Are you a glass half empty person? It’s something to worry about… Research suggests that pessimists are at a higher risk of suffering from anxiety
- Researchers looked at 625 students who were asked to predict their expected grades
- Many students had ‘optimism bias’ raising expectations on past performance
- Experts suspect that pessimism is a strategy used to avoid becoming depressed.
This is bad news for the Eeyore people of this world who have a glass-half-empty approach to life.
One study suggests that pessimists are at a higher risk of battling anxiety.
Researchers looked at 625 students who were asked to predict the grades they would receive on a set of four exams.
Many students had an ‘optimism bias’, meaning they upgraded their expectations of future exam grades based on how they had performed previously.
(Stock image) A study suggests that pessimists are at a higher risk of battling anxiety
(stock image) Researchers looked at 625 students who were asked to predict the grades they would receive on a set of four exams.
But pessimists expected the worst, so didn’t update their predictions of future grades early enough when they performed better than anticipated.
These pessimists later showed greater signs of anxiety, the researchers found based on a questionnaire completed three years later.
Experts suspect that pessimism is a strategy people adopt because they don’t want to be discouraged by unexpected events.
That’s also a sign of anxiety, so the two can be strongly linked.
Dr Aaron Heller, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami, who led the study, said: ‘Our results suggest that pessimistic people learn differently from the surprises in their lives.
(stock image) Pessimists expected the worst, so they didn’t update their predictions of future grades early enough when they performed better than anticipated
‘Not only are they less optimistic, but even when small good, wonderful things happen to them, they don’t change their outlook as much as people who are not pessimistic, and this makes them more prone to symptoms of anxiety. Can put at risk.
The study, published in the journal Science Advances, asked people to predict their results in four difficult chemistry tests.
Pessimists generally failed to raise their predictions for themselves when they did slightly better than expected.
The anxiety test, six months to three years later, asked questions such as whether people felt anxious and on edge or felt they worried too much.
The researchers used test results to test pessimism, as previous studies have only looked at gambling tasks, which are less related to real life.
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