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The Brighter Side of Life?

04/05/2010

If a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

New research (Segerstrom & Sephton 2010) shows that optimists, who already enjoy better goal attainment, more resilience, and better overall well-being compared to pessimists, also enjoy a healthier immune system.

At this time of elections, wouldn’t it be interesting to look at the psychopathology of our politicians to find out why so many appear overly optimistic about the economy and so fiercely pessimistic about immigration?

I wonder, are the pessimists of the right – at the Daily Express or the BNP – born that way?

Segerstrom, S., & Sephton, S. (2010) Optimistic Expectancies and Cell-Mediated Immunity: The Role of Positive Affect. Psychological Science, 21(3), 448-455. DOI: 10.1177/0956797610362061

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From → Health, Research

3 Comments
  1. Pessimism is one thing: assuming that the poor are poor because they are stupid and lazy – that is something else. I don’t think it can’t be explained that it is inborn!

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

  2. Pessimism and optimism are shaped by experience including, initially, the attitudes of your parents and your upbringing.
    Obviously, those who receive strong, consistent support from their family in childhood are more likely to be optimistic about the world they inhabit.
    Optimism, or the lack of it, is also dependent on class, income, gender, age, ethnicity, (dis)ability, faith and even ethnicity.
    My blog was an attempt to ask quite a serious question, at a time when racist anti-migrant views are again prevalent in Britain.
    What is it that makes everyday racists fail to see the good in their fellow humans? What sparks their dislike of the migrant or refugee who does the job they would not do?
    I suppose I wanted to ask: How does this pessimistic tendency link to violent xenophobia? (I don’t have any ready answers.)

  3. Hmm… odd how quickly the situation here has reversed. The politicos have leapt in with iron boots to introduce huge spending cuts… Has anything been heard about migration since the election?

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