Why Things Are Worse Than You Think

Optimism is one hallmark of successful entrepreneurs. But new research shows that being top dog can actually make you too optimistic

Written by Deborah Aarts

Think the world is looking mighty golden these days? It’s probably because you’re the boss.

A new study suggests that people who have high status (that is, prestige, respect and admiration in the eyes of others—hello, CEOs!) tend to register their surroundings more positively than they really are. Researchers Nathan Pettit of NYU’s Stern School of Business and Nino Sivanathan of London Business School conducted experiments in which participants were assigned different levels of status and told to interpret such stimuli as applause and facial expressions.

Those with higher status levels said the applause was louder and smiles more common than those who’d been conferred lower status. While taking a rosy view of the world can have positive effects on your psychological and physical well-being, it also can skew your decision-making—so you might want to keep a Debbie Downer on speed-dial.

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Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com