2 big reasons we like high expectations

Answering my own question, here’s why I think we’re so attached to high expectations:

  1. We think we’re being optimistic: We think that keeping a positive outlook on the future is what optimism is all about. And since we’re told that optimism is good, we try to keep high expectations alive. We think that’s what it means to be hopeful.
  2. We think we’re being truthful: When someone tells us a movie is really good, we think we’re supposed to believe them. We think we’re supposed to raise our expectations to meet the reports we’ve heard. That’s what is means to be honest, or so we think.

Considering society’s high regard for optimism and truth, at least in theory, it makes sense that we like high expectations. In fact, we’ve almost set ourselves up to accept them whenever we can, especially if we’re betting on ourselves.

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