Value Added | Why People Don’t Follow Pessimists

Just in case you missed it, Jim Schleckser, CEO of Inc. Magazine recently published the rapidly trending article “People don’t follow pessimists.”

IMAGE: Getty Images
IMAGE: Getty Images

We’re happy to see positive psyche begin to gain some traction in the field of entrepreneurship.

Science confirms that reassurance and encouragement create engaged, energized cultures. When cultures permit participants to try new skills in an affirming environment, and participants can trust their leadership won’t penalize them for taking small risks they provide opportunities for growth.

Organizations that permit participants to provide straightforward feedback regarding challenges they encounter with their workflows or processes create healthy, performance culture — and a functional infrastructure for continuous improvement.

Research indicates that there is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs in which people take on the traits they describe about others.

It has a lot to do with mirror neurons and how we use emotional resonance to imprint and recreate the emotional responses we are confronted with.

“Because negative faces are more salient and therefore more likely to grab our attention than are positive faces, people are faster at locating a single negative face in a display of positive faces than they are to locate a single positive face in a display of negative faces.”

Image credit |

When we see the facial expression of someone else, and this perception leads us to experience that expression as a particular affective state, we do not accomplish this type of understanding through an argument by analogy. The other’s emotion is constituted, experienced, and therefore directly understood by means of an embodied simulation producing a shared body state. It is the activation of a neural mechanism shared by the observer and the observed that enables experiential understanding. A similar simulation-based mechanism has been proposed by Goldman and Sripada (2004) as “unmediated resonance.”

In all of the above domains—of actions, intentions, emotions, and sensations—perceiving the other’s behavior automatically activates in the observer the same motor program that underlies the behavior being observed. That is, one internally simulates the observed behavior, automatically establishing a direct experiential line between observer and observed in that in both the same neural substrate is activated. Although we may and do employ more explicit hermeneutic strategies and arguments by analogy to understand another, embodied simulation—we propose—constitutes a fundamental basis for an automatic, unconscious, and noninferential understanding of another’s actions, intentions, emotions, sensations, and perhaps even linguistic expressions.

According to our hypothesis, such body-related experiential knowledge enables a direct grasping of the sense of the actions perform.

Vittorio Gallese et al.

Negativity has the power to shrink parts of our brain that controls our capacity to make positive associations. However, good narrative can enlarge us and open us up to one another, our relationship with the world around us, and a whole new world of possibilities.

To read more, click here…


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