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(p. 48) Optimism and pessimism 

(p. 48) Optimism and pessimism
Chapter:
(p. 48) Optimism and pessimism
Author(s):

Andrew MacLeod

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780198725046.003.0003
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date: 21 September 2017

Optimism and pessimism are commonly used ways of talking about a future outlook. Chapter 3 discusses questions such as whether people are, in general optimistically biased and whether those who are depressed are more accurate in their predictions for the future. A variety of ways of defining optimism–pessimism have been developed, from describing a broad attitude to the future through to beliefs in the likelihood of events happening to oneself compared to others. Evidence suggests that, on the whole, people have an optimistic outlook, although the extent of this might depend on how it is measured as well as on other factors such as culture and age. Those low in well-being and those suffering from psychological disorders are less optimistic and more pessimistic than average, but the idea that they are less biased and more accurate has not received consistent support.

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