News stories discussed:
Pessimism resonates. A YouGov poll found that just 5 per cent of Britons think that the world, all things considered, is getting better. You would think that the chronically cheerful Americans might be more optimistic — well, yes, 6 per cent of them think that the world is improving. More Americans believe in astrology and reincarnation than in progress.
Research suggests that the best self-help advice may have very little to do with yourself.
Nevertheless, most self-improvement strategies focus too much on the person who’s trying to do the improving. Much of the time, the same outcomes you’re trying to achieve by changing your own habits, attitudes, and behaviors depend on how you view other people.