The Expectation Effect by David Robson ePub & PDF Download
Download The Expectation Effect by David Robson ePub novel free. David Robson’s “The Expectation Effect” is an emotional roller coaster of a story that progresses in a non-linear way. Near the conclusion, secrets are exposed. Secrets, betrayal, loss, death, forgiveness, redemption, and love shine through in this tale.
The Expectation Effect by David Robson Summary:
The latest research indicates that what we believe can have very real repercussions, from exercise to old age.
In the late 1970s, when dozens of seemingly healthy young men who had moved from Laos began dying in their sleep, US medical authorities were baffled. They coined the term “sudden unexpected nocturnal death syndrome” to describe the phenomena, but it was merely a label for their bewilderment. We think we know why: the guys had sleep paralysis, which is normal and innocuous in and of itself; but, they mistook it for a visit from the dab tsog, a malicious ghost who sits on victims’ chests at night. The guys panicked since they were far from the shamans and family members who could have helped them ward off the evil, perhaps worsening a type of heart arrhythmia more common in persons from Southeast Asia and causing cardiac arrest.
The Expectation Effect, by science writer David Robson, aims to persuade us that we shouldn’t feel sorry for those men since our own expectations and beliefs, however illogical, have a similar impact on our health, pleasure, and survival. Consider aging: if you believe it’s a matter of inevitable cognitive decline and becoming unusable in society, you’re more likely to have hearing loss, frailty, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Higher stress levels and inflammation are predicted by such attitudes, which contribute to a variety of illnesses. (In locations like Sardinia, where centenarians are plentiful and flourishing, their position in intergenerational households is regarded to be a factor: it motivates them to anticipate to remain active.) Even if you sleep well, if you persuade yourself that you are prone to insomnia, you will experience the symptoms of insomnia. Even though they’re only taking sugar pills, participants in medical trials frequently feel the “nocebo effect” – medication side effects including nausea, dizziness, or rashes notwithstanding the fact that they’re simply taking sugar pills.
The “expectation effect” is a self-help cliche to some extent: “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right,” Henry Ford is believed to have declared irritably. But one of Robson’s many assets as a scientific chronicler is his ability to take something that appears familiar and show – to his own clear delight – just how much further down the rabbit hole it goes. You were well aware of the placebo effect. But did you know that it regularly works, albeit in a bizarre way, even when the patient is aware that they are taking a placebo? (In terms of medical ethics, this is encouraging because it implies that individuals do not need to be tricked in order to benefit.) And if you already knew that, did you know that evidence suggests that the placebo effect is becoming more potent over time as more individuals become aware of it and expect to experience it? The placebo effect, in other words, has a placebo effect. Expect your expectations to alter the course of your life; they will.
Robson’s central point is that the expectation effect isn’t an amusing psychological quirk, but a fundamental aspect of our interactions with reality. While the book is full of appealing anecdotes – the cyclist who thought he was injecting performance-enhancing drugs and performed better as a result; the Portuguese TV show that caused an epidemic of breathing difficulties in its viewers – the book’s central point is that the expectation effect isn’t an amusing psychological quirk, but a fundamental aspect of our interactions with reality.
“I’ve always been fond of ‘defensive pessimism’: keep your expectations low, and you can only ever be pleasantly surprised”
Our brains function as “prediction machines,” guiding us through life by setting expectations and only adjusting them when necessary. The assumptions we have then have a significant impact on defining our experiences. This explains why, during the Easter season, considerably more individuals, particularly youngsters, see a rabbit in the famous “duck-rabbit” optical illusion than at other times of the year. But it also explains why students from low-income families tend to fall short of their teachers’ academic expectations – and why some of those teachers react with discomfort rather than pleasure if their students challenge their assumptions. “We don’t like it when the objects of our expectations go off script,” Robson adds, “like a dramatist painstakingly building a story arc.”
Robson is well aware that this may all come out as a paean to optimistic thinking. He refutes this argument, claiming that the anticipation effect only applies to specific outcomes, not to a general desire to feel happy. Furthermore, the cult of optimism perpetuates the concept that having unpleasant emotions is a crisis or a personal failing, and that having negative emotions leads to additional negative feelings: “We have created a formidable nocebo out of modern life by demonizing unpleasant but inevitable sentiments.”
In any circumstances, successfully leveraging the power of anticipation isn’t so much about removing negative experiences as it is about reframing them — for example, by viewing feelings of exertion during exercise as proof that you’re getting fitter. (Similarly, I believe “writer’s block” is best described as the sensation of pushing yourself creatively.) Apart from everything else, you’ll be less likely to give up when things get tough. Surprising research demonstrates that encouraging people to conceive of the physical motions they already do for their professions as exercise has a positive impact on their health.
The outcome of marinating in this mindset for a while is unexpectedly transformative. We’ve grown accustomed to thinking of the outside world as an unforgiving force that either meets or exceeds our expectations. That’s why I’ve always advocated for “defensive pessimism”: if you keep your expectations low, you’ll always be pleasantly surprised. However, this perspective renders our expectations completely useless: empty dreams that reality may or may not choose to fulfill. The Expectation Effect demonstrates that our expectations, on the contrary, actively contribute to that reality.
To use one of Robson’s examples, believing that you may be a champion salsa dancer in your 80s does not guarantee that you will be. However, it could be just as essential as the genes you were born with. We defensive pessimists should benefit from remembering that things do sometimes turn out pretty well – especially when you least expect it.
Details About The Expectation Effect by David Robson ePub & PDF
- Name: The Expectation Effect
- Author: David Robson
- Language: English
- Genre: Literary Fiction
- Format: PDF/ePub
- Size: 1 MB
- Page: 210
- Price: Free
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