Optimism is generalized positive expectations for the future. It brings many benefits. For instance, optimism can improve individual’s physical health, well-being and promote success. One possible mechanism behind these phenomena is optimists’ positive bias in attention, perception, memory, explanatory styles, coping strategies, emotion, expectations and motivation, etc. Empirical evidence shows that positive bias of optimism is related to the activation level of rostral anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex. To deeply explore the mechanisms of optimism, it’s essential to take expectations, core of dispositional optimism, as the focus of research, integrating expectancy-value theory, personality theory, and neural basis in future studies.