Can a President’s Happy Talk Hurt the Economy?

It’s known that fantasizing about an ideal future makes individuals decrease their effort, but can the same effect be seen on the scale of a national population? After studying U.S. presidential inaugural addresses, a team led by A. Timur Sevincer of the University of Hamburg in Germany concluded that the answer is yes: Positive thinking about the future, as expressed in these speeches, predicted declines in GDP over the subsequent presidential term. Happy talk may prevent people from preparing for difficulties, the researchers say.

SOURCE: Positive Thinking About the Future in Newspaper Reports and Presidential Addresses Predicts Economic Downturn

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