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OPTIMISM. "Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things...When therefore we are hindered, or.

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Presentation on theme: "OPTIMISM. "Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things...When therefore we are hindered, or."— Presentation transcript:

1 OPTIMISM

2 "Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things...When therefore we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Some who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself." -- Epictetus, The Enchiridion

3 The Duchenne smile: woman on right has both the smile and the eyes contracted. A sign of genuine happiness. In a study funded by the Society of American Florists, 100% of women receiving a gift of a flower reacted with a Duchenne smile.

4 From cf: Duchenne smile, no teeth showing “professional” smile or the insincere smile Duchenne smile, with teeth

5 How many distinctions can you make in Paul Ekman’s Duchanne smile compared with his social smile?

6 You CAN develop Duchanne Smile Marty Seligman, a founder of Positive Psychology, is a self-described “grouch.” He says he has been a life-long “nimbus cloud in a world of sunshine.” One student of his told me she had never seen him smile. But he recognized his own grouchiness and has applied the skills of happiness to himself. Today he is a happier person. Do you think this is a Duchanne smile?

7 Optimism and Health: The Dutch study Erik J. Giltay, MD, PhD, et al., Dispositional Optimism and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of Elderly Dutch Men and Women Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61: Giltay found that older people in the top quarter of optimism had less than half the heart attacks over a nine year period, compared with people in the bottom half. The two groups were matched at the beginning of the study: No signs or symptoms of heart disease, similar habits, similar health. Optimism alone protected the heart, when adjusted for age, sex, chronic disease, education, smoking, alcohol consumption, history of cardiovascular disease or hypertension, body mass index, and total cholesterol level. So why not take that test for yourself?

8 Giltay’s Optimism Questions I expect much from life. I do not look forward to what lies ahead for me in the years to come. My days seem to be passing slowly. I am full of plans.

9 Scoring Statement No. 1: Give yourself two points if you fully agree, one point if you partially agree or don't know, and no points if you disagree. Statement No. 2: Give yourself no points if you fully agree, one point if you partially agree or don't know, and two points if you disagree. Statement No. 3: Give yourself no points if you fully agree, one point if you partially agree or don't know, and two points if you disagree. Statement No. 4: Give yourself two points if you fully agree, one point if you partially agree or don't know, and no points if you disagree. Seven or eight means you are optimistic.

10 Harvard Professor Teresa Amabile has studied creativity for twenty years. Creative people are: - happier & likely to have a positive event the day before a creative breakthrough. She has shown that pressure, layoffs, and competition all reduce creativity. “Running scared” does NOT produce more creativity. A positive mood is a necessary precursor.

11 Sonja Lyubomirsky Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside Laura King Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri—Columbia and Ed Diener Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success? Psychological Bulletin November 2005 Vol. 131, No. 6,

12 Do Happy Doctors make Better Doctors?* Forty-four doctors asked to diagnose a difficult case. - One group first got a bag of candy. - One group first read positive statements about medicine. - One group was the “control group.” *Isen, A.M., Rosenweig, A.S., & Young, M.J. (1991). The influence of positive affect on clinical problem solving. Medical Decision Making, 11,

13 Optimists and Sales Marty Seligman found that among new Met Life agents: - Strong optimists outsold moderate optimists 21% the first year... 57% the second year... And the difference continues to grow

14 Marital status and happiness (In spite of the high rate of divorce, over all, traditional marriage is protective).

15 Test your own optimism Take the ASQ (an optimism survey) either online at: OR download the ASQ from WEB CT and take it and score it yourself. Write in your journal about your score and what you think that means.

16 Ending as we began, with Epictetus: When a raven happens to croak unluckily, don't allow the appearance hurry you away with it, but immediately make the distinction to yourself, and say, "None of these things are foretold to me; but either to my paltry body, or property, or reputation, or children, or wife. But to me all omens are lucky, if I will. For whichever of these things happens, it is in my control to derive advantage from it."


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