of uncertainty and fear.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

How to Combat Unhappiness During Midlife

  • Optimism can be enhanced to combat the unhappiness that typically occurs during midlife.
  • Optimism is the belief that good things will happen in the future.
  • Optimism can be learned and trained.
  • Optimism can be enhanced by focusing on the positive aspects of life.
  • Optimism can be enhanced by practicing gratitude and mindfulness.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Importance of Change

  • People who make changes are happier than those who don't.
  • People are often scared to try something new.
  • Individuals need to be comfortable with uncertainty to make changes.
  • Helping individuals through specific changes can be effective.
  • Friends or mentors can provide support during changes.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Optimism vs. Hope

  • Optimism is believing that something is likely to happen.
  • Hope is wanting something to happen in the future.
  • Optimism leads to taking more risks.
  • Enhancing optimism can lead to better outcomes.
  • People are more optimistic about things they believe they have control over.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Enhancing Optimism

  • Providing a sense of control can enhance optimism.
  • Allowing individuals to make choices can enhance a sense of agency.
  • Positive feedback can enhance optimism.
  • Visualizing success can enhance optimism.
  • Surrounding oneself with optimistic people can enhance optimism.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Mindset and Happiness

  • Midlife is often a time of unhappiness.
  • Changing one's mindset can lead to greater happiness.
  • Optimism can be learned and practiced.
  • Gratitude can enhance happiness.
  • Helping others can enhance happiness.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Enhancing Sense of Control

  • People become more committed to an option once they make a choice.
  • Once a choice is made, people's preferences change and they rationalize why their choice was great.
  • Enhancing agency and control boosts happiness and reduces anxiety.
  • Plants and giving kids choices also enhance sense of control.
  • Airlines can reduce anxiety by reducing uncertainty and enhancing sense of control, such as by showing the pilot view and providing entertaining safety instructions.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Midlife Unhappiness

  • People aged 30 to 50 tend to experience a dip in happiness.
  • This is due to a mismatch between expectations and reality, as well as a sense of loss of control.
  • However, optimism can be enhanced to combat midlife unhappiness.
  • Optimism can be learned and practiced, and it has been shown to improve well-being and health.
  • Optimism involves focusing on positive outcomes, being resilient in the face of setbacks, and having a growth mindset.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

The Power of Social Influence

  • Social influence can be a powerful motivator for behavior change.
  • People are more likely to engage in a behavior if they believe others are doing it too.
  • This can be used to promote positive behaviors, such as recycling or voting.
  • However, social influence can also be used to promote negative behaviors, such as smoking or binge drinking.
  • It is important to be aware of the power of social influence and use it responsibly.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

The Neuroscience of Memory

  • Memory is not a perfect record of past events, but rather a reconstruction of those events based on current knowledge and beliefs.
  • Memory can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as emotions, expectations, and social influence.
  • Memory can also be improved through techniques such as repetition, elaboration, and association.
  • Memory is not a fixed trait, but rather a skill that can be developed and improved.
  • Understanding the neuroscience of memory can help us better understand how to learn and remember information.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Principle of Positive Information

  • People tend to take in positive information about their own future more than negative information.
  • Positive information about the future can enhance optimism and confidence.
  • Positive information can be presented in a light, entertaining, and humorous way to increase engagement.
  • People may seek out positive information about their future, such as watching videos about their upcoming vacation.
  • Unexpected positive information about the future can be particularly impactful in shaping beliefs.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Confirmation Bias and Agreeability

  • Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information that confirms our beliefs and use it to become more confident in those beliefs.
  • Starting a conversation with agreeability and making the other person feel heard and understood can open them up to new information.
  • Agreeing with someone can activate their brain and make them more receptive to information.
  • Disagreeing with someone can cause their brain to shut down and not process the information.
  • Common ground can be established to increase the likelihood of the other person listening and being open to new information.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Example of Vaccine Communication

  • Parents who are hesitant to vaccinate their children due to a perceived link to autism may not be swayed by presenting scientific evidence.
  • Instead, highlighting the benefits of vaccines and the risks of not vaccinating can be more effective.
  • Starting with common ground, such as the desire to protect children's health, can make the other person more open to new information.
  • Using emotional appeals, such as stories of children who suffered from preventable diseases, can also be effective.
  • Effective communication about vaccines can help increase vaccination rates and protect public health.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Midlife Unhappiness and Optimism

  • Research shows that people between the ages of 30 and 50 tend to experience a dip in happiness and well-being.
  • This can be due to a variety of factors, such as career and family pressures, and a sense of unfulfilled expectations.
  • Optimism can be enhanced to combat midlife unhappiness and increase well-being.
  • Practices such as gratitude journaling, positive self-talk, and focusing on strengths can increase optimism.
  • Engaging in meaningful activities and building strong social connections can also increase well-being.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Agreeing on Common Ground

  • Focusing on what people agree on can be more effective than focusing on disagreements.
  • Highlighting commonalities between people can be helpful in finding a solution.
  • Understanding shared goals and motivations can lead to a better outcome.
  • Using conflict resolution skills can help in situations where there are disagreements.
  • Using theory of mind to understand the other person's perspective can be helpful in finding common ground.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Starting with Empathy

  • Starting a conversation with empathy can be more effective than starting with disagreement.
  • Using "wrong" or "I disagree" can lead to combat and close the door to finding common ground.
  • Validation and understanding of the other person's feelings can lead to a better outcome.
  • Using theory of mind to understand the other person's perspective can be helpful in starting with empathy.
  • Tests can measure a person's ability to use theory of mind.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Using Different Approaches

  • Using different approaches can be helpful in finding a solution.
  • Logical and scientific approaches may not work for everyone.
  • Understanding how the other person is feeling can lead to a better outcome.
  • Using theory of mind to understand the other person's perspective can be helpful in finding a solution.
  • Empowering the other person can be helpful in finding a solution.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Developing Conflict Resolution Skills

  • Developing conflict resolution skills can be helpful in finding common ground.
  • Using empathy and understanding can lead to a better outcome.
  • Using theory of mind to understand the other person's perspective can be helpful in finding common ground.
  • Validation and understanding of the other person's feelings can lead to a better outcome.
  • Using different approaches can be helpful in finding a solution.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

The Power of Emotion in Communication

  • Data and logic are important, but not enough to convince people of what is true.
  • Emotion, stories, and anecdotes work better in getting a message across.
  • Using a single anecdote can be helpful in communicating a message.
  • We need to embrace how the human brain works to effectively communicate important information.
  • Conspiracy theories flourish on social media because of the power of emotion and anecdotes.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

The Influence of Emotion in Decision Making

  • Emotion can influence decision making, even when we know the data and science behind it.
  • Trump's use of emotion and anecdotes in the 2016 campaign was more influential than Dr. Carson's use of data and science.
  • Using emotion and anecdotes can be used to spread misinformation and do harm.
  • Using emotion and anecdotes can also be used to spread hope, optimism, and save lives.
  • Understanding human behavior and using it effectively can lead to better communication and decision making.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

The Power of Anecdotes in Communication

  • Anecdotes can be powerful in communicating a message, but should not be used to spread false information.
  • Using anecdotes can be effective in spreading hope, optimism, and emotion.
  • Conspiracy theories can spread on social media using a single anecdote or screenshot.
  • Bringing facts and figures to an emotional fight is often ineffective.
  • The little tag on social media posts saying something isn't true is often ignored.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

The Importance of Understanding Human Behavior

  • Understanding how the human brain works is important in effective communication and decision making.
  • Ignoring how the human brain works can lead to ineffective communication and decision making.
  • Using emotion and anecdotes can be effective in spreading important information and saving lives.
  • Using emotion and anecdotes can also be used to spread misinformation and do harm.
  • Understanding human behavior can lead to better communication and decision making.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Why emotional stories are effective

  • Emotional stories induce emotion, which gets the brain to focus and remember better.
  • Humans evolved to learn from stories, as it was how we learned before science and big data.
  • Novelty in stories causes people to pay attention and remember.
  • Our brains care about what's new and important, not what's been the same.
  • Politicians use stories to connect with constituents and make their message more memorable.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Using stories for motivation

  • Both numbers and stories can be effective for motivation.
  • Seeing progress with numbers is an easy way to motivate people.
  • Hearing a story can be more memorable and cause more joy and motivation.
  • Showing progress with numbers is a great way to change behavior.
  • Numbers can be used to show progress and motivate people in sports, money investments, and relationships.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Defining Optimism Bias

  • Optimism is believing that positive things will happen.
  • The optimism bias means overestimating the likelihood of positive events and underestimating the likelihood of negative events.
  • The optimism bias is a systematic mistake.
  • The mistakes tend to be that people expect things to be better than they end up being.
  • The optimism bias can have both positive and negative outcomes.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

The Positive Outcomes of Optimism Bias

  • Positive expectations motivate people to try harder.
  • Positive expectations enhance happiness and well-being.
  • Expectations of the future affect happiness today.
  • Positive expectations of the future, even if they don't happen, make people happier today.
  • Anticipation of good things can bring happiness before the event.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Using Optimism Bias in Relationships and Teams

  • Having things to look forward to, like a vacation, can make people happier today.
  • Having things in the diary, like a vacation, can make people happier today.
  • Anticipation of good things can enhance the likelihood of them happening.
  • Reminding people of past successes can help them overcome current issues.
  • Looking at past successes can be a compelling emotional story.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Combating Unhappiness During Midlife

  • People are typically unhappiest during midlife.
  • Midlife is a time of transition and change.
  • People tend to focus on what they haven't achieved during midlife.
  • People can combat midlife unhappiness by focusing on what they have achieved.
  • People can combat midlife unhappiness by setting achievable goals.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Anticipatory Events

  • Anticipatory events are things that people can look forward to that will make them happy today.
  • Enhancing expectations can motivate a team and enhance motivation.
  • Dreading things in the future can affect mood today.
  • Anticipation of good things and dread of bad things affect how we feel at the moment.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

Contagious Emotions

  • Any emotion is contagious, including sadness, anxiety, joy, and fear.
  • Facial expressions are mimicked unconsciously, which can affect how we feel.
  • Our brain learns from our facial expressions, which creates a feedback loop.
  • Excitement and fear are contagious emotions that can affect those around us.
  • As a manager, it's important to consider the emotions you convey, as they can affect your team.
No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

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No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here

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No.1 Neuroscientist: Age 30 to 50 Will Be Your Unhappiest, Here's How To FIX IT! - Dr. Tali Sharot - YouTube

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