Pouring Cold Water on Someone Can Cure Their Optimism

Do you know someone who thinks that they’re at less risk of skin cancer than other sunbathers, thinks that they’ll be able to pick up the guitar after a few short lessons, or who thought they were going to make money with Facebook stock? They may have a condition called unreasonable optimism, and a new study in published in Cortex has found a cure: a glass of cold water, poured directly to the left ear.

Noting similarities between people with unreasonable optimism and those with brain damage, researchers from the University of London and the University Hospital of Zurich hypostasized that irrigated the ears of healthy participants with cold water, and then had them estimate their risk of contracting a serious illness in the future. Compared to baseline predictions, left ear irrigation caused the rate of prediction to jump. Right ear irrigations did not change the rate of negative perditions.

Given this new evidence, we suggest that, prior to setting goals, drawing a budget, or voting, everyone practice some cold-water ear irrigation. We’re building a better world, men.


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