Shared Stories - Shawn Achor - clip 2 video transcript

Shawn stands on a stage in front of a black background.

SHAWN: Four-year-old children, in the '80s-- they were getting them to do these spatial tasks. And they got them to put these blocks together and these shapes, and they would time them. And then they had this idea: what if we get them, half of them, to think of their happiest memory? Now, they're fouryear-olds, so they usually say something like, "I had Jell-O for lunch. That was the happiest memory of my life." The parents on the windows were like, "No, it's Disney." Right? And then they put the blocks together. That's it; they just think of their happiest memory. It takes them, like, five seconds to do. They put the blocks together. They put the blocks together 60% faster than children just given neutral instructions. They almost threw out the data, 'cause why would happiness affect spatial memory, separate parts of the brain? Then in 1998, they found that if you prime doctors to become more positive, doing the same task, it turns out they are 19% faster and more accurate at coming up with the correct diagnosis. That should have been healthcare industry-transforming, but only seven people read these studies. Then they found at MetLife, amongst the insurance salesmen, the top 10% of optimists amongst the salesforce were outselling the other 90% by another 89%.