Cultivating optimism: framing your future during a health challenge

3 July 2017
The power of positive thinking
Imagining your future is incredibly important to optimism, and has the power to hasten the recovery of seriously ill patients and disaster victims.

Research highlights with Donnel Briley

New research conducted by Dr Donnel Briley, Professor of Marketing at the Business School, working with Stanford University’s Professor Jennifer Aaker and the University of Houston’s Assistant Professor Melanie Rudd, monitored optimism levels, physical endurance and health-related choices made by people suffering physical illness or trauma in a series of experiments.

The studies, conducted in Australia and the United States, also found that culture plays a major role in determining the type of thoughts that produce an optimistic outlook.

This important breakthrough is important for medical professionals, policymakers, public health advocates, health-related marketers and others with the capacity to improve rehabilitation outcomes.

“People who are more optimistic about their recovery when they are ill are more likely to recover. They’re more likely to have positive mental health, and they’re more likely to have a range of positive physiological outcomes.
Dr Donnel Briley

Published work

Briley, Donnel A., Melanie Rudd and Jennifer Aaker (forthcoming), "Cultivating Optimism: The Role of Culture and Frames," Journal of Consumer Research.