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Relationship Between Optimism And Subjective Well Being

4111 words - 16 pages

ABSTRACTOptimism, its affects, results, causes and mechanisms have been a relatively new and exciting area of interest for many psychologists. (change this sentence.. I don't really like it.) Recent studies have shown that optimism and an optimistic explanatory style can have several benefits for people. The purpose of this study is to first examine the measure of optimism or pessimism among a random sample of people. Next, the same people's satisfaction with life will also be measured. The results of these measurements will be pooled, examined, studied and interoperated. The relationship between one's optimism versus pessimism measurement and one's satisfaction with life will then be determined. It is hypothesized that people who score higher on the optimism versus pessimism score will be more likely to report a higher satisfaction with life.LITERATURE REVIEWHow does one obtain subjective well being (SWB)? What are the components of subjective well being? What leads to subjective well being? There have been many studies conducted concerning subjective well being and what helps determine how much an individual possesses or could posses. Diener, Lucas and Oishi (2002) state that subjective well being consists of happiness and life satisfaction. They also claim that happiness is determined by a set of values. For example, people may value things such as order, honor, social contact, family, status or tranquility to make them happy. Life satisfaction is the extent to which you like your life. People can judge their SWB using numerous theoretical approaches. The "need and goal satisfaction" theory is one of the most prevalent. This theory involves statements such as "what we have vs. what we want", "what we have now vs. what we did have", and "what we have vs. what others have". There are also personality predispositions and traits that contribute to SWB. Many people are just born happy or unhappy. Approximately 40% of people are born happy and 55% may be born unhappy. People who are extraverts, or outgoing, and people who do not worry as much exhibit higher levels of SWB. Demographic aspects that relate to SWB consist of income, physical health, marriage and spirituality. The main goal in many people's lives is to increase their SWB, but how? There have been studies with indication that exhibiting the trait of optimism will lead to many things that make people happier. (Diener, Lucas and Oishi (2002))Many people have heard the popular saying "The glass is half full, not half empty". This saying states the general definition of optimism, which is looking at the best of things. Optimists are people that expect more good things to happen to them rather than bad. Susan Gilbert (1998) presents a study that claims optimism is one of the best traits for a person to display because it helps people live healthier and longer lives. The study looked at students entering a stressful situation; in her case it was the first semester of law school. This...

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