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PSYCH 3BA3 (49)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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McMaster University
Richard B Day

Chapter 8 – Seeing Our Futures Through Self-Efficacy, Optimism, and Hope Pgs. 175-200 Optimism Learned Optimism (Seligman and Colleagues) - Basis: the attributions (explanations) people make for the bad and good things that happen to them - Optimists use adaptive causal attributions to explain negative experiences/events o Make external, variable, and specific attributions; instead of internal, stable, and global ones abnormal limbic system functioning, dysfunctional operations of the lateral prefrontal cortex, and the paralimbic system o Depression > deficiencies in neurotransmitters, depleted endorphin secretion, and defective immune functioning  Can Learned Optimism be Measured? o Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ) and Children’s Attributional Style Questionnaire (CASQ)  Presented with either a negative or positive life event and based on the dimensions internal/external, stable/variable, and global/specific asked to give a causal explanation o ContentAnalysis of Verbal Explanation (CAVE)  Ratings based on written or spoken words; language use  What Learned Optimism Predicts o Associated with  Better academic performance  Superior athletic performances  More productive work records  Greater satisfaction in interpersonal relationships  More effective coping with life stressors  Less vulnerability to depression  Superior physical health Optimism (Scheier and Carver) - The stable tendency to believe that good rather than bad things will happen - “outcome expectancies are the best predictors of behaviour” - May result in one moving towards desirable goals and moving away from undesirable goals - Stems from early childhood experiences, trust and secure attachments to parental figures  Can Optimism be Measured? o Life Orientation Test (LOT)  Correlated positively with expectancy for success and negatively with hopelessness and depression o LOT-R  Eliminated criticisms related to an overlap of neuroticism  Higher scores, have been related to better coronary bypass surgery recovery, dealing more effectively withAIDS, enduring cancer biopsies more easily, better adjustment to pregnancy, and continuing treatment for alcohol abuse  What Optimism Predicts o Optimistic tend to take problem-solving approach and are more planful o Tend to accept uncontrollable circumstances, as opposed to denying them o Optimists are better at:  Starting college  Performing in work situations  Enduring a missle attack  Caring forAlzheimer’s patients  Undergoing coronary bypass surgeries  Coping with cancer andAIDS  Coping in general o May be related to a suppression of the immune system in some cases  Higher optimism = higher cellular immunity in times of low conflict, but lower cellular immunity in times of high stress/extreme conflict o The simple decrease in negative thinking does not change positive thinking  Negative and positive cognitions are not correlated o Positive Visualization: clie
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