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Cultivating optimism – How to frame your future during a health challenge

Imagining your future is incredibly important to optimism, and has the power to hasten the recovery of seriously ill patients and disaster victims.

New research conducted by Dr Donnel Briley, Professor of Marketing at the Business School, working collaboratively 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 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 significant for medical professionals, policy makers, public health advocates, health-related marketers and others with the capacity to improve rehabilitation outcomes.


Listen to an interview about the research with Professor Donnel Briley to learn more.

Published work

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