Optimism Research Paper

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PSCY1000
Melissa Ryan
Capella University

Is the glass half full or half empty? Does every cloud truly have a silver lining? These are a few quotes that are as old as the ages. I have always found myself to look at the brighter and lighter side of every situation. I find that not dwelling on the negative or pondering on the downside keeps me in a better place and state of mind.

I recently took an optimism test administered, this test can be taken by anyone and found at www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu. Authentic Happiness is the homepage of Dr. Martin Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of positive psychology, a branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions. (Authentic Happiness Website, 2012) The participants are graded in 3 areas;

Permanence: "People who give up easily believe the causes of the bad events that happen to them are permanent – the bad events will persist, are always going to be there to affect their lives. People who resist helplessness believe the causes of bad events are temporary…If you think about bad things in terms of always and never and abiding traits, you have a permanent, pessimistic style. If you think in terms of sometimes and lately, using qualifiers and blaming bad events on ephemera, you have an optimistic style…The optimistic style for good events is just the opposite of the optimistic style for bad events. People who believe good events have permanent causes are more optimistic than those who believe they have temporary causes. Optimistic people explain good events to themselves in terms of permanent causes such as traits and abilities. Pessimists name transient causes, such as moods and effort." (Seligman M.E.P., 2002, p. 88-89). Pervasiveness: "Permanence is about time. Pervasiveness is about space…Some people can put their troubles neatly into a box...
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