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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How optimism is better than positive thinking ?

Optimism is a mental attitude reflecting a happy belief that the outcome of some specific endeavor, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favorable, and desirable.

In the research article Positive Self-Statements: Power for Some, Peril for Others, researchers looked at three studies on the impact of positive self-statements.

Study 1: Participants were asked to complete a self-esteem scale, and to complete an online questionnaire about their usage of positive self-statements and how it made them feel and how effective they perceived them to be. While they were in common use by the participants, and believed to be effective, low self-este...em participants reported that positive self-statements “sometimes made them feel worse, rather than better”.
Study 2: Participants were asked to repeat the phrase ‘I am a loveable person’ at regular intervals during a four-minute period, complete two mood tests, and to measure how they felt about their self-esteem ‘right now’.
Again, those with high self-esteem showed ‘improved’ results, seeing the world more favourably and feeling incentivised to engage in activities. Those with low self-esteem showed ‘diminished’ results, but at a higher level of disparity. In short, the positive boost was smaller than the negative decline.
Study 3: Participants were this time asked to focus on the why and how they were ‘a loveable person’, and self-report on their mood. Like with the previous two experiments, those with lower self-esteem reported diminished happiness and mood states.
Why this is the case might rest on two other factors – how we perceive our level of controls over our own thoughts, and when thinking negatively can be a benefit.
Lorna Wilson

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