Assignment 1 – Pessimism
“Pessimism never won any battle” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
It's easy to get caught up in the idea that pessimism has a certain hindward effect on people’s performance which lead to unsatisfied outcomes. Examination is often compared to a battle. As a student, the failure in examinations are unavoidable which can result in pessimistic feelings. In the following discussion, the definition of pessimism and different views of the relationship between optimism and pessimism will be expressed. Followed by how pessimism influences students’ preparation before examination and performance in those examinations. The implication and conclusion will be given in the end.
The definition of pessimism
Historically, many researchers have argued about the definition of pessimism and its antonym optimism, and there has been profound disagreement on the definition of them and the relationship between them. For example, some researchers define pessimism as the synonymous of negativity, doubt, distrust, cynicism, or lack of optimism. When individuals display these attributes, they are categorised as pessimistic people (Mazarr, 1998). And some other researchers defined pessimism as generalized negative outlooks on life (Chang, et al, 2008). As for the relationship between optimism and pessimism, some researchers hold the point that optimism and pessimism is a bipolar construct while others have argued that optimism and pessimism are two distinct concepts but also related to each other. (Latif & Hamadeh, 1998).
Some researchers found that optimism is more likely to result in good outcome such as healthy body, success in study and work, and pessimism is highly related to bad outcome, such as poor physical health, failure in work and so on (Khalek and Lester 2006). However, other researchers’ views seem contrary to former point of view, they argue that pessimism is also related to positive results under certain circumstance because pessimism can be dispositional and situational or contextual. Certain type of pessimism, for example, defensive pessimism can motivate people achieve their goal. The term of defensive pessimism emerged in the 1980s, which was defined as a strategy in which people hold lower estimation on their own in certain situation, disregard their performance in similar situation (Norem, 1999). This kind of pessimism can help individuals forecast the worst outcome and upcoming problems, and even harness their anxiety as motivation (Norem, 1998). Contrary to popular belief, individuals who use defensive pessimism strategy always have better performance.
Pessimism and examination
Almost everyone has to go through different sorts of examinations, some of them are small tests but some are quiet important, for example, IELTS examination, which is highly related to some people’s further study. To be honest, I have experience twice of IELTS examination to meet minimum...