Optimism’s Effect on Psychological and Physical Health

Topics: Optimism, Pessimism, Motivation Pages: 3 (909 words) Published: August 7, 2011
Optimism’s Effect on Psychological and Physical Health.

Becca Rubio


For many years, numerous studies have analyzed the effect of Optimism on Psychological and Physical health. Optimism is generally known as being confident that there is a positive outcome to any situation and hopeful for a positive life in the future. It is also believed that those who tend to be more pessimistic than others have a larger amount of stress which can ultimately cause physical illness and emotional/mental exhaustion. There are many factors taken into consideration when measuring optimism’s effect on our health; some factors include the impact of optimism on one’s recovery from illness, coping skills, and responses to behavioral measures. Researchers have dedicated their time to identify what is Optimism’s role in our physical and mental well-being; is it possible that optimism has a true impact on our health?

According to Fry, P.S. (1995) optimism is one of the moderators of health outcomes of coping styles in women executives, the other factors are perfectionism and humor. Fry conducted a study on 104 volunteering women in executive positions such as Vice-presidents, senior partners and executive directors; examining their self-esteem, physical symptoms, and emotional fatigue. The measure of optimism in this study was the Measure of Dispositional Optimism (Scheier and Carver, 1985). “This is a 12-item measure rated on a 5-point scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree” (Fry, 1995); this study was used to measure the effect of optimism on health outcomes. The hypothesis behind this study was “that an optimistic outlook moderates health outcomes such as physical illness, feelings of exhaustion, and burnout, and loss of self-esteem (Fry, 1995). From Fry’s (1995) study, results of optimism showed greater self-esteem, less perception of daily hassles, fewer physical symptoms, and less burnout. The results demonstrated that those who had a high...
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