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Optimism and Health Paper


Submitted By Hawaiianbeauty
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Optimism and Health Paper
PSY 220
January 13, 2013

Optimism and Health Paper
Those who are optimistic “anticipate the best possible outcome (Merriam-Webster, 2009).” Optimistic people have a unique approach to their life and its circumstances. Studies have been done to see if optimism results in improved psychological wellbeing and improved health. The cliché is that optimists see a glasses half-full rather than seeing it as half-empty. An optimist will always look for the positive in any situation. They are willing to find something good about circumstances that others may shy away from. I will consider here some ways in which optimism can improve psychological and physical health and wellbeing.
Article One
Do Dispositional Pessimism and Optimism Predict Ambulatory Blood Pressure during Schooldays and Nights in Adolescents is the first article. The relationship between high pessimism (versus low optimism) and physical health are examined here. This article holds that “low optimism and high pessimism were equally strongly and independently correlated with anxiety, anger, and depression, but high optimism predicted better self-rated physical health and less frequent self-reported doctor visits, whereas high pessimism predicted more frequent self-reports of gastrointestinal problems and aches.” The relationship was examined in this study between ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and the effects of both optimism and pessimism. 217 participants (all healthy adolescents, aged 14-17) took the Life Orientation Test- Revised (LOT-R) which gave a measure of their optimism and pessimism. The participants’ ABP levels were gathered over a period of two days.
The conclusion of this study was that those who had high pessimism on the subscale did have higher ABP levels. It also showed that those participants with higher optimism scores on the subscale also had lower ABP

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