A Half-Full Glass Tastes Wonderful – New Study Indicates That Optimists Are More Successful And Happier Than Both Pessimists And Realists

MONTREAL, May 29, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The word “optimist” can conjure up a motley of images: tie-dyed hippies picking flowers and playing acoustic guitars, wide-eyed innocents living in a bubble of blissful ignorance, or death-defying adventurers who throw caution to the wind as though they are exceptions to the rules of mortality. However, this is a misguided if not inaccurate definition of most optimists. Moreover, a study from PsychTests.com indicates that adopting an optimistic mindset – focusing on the best outcome, looking for the silver lining in tough situations, viewing setbacks as challenges rather than obstacles, refusing to give up – not only increases life satisfaction, it also makes a person more resilient, successful, and confident.

Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests’ researchers compared pessimists (people with a negative and cynical attitude and outlook), realists (people who hope for the best but prepare for the worst), and optimists. Here’s how the three groups scored on different emotional intelligence competencies:

(Note: scores range on a scale from 0 to 100)

OPTIMISTS ARE MORE AMBITIOUS AND HARD-WORKING
> Goal-Setting (score of 76 vs. 61 for Realists and 44 for Pessimists).
> Striving (score of 91 vs. 81 for Realists and 67 for Pessimists).
> Self-motivation (score of 91 vs. 70 for Realists and 31 for Pessimists).

OPTIMISTS ARE MORE SOCIALLY SKILLED
> Ability to adapt to different social situations (score of 87 vs. 73 for Realists and 45 for Pessimists).
> Conflict-resolution skills (score of 83 vs. 76 for Realists and 62 for Pessimists).

OPTIMISTS ARE MORE EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY AND HAPPY
> Comfort with emotional expression (score of 70 vs. 55 for Realists and 31 for Pessimists).
> Comfort with emotionally charged situations and people (score of 78 vs. 61 for Realists and 36 for Pessimists).
> In touch with feelings (score of 82 vs. 71 for Realists and 47 for Pessimists).
> Emotional control/regulation (score of 84 vs. 62 for Realists and 27 for Pessimists).
> Contentment (score of 89 vs. 70 for Realists and 25 for Pessimists).
> Tendency to ruminate excessively (score of 18 vs. 41 for Realists and 80 for Pessimists).

OPTIMISTS HAVE A STRONGER SELF-IMAGE AND A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THEMSELVES
> Self-esteem (score of 92 vs. 76 for Realists and 36 for Pessimists).
> Self-confidence (score of 84 vs. 67 for Realists and 36 for Pessimists).
> Self-awareness (score of 87 vs. 70 for Realists and 43 for Pessimists).
> Strong value system (score of 90 vs. 78 for Realists and 65 for Pessimists).
> Need for approval (score of 18 vs. 33 for Realists and 60 for Pessimists).

OPTIMISTS ARE MENTALLY TOUGHER
> Ability to let go of minor annoyances (score of 92 vs. 85 for Realists and 75 for Pessimists).
> Ability to pick one’s battles wisely (score of 81 vs. 71 for Realists and 57 for Pessimists).
> Coping skills (score of 89 vs. 74 for Realists and 43 for Pessimists).
> Resilience (score of 95 vs. 79 for Realists and 39 for Pessimists).
> Adaptability (score of 79 vs. 62 for Realists and 36 for Pessimists).
> Assertiveness (score of 78 vs. 60 for Realists and 31 for Pessimists).

PSYCHTESTS’ STUDY ALSO REVEALED THAT OPTIMISTS ARE:
> Less likely to have been diagnosed with depression (5% of Optimists vs. 10% of Realists and 35% of Pessimists).
> Less likely to have been diagnosed with anxiety (1% of Optimists vs. 4% of Realists and 22% of Pessimists).
> More likely to be above average students (90% of Optimists vs. 80% of Realists and 55% of Pessimists).
> More likely to have a salary of $50,000 and higher (66% of Optimists vs. 56% of Realists and 33% of Pessimists).
> More likely to be in a leadership position (68% of Optimists vs. 51% of Realists and 29% of Pessimists).
> More likely to be top performers at work (93% of Optimists vs. 80% of Realists and 52% of Pessimists).
> More likely to be mostly or very satisfied with their job (82% of Optimists vs. 69% of Realists and 22% of Pessimists).
> More likely to be mostly or very satisfied with their relationships (99% of Optimists vs. 95% of Realists and 31% of Pessimists).
> More likely to be mostly or very satisfied with their lives (97% of Optimists vs. 87% of Realists and 20% of Pessimists).

“The majority of the people in our sample are Realists – 74%, with an equal balance of Pessimists and Optimists at 13% each. Realists are sensibly cautious people who strive to prepare for the worst,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “They’ll hope for the best and will always see it as a possibility, but want to make sure to be ready for anything. This might mean that optimists are occasionally blindsided by the unexpected, but they have the advantage of being very resilient and adaptable, which means they can bounce back quickly and adjust to any situation. Pessimists on the other hand tend to have a really tough go in life, emotionally, psychologically, socially, and professionally. The irony is that at least some of their struggles are self-created. If you expect the worst, chances are that’s exactly what you’ll get. Pessimists are also less likely to set goals and to keep trying after experiencing a failure, and are more likely to be deterred by challenges and obstacles. Not surprisingly, they’re the least happy of the bunch. So even if a pessimistic attitude means you’re always prepared for the worst, the disadvantages of this attitude greatly outweigh any of the supposed benefits.”

“Clearly, you don’t have to be an extreme optimist in order to be happy. As our study indicated, realists did reasonably well in many areas, and are fairly content overall. However, developing a more optimistic outlook certainly wouldn’t hurt. And by this, we don’t mean ignoring problems or forgoing safeguards and assuming everything will work out. The optimists in our study don’t go through life in a state of idyllic denial. They’re perseverant, hard-working, dedicated, tough, and determined to make something of themselves. And while they know that life won’t always be smooth sailing, they won’t allow dark times to extinguish the fire within them. The optimists of today have a sunny disposition but they’re also a force to be reckoned with.”

Want to assess your EQ? Check out our Emotional Intelligence Test at https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3979

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).

Media Contact

Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D, PsychTests AIM Inc., 5147453189, [email protected]

 

SOURCE PsychTests AIM Inc.

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