Optimism and Pessimism

Charles S Carver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Optimism is the extent to which people hold favorable expectancies for their future. Higher optimism has been linked to higher engagement coping and lower avoidance coping. Optimism is also associated with taking proactive steps to protect health, whereas pessimism is associated with health-damaging behaviors. The energetic, task-focused approach that optimists take to goals also predicts benefits in the socioeconomic world. Optimism predicts more persistence in educational effort and higher later income. Optimists also appear to fare better than pessimists in relationships. Although optimism sometimes fails to convey an advantage, and occasionally may even convey a disadvantage, those instances are rare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Coping
  • Disengagement
  • Giving up
  • Optimism
  • Persistence
  • Pessimism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimism and Pessimism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this