Learned Optimism



In Learned Optimism people's reaction to adversity is a learned and trainable behavior.  People who give up easily tend to have a pessimistic explanatory style.  Pessimists tend to internalize negative events, believing they will last a long time and undermine everything.  Their attitude usually sinks them into depression.  Their reaction to adversity is something like, "It's my fault, it's going to last forever, it's going to ruin everything I do."  Optimists, on the other hand, believe that defeat is a temporary setback or a challenge. Those with a more optimistic style resist giving in to misfortune,  "This was just due to unfavorable circumstances, it's going away quickly.  Tomorrow is another day and there's much more to life."

 Explanatory Style;

  1. Permanence: temporary or permanent

  2. Pervasiveness: specific or universal

  3. Personalization: internal or external

  4. Hope 

Key Concepts:  Optimism, Pessimism, Learned Helplessness, Explanatory Style, Depression, Hope, Permanence, Pervasiveness, Personalization, Positive Psychology 

Key Authors:  Seligman


Copyright 2002   EXCUSERCISE   Contact: drbruce@EXCUSERCISE.org