Personality and Social Psychology Essay Sample

The comparing of quality of life and header manners was made more meaningful by the fact that three optimism groups. high. moderate and low. had clearly different agencies tonss. Optimism proved to be an of import trait-like quality for understanding differences in sensed quality of life and in get bying. The extremely optimistic students’ profiles portray a really effectual manner instead than a defensive. response prejudice manner. High optimists endorsed the highest overall quality of life ( Scheier et al. . 1989 ) . found similar consequences for extremely optimistic patients covering with bosom conditions. Second. these extremely optimistic patients covering with bosom conditions. Second. these extremely optimistic pupils were more satisfied with their quality of life than were low optimists/pessimists.

There were besides gender differences in quality of life. Womans were significantly more satisfied with their quality of life. Women pupils seem to be more psychologically minded and besides concerned with societal relationships. In footings of get bying manners.

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adult females used more faith. discharge. and emotion-focused steps. Many of these consequences are non surprising in that attending to feelings and faith is consistent with women’s gender functions.

Work force placed more importance on their quality of life resources. but were less satisfied and therefore seem to non be run intoing their ain criterions. In footings of get bying. work forces used more credence and wit. The credence factor is interesting as it is in contrast with male students’ dissatisfaction in quality of life. Possibly the quality of life disagreement represents criterions used by work forces to mensurate public presentation outlooks for their lives while credence and wit may be more utile in accommodating to external force per unit areas. The header forms for work forces seem to be less intuitive and hence are interesting. new findings. There were no gender differences in the usage of negative manners and. in fact. both groups utilized negative manners far less frequently compared to positive header manners ( Bandura. 1986 ) .

In footings of academic public presentation. adult females had higher GPA tonss than work forces. The header and quality of life forms in this survey look to be reasonably consistent. Both optimists and pessimists could be expected to keep their degree of quality of life satisfaction since high optimists are actively engaged in making their lives and pessimists are disengaged and more inactive.

The optimist may be in secret envied. but he is publically despised. His dictums are regarded as looks of simple-minded sightlessness or as misanthropic propaganda. Optimism is non regarded as intellectually respectable. It was non ever so: there have been times when optimism was non simply considered worthy of rational statement. but was widely accepted by believing work forces. Now. nevertheless. we react with a turning embarrassment to transitions. And our embarrassment obliterates differentiations ; ‘optimism’ is a soiled word: all optimists are grey in the dark. Nor it can be claimed that we have graduated to a more realistic pessimism ; for that. after all. would be to acknowledge optimism into the sphere of rational statement. Life. in our vision. is non admitted to be tragic-merely absurd ( Scheier & A ; Carver. 1985 ) .

Most spiritual are optimistic. There is a minimum sense in which a adult male may be said to be an optimist. but barely a protagonist of optimism. Thus a adult male may do no claims. but simply describe state of affairss in a ‘positive’ instead than a ‘negative’ manner. and the inquiry of justification may non even originate. The authoritative illustration is the adult male who describes a bottle as ‘half-full’ instead than ‘half-empty’ where there is no difference about water-level. about the value of H2O for life or about whether this is the last bottle or non ( Schulz et al. . 1988 ) . The adult male may non see any necessity to warrant his description. in which instance it is absurd to propose that he should give one. and rational treatment is out of topographic point. The state of affairs may be agreed to be despairing. but the bottle is ‘half-full. ’

Of class. the adult male may e prepared to offer a justification. but can merely offer a matter-of-fact defense-such as that specifying an ambivalent state of affairs in positive footings by and large helps to give one assurance to get by with it more adequately. This is unfastened to rational treatment and is non needfully rapidly or easy settled. but the issue is psychological instead than philosophical. Whatever the reply. this defence will be independent of and therefore subsidiary to any justification of optimism as a creed ; to back up optimism as a regulation of mental hygiene is non to be a protagonist of optimism in the philosophical sense ( Schier & A ; Carver. 1985 ) .

Person who declares that the universe is in a bad province. and even that it will acquire worse. may however be an optimist. Medieval Christian society was optimistic in looking to the following universe for alleviation from the prison of this 1. But one who passes a rough judgement on modern-day life need non be a Utopian to number as an optimist: echt hope of betterment is positive plenty. Utopian or non. if optimism is non to be empty and facile. this hope itself requires some justification. which should organize portion of the statement of the facts: a Florence Nightingale will rest her instance on the likely effects of strong-arming one’s tame solons and demilitarizing Royal Commissions ; a Condorcet will trust on the perfectibility of adult male ; a Sumner on the inevitable March of advancement. Whether hope of existent betterment is sufficient for one who Judgess present conditions harshly to be termed an optimist is non clear-it would surely look slightly labored to name a physician optimistic whose patients are all deceasing of atrocious diseases. simply because he knows that he can decrease their torment to some extent ( Marshall et al. . 1992 ) .

If an optimist is non trusting on anticipations of future alteration. either in this life or the following. so he must at least claim that there is a preponderance of good over evil. felicity over wretchedness. when the universe is considered as a whole. This is obscure but there is one version of it which seems to be a fortiori optimistic. and the reaction to which is an of import factor in the general misgiving of optimism. Such a doctrine surely seems to carry through our 3rd standard. for it does non put flawlessness simply in the hereafter: it claims that this is the best of all possible universes.

Psychologists have approached the impression of positive thought from a assortment of positions. Common to most positions. though. is the thought that positive thought in some manner involves keeping positive anticipations for one’s hereafter. Such anticipations are thought to hold constitutional deductions for behaviour. That is. the actions that people take are thought to be greatly influenced by their outlooks about the likely effects of those actions. Peoples who see coveted results as come-at-able continue to endeavor for those results. even when advancement is slow or hard. When results seem sufficiently unachievable. people withdraw their attempt and withdraw themselves from their ends. Therefore. people’s anticipations provide a footing for prosecuting in one of two really different categories of behaviour: continued endeavoring versus giving up ( Bandura. 1986 ) .

Peoples can keep anticipations at many degrees of generalization. Some theoretical positions focus on anticipations that pertain to peculiar state of affairss. or even to peculiar actions. Such an attack allows for considerable fluctuation in the positiveness of one’s believing from one context to the following. Therefore. a individual who is rather optimistic about retrieving successfully from a auto accident may be far less optimistic about set downing the large publicity that is up for grabs at work.

Positive and negative thought began with a focal point on situation-specific anticipations. but over the old ages we began to see anticipations that are more general and diffuse. We believe that generalised anticipations constitute an of import dimension of personality. that they are comparatively stable across clip and context. The dimension as optimism and interpret it in footings of the belief that good. as opposed to bad. things will by and large happen in one’s life.

A turning figure of surveies have examined the effects of dispositional optimism on psychological wellbeing. Optimists routinely keep higher degrees of subjective wellbeing during times of emphasis than do people who are less optimistic. Optimistic adult females were less likely to go down to following childbearing. A assortment of factors were assessed when the pupils foremost arrived on campus. including dispositional optimism. Optimism had a significant consequence on future psychological wellbeing: Higher degrees of optimism upon come ining college were associated with lower hurt. Notably. the effects of optimism in this survey were distinguishable from those of the other personality factors measured. including self-esteem. venue of control. and desire for control. Thus. an optimistic orientation to life seemed to supply a benefit over and above that provided by these other personality features ( Plomin et al ) .

If the effects of optimism were limited to doing people experience better. possibly such findings would non be really surprising. The effects of optimism seem to travel beyond this. nevertheless. There is at least some grounds that optimism besides confers benefits on physical wellbeing. Optimism was negatively related to physiological alterations reflected to physiological alterations reflected in the patient’s EKG and to the release of certain sorts of enzymes into the blood stream. Both of these alterations are widely taken as markers for myocardial infarction.

Optimism was besides a important forecaster of the rate of recovery during the immediate postoperative period. Optimists were faster to accomplish selected behavioural mileposts of recovery. and they were rated by medical hart as demoing better physical recovery. The advantages of an optimistic orientation were besides evident. Optimistic patients were more likely than pessimistic patients to hold resumed vigorous physical exercising and to hold returned to work full-time. Furthermore. optimists returned to their activities more rapidly than did pessimists. In amount. optimists were able to normalise their life styles more to the full and more rapidly than were pessimists. It is of import to observe that all of the findings merely described were independent of the person’s medical position at the beginning of the survey. Therefore. it was non the instance that optimists did better merely because they were less ill at the clip of surgery ( Schulz et al. . 1988 ) .

If an apprehension can be gained of why optimists do better than pessimists. so possibly psychologists can get down to invent ways to assist pessimists do better. One promising line of enquiry concerns differences between optimists and pessimists in how they cope with emphasis. Research from a assortment of beginnings is get downing to propose that optimists cope in more adaptative ways than do pessimists. Optimists are more likely than pessimists to take direct action to work out their jobs. are more planful in covering with the hardship they confront. and are more focussed in their header attempts. Optimists are more likely to accept the world of the nerve-racking state of affairss they encounter. and they besides seem purpose on turning personally form negative experiences and seeking to do the best of bad state of affairss ( Abramson. 1978 ) . In contrast to these positive header reactions. pessimists are more likely than optimists to respond to nerve-racking events by seeking to deny that they exist or by seeking to deny that they exist or by seeking to avoid covering with jobs. Pessimists are besides more likely to discontinue seeking when troubles arise ( Schulz et al. 1988 ) .

We now know that these get bying differences are at least partially responsible for the differences in hurt that optimists and pessimists experience in clip of emphasis. Optimists were more likely than pessimists to trust on active get bying techniques and less likely to prosecute get bying orientations were both related to later accommodation. whereas active header was associated with better accommodation. Further analysis revealed that these two get bying inclinations mediated the nexus between optimism and accommodation. Therefore. optimists did better than pessimists at least partially because optimists used more effectual ways of get bying with jobs ( Scheier et al. . 1989 ) .

A similar decision is suggested by a survey of chest malignant neoplastic disease patients that we and our co-workers late completed. Throughout this period. optimism was associated with a get bying form that involved accepting the world of the state of affairs. along with attempts to do the best of it. Optimism was reciprocally associated with efforts to move as though the job was non existent and with the inclination to give up on the life ends that were being threatened by the diagnosing of malignant neoplastic disease. Further analyses suggested that these differences in get bying served as waies by which the optimistic adult females remained less vulnerable to straiten than the pessimistic adult females throughout the twelvemonth ( Aspinwall & A ; Taylor ) .

At present. non much is known about the beginnings of single differences on this dimension. The determiners must needfully fall in two wide classs. nevertheless: nature and raising. On the nature side. the available grounds suggests that single differences in optimism-pessimism may be partially inherited. Optimism and pessimism in the general population seems due to familial influence. On the environmental side. less is known. It is surely sensible to reason that optimism and pessimism are partially learned from anterior experiences with success and failure.

On the environmental side. less is known. It is surely sensible to reason that optimism and pessimism are partially learned from anterior experiences with success and failure. To the extent that 1 has been successful in the yesteryear. one should anticipate success in the hereafter. Analogously. anterior failure might engender the outlook of future failure. Children might besides get a sense of optimism from their parents. for illustration. through mold. That is parents who meet troubles with positive outlooks and who use adaptative header schemes are explicitly or implicitly patterning those qualities for their kids. Pessimistic parents besides provide theoretical accounts for their kids. although the qualities modeled are really different. Therefore. kids might go optimistic or pessimistic by believing and moving in ways their parents do.

Parents might besides act upon kids more straight by teaching them in job resolution. Parents who teach adaptative header accomplishments will bring forth kids who are better job convergent thinkers than kids of parents who do non. To the extent that geting adaptative get bying accomplishments leads to get bying success. the footing for an optimistic orientation is provided. We have late begun a plan of research designed to analyze how coping schemes are transmitted from parent to child. with peculiar accent on the mode in which parental features affect the sorts of get bying schemes that are taught ( Cantor & A ; Norem. 1989 ) .

There are at least two ways in which an optimistic orientation might take to poorer results. First. it may be possible to be excessively optimistic. or to be optimistic. or to be optimistic in unproductive ways. For illustration. unchecked optimism may do people to sit and wait for good things to go on. thereby diminishing the opportunity of success. Second. optimism might besides turn out detrimental in state of affairss that are non conformable to constructive action. Optimists are prone to confront jobs with attempts to decide them. but possibly this head-on attack is maladaptive in state of affairss that are unmanageable or that involve major loss or misdemeanor of one’s universe position. Optimists besides use a host of emotion-focused header responses. including inclinations to accept the world of the state of affairs. to set the state of affairs in the best possible visible radiation. and to turn personally from their adversities. Given these get bying options. optimists may turn out to hold a header advantage even in the most distressful state of affairss.

Defensive pessimism may be utile because it helps to buffer the individual against future failure. should failure occur. In add-on. defensive pessimism may assist the individual execute better because the concern over awaited failure prompts remedial action in readying for the event. Defensive pessimism does look to work. That is. the public presentation of defensive pessimists tends to be better than the public presentation of existent pessimists. whose negative outlooks are anchored in anterior failure ( Norem & A ; Cantor. 1989 ) . On the other manus. defensive pessimism ne’er works better than optimism. Furthermore. this manner seemingly has some concealed costs: Peoples who use defensive pessimism in the short tally study more psychological symptoms and a lower quality of life in the long tally than do optimists. Such findings call into serious inquiry the adaptative value of defensive pessimism.

The construct of optimism. as discussed here. does non stand apart from the remainder personality psychological science. There are easy noted household resemblances to several other personality concepts and attacks that have arisen in response to the same inquiries that prompted our line of speculating. Two well-known illustrations are attribution manner and self-efficacy. It may be utile to briefly observe some similarities and differences between our conceptualisation and these other attacks.

Self-efficacy anticipations are people’s outlooks of being either able or unable to put to death coveted behaviours successfully. Although there are obvious similarities between self-efficacy and optimism-pessimism. there are besides two outstanding differences. One difference involves the extent to which the sense of personal bureau is seen as the critical variable underlying behaviour. Our attack to dispositional optimism deliberately deemphasizes the function of personal efficaciousness. Statements on self-efficacy make personal bureau paramount.

The 2nd differences concerns the comprehensiveness of the anticipation on which the theory focuses. Efficacy theory holds that people’s behaviour is best predicted by focalized. domain-specific anticipations. Dispositional optimism. in contrast. is thought to be a much generalized inclination that ahs an influence in a broad assortment of scenes. Interestingly. relevant research suggests that both types of anticipations are utile in foretelling behaviour ( Scheier et al. . 1989 ) .

Understanding of the nature and effects of optimism is still in its babyhood. and there is much more to larn. For illustration. although the effects of optimism seem attributable in portion to differences in the ways optimists and pessimists cope with emphasis ; this can non be the complete reply. It is impossible to account to the full for differences between optimists and pessimists on the footing of this factor entirely.

Similarly. more work is needed to badger apart the effects of optimism from the consequence of related variables. As celebrated earlier. a figure of personality dimensions bear a conceptual resemblance to optimism-pessimism. Some of these dimensions. such as personal coherency. robustness. and learned resourcefulness. hold appeared in the literature merely late. Other dimensions. such as neurosis. self-pride. and self-mastery. hold a longer scientific yesteryear. Given the being of these related concepts. it is sensible to inquire whether their effects are distinguishable. This inquiry can non be resolved easy on the footing of one or two surveies entirely. An reply must expect the gradual accretion of grounds signifier many surveies utilizing different methodological analysiss and measuring different results ( Scheier & A ; Carver. 1985 ) .

There does look to be a power to positive thought. It certainly is non every bit simple and directs a procedure as believing in something doing it so. But believing that the hereafter holds good things in shop clearly has an consequence on the manner people relate to many facets of life.


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