Does India suffer from a collective optimism bias?
Our tendency to declare success prematurely is not new and could explain many of India’s deficiencies
Steve Ovett, the famous British middle-distance athlete, won the 800-metres gold medal at the Moscow Olympics of 1980. Just a few days later, he was about to win a 5,000-metres race at London’s Crystal Palace. Known for his burst of acceleration on the home stretch, he had supreme confidence in his ability to out-sprint rivals. With the final 100 metres remaining, Ovett waved to the crowd and raised a hand in triumph. But he had celebrated a bit too early. At the finishing line, Ireland’s John Treacy edged past Ovett. For those few moments, Ovett had lost his sense of reality and ignored the possibility of a negative event.
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