Psychology

1. Finally, why is optimism always welcomed and pessimism viewed suspiciously? We must not forget that the concept of pessimism may be valuable. For example, do pessimists sometimes provide us with a good dose of realism?

2.  Evaluate Seligman’s theory of learned optimism and its relevance to an individual’s well-being.

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Another issue to consider is whether pessimism and optimism are different dimensions. Findings with optimism measures such as the Life Orientation Test suggest pessimism and optimism may be independent of each other (Scheier & Carver, 1985). Peterson suggests that these two concepts are separate and should not actually be considered as extremes on one dimension (Peterson, 2000).

How should we conceptualise optimism and pessimism?

Is it worth considering not only that some individuals can use both optimism and pessimism in different situations but also that some individuals may actually expect both good and bad things within the same situation?

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