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Optimism - Essay Example

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Your complete name Subject name Submission date                                     Optimism and its Development Optimism is a popular term in contemporary society which generally perceived to be positive attitude and motivated self particularly in unfortunate or unfavorable conditions…
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Download file to see previous pages Furthermore, the study concludes that irrespective of its nature, components, and roots, optimism has remarkably positive impact on human life and conditions. Defining Optimism Anthropologist, Lionel Tiger defines optimism as “a mood or attitude associated with an expectation about the social or material future-one which the evaluator regards as socially desirable, to his [or her] advantage, or for his [or her] pleasure” (18 qtd. in Peterson 44).On the other hand, optimism is attributed to be a sense of personal control, and ability to identify meaning in one’s own life experiences. Optimism is a valuable psychological resource which is long believed to be associated with mental health (Frankle, 1963; Seligman, 1998; Taylor, 1989 qtd. in Taylor et al. 99).Such psychological resources become extremely important when individuals are exposed to challenging or threatening occurrences (Taylor 1164).These resources work as reserves which enables people to cope with difficult situations in an efficient manner (Taylor et al. 99).Theorists Scheier and Carver(1985) referred optimism as a generalized anticipation that good as compared to bad will happen an individual confronts problem in crucial domains of life(qtd. in Franken 476). In general, the idea of optimism refers to an individual’s overall positive approach towards life and what it has to offer. Biological Component of Optimism Lionel Tiger (1979) puts forth the biological explanation of optimism. He maintains that in early days, when human left forests, being hunters they had to face death and injuries continuously. Because human mind is inclined towards learning from experiences, he abandoned the tasks associated with negative results. Therefore, it is biological adaption for humans to develop a basic sense of optimism. Furthermore, Tiger argues that when human body is injured, it releases endorphins. Generally, endorphins have two attributes; analgesic attributes which decreases the feeling of pain, and feelings of euphoria. Humans are biologically adaptive to positive emotions when injured in order to keep the process going (hunting) due to our ancestors’ experiences, therefore, optimism is a trait which is induced biologically (Franken 1994, qtd. in Dunavold 4). Several theorists believe that optimism is a personality trait rather than an emotion. They regard optimism as an inborn temperament which means that people are inherently optimistic or pessimistic ( Dunavold 4). Learned Component of Optimism Many researchers believed that optimism is a way of thinking which can be learned. As Martin Seligman’s idea of learned optimism, in addition to Daniel Goleman confirm that the concept that both hope and optimism can be learned. He identifies that self-efficacy leads to hope and optimistic view in life. Self-efficacy refers to the belief that one has control over life events and his ability to meet the challenges as they appear in life (qtd. in Dunavold 4). However, Dunavold disagrees with the theory and states that, “... optimism can (not) be learned. Dr. Seligman’s method of teaching optimism relies heavily on active thought processes which I believe is more of a cognitive activity...Optimism can (not) be reinforced or stifled. Additionally… ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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