Contagious OptimismImage:Dreamex-small.jpgMike Davies of the Richard Rogers Partnership
- Optimism often invites more optimism
- In systems thinking, processes self-regulate by what is called 'negative feedback'.
- In a 'negative feedback' system, whenever a given trend increases regulatory factors act to reduce it.
- If it reduces too much then the same process brings it back to an optimum position.
- By contrast, 'positive feedback' works to augment a given trend.
- Therefore, when positive feedback occurs there is usually a 'runaway' or 'avalanche' effect.
- Optimism is often part of a 'positive feedback' process that spreads itself within a given group of people.
- We may therefore think of it as 'contagious'.
- Pessimism is also 'contagious', but it usually has fewer helpful outcomes.