Optimism versus Pessimism
Interesting thought from Daniel Kahneman (by way of this Economist article) on the role of overconfidence in the economy:
A cheery disposition may be necessary for societies to function. Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist and Nobel economics laureate, has a chapter in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow” which describes overconfidence as “the engine of capitalism”. No entrepreneur can be sure that his planned investment will succeed but if no one took a risk, new products and jobs would never be created. A certain blindness to the odds may be necessary.
I really need to read Kahneman’s book …