1.  Critically discuss the major questions that individual differences theories aim to address.  Critically examine the criteria that can be used to evaluate individual differences.

2.  This first exercise is to get you generating some ideas about optimism. Let us consider some of the theoretical and empirical findings covered in this chapter within an individual differences perspective

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Theories of optimism tend to suggest that optimism has the same positive effects on mental health because they are all related to the passivity or vigour with which individuals face the demands of life (Peterson, 2000). This leads to the questions ‘which optimism is most beneficial?’ and ‘why have so many different theories?’

What, then, is the point of having these different theories? Do they overlap, or should we view them as separate?

Is one type of optimism more preferable to have than the others?


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