optimism

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Study: Optimism Is Overrated

It may help more with persistence than actual performance

(Newser) - A new study delivers a somewhat depressing message: Positive thinking may not be all it's cracked up to be. "I kept hearing about how optimistic mindset was so great, but then you think about all the times that striving for accuracy might be better for the individual,"... More »

Optimism Good for Your Heart

'It's an incentive to try to be optimistic,' physician says

(Newser) - Feeling gloomy about life, the universe, and everything? Then take note of a new study that links optimism to heart health and a handful of other health positives, EurekAlert reports. Analyzing data on more than 5,100 adults, researchers found that the most optimistic are twice as likely to be... More »

Pessimistic? You Might Live Longer

Study cites dangers of being 'overly optimistic'

(Newser) - Here's a bit of a surprise: Pessimistic people actually appear to live longer than their sunnier peers, a study suggests. Researchers reviewed 40,000 subjects over a 10-year period and found that "being overly optimistic" was linked to "a greater risk of disability and death within the... More »

77% Think Washington Politics Do 'Serious Harm'

But slight majority is optimistic about future: poll

(Newser) - Most of America thinks the Washington political process is doing "serious harm" to our country, a USA Today/ Gallup poll finds. Some 77% say so, while just 19% disagree. Republicans feel slightly more strongly that Washington is doing harm, with 87% slamming DC politicians; 79% of independents and 68%... More »

Poll: Americans More Optimistic

Numbers are good news for Obama, pollsters say

(Newser) - In news that may give Mitt Romney the blues, Americans are starting to cheer up a little, according to the latest Reuters /Ipsos poll. Some 55% still believe America is heading in the wrong direction, while 39% think it is going in the right direction, the poll found. But it'... More »

US Needs to Regain Faith in the Future

China shouldn't have monopoly on dynamism

(Newser) - America needs to overcome its "crisis of faith" caused by China's phenomenal growth, writes David Brooks. Today's China is optimistic, forward-looking, and dynamic in the way America once was and should hope to be again, he points out in the New York Times . Surveys show that 86% of Chinese... More »

Optimistic Women Face Lower Heart Disease Risk

Subjects less likely to die of any cause over set period

(Newser) - Women 50 and up who see the glass as half full have a lower risk of getting heart disease—or dying of any cause—than their half-empty peers, a study suggests. Researchers found that over 8 years, the most optimistic subjects in their 97,000-woman-strong study faced a 9% lower... More »

Poll: US on 'Right Track' for First Time in 5 Years

48% are optimistic, up eight points in two months

(Newser) - For the first time in years, more Americans than not say the country is headed in the right direction, according to an AP poll. The percentage of Americans saying the country is headed in the right direction rose to 48%, up eight points from February, while 44% say the nation... More »

Don't Get Excited, Crisis Isn't Over: Krugman

Tough times ain't over—and we can't afford 'complacency'

(Newser) - We’re hearing about “glimmers of hope" from policymakers, but the president’s biggest lefty naysayer has a word of warning: “Don’t count your recoveries before they’re hatched,” Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times. “Premature optimism” has been disastrous during previous downturns,... More »

Big Strides in US Optimism, Poll Shows

Proportion who say country on right track doubles

(Newser) - American attitudes are showing signs of a turnaround in the 70 days since Barack Obama took the reins, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll reports. The percentage who say the country is headed in the right direction has more than doubled since the end of the Bush era—some 42%... More »

Economic Hopes On the Rise: Poll

Past 2 weeks have seen steady rise in optimism

(Newser) - More Americans appear to have hope that the economy is finally back on track. Over the past two weeks, the percentage of Gallup responders who hold that the economy is getting better has continually increased. From Monday through Wednesday, that percentage—29%—was the highest it’s been since July... More »

No, We Can't: Meet the Pessimist in Chief

Despite the rhetoric, Obama offers realism, not hope: Finkelstein

(Newser) - Barack Obama, elected on a tide of optimism, insisted yesterday that a new generation could meet the challenges of the age. Yet he described economic crisis and a collective failure of will, with no promise of rebirth or redemption, Times of London columnist Daniel Finkelstein observes. And that may be... More »

Patient US Has Faith in Obama: Poll

Troubled nation prepared to wait for solutions

(Newser) - Americans are vastly unhappy about the current state of the union—but have widespread faith in Barack Obama to nurse the nation back to health, according to the latest polls. Of those surveyed, 79% of Americans are optimistic about Obama's tenure, a higher figure than findings for the past five... More »

Can Phanatics Cheer Up at Last?

Pessimism a way of life for Phanatics

(Newser) - Optimism doesn’t come easy to Phillies fans. “They feel like dogs that have been kicked too much,” one UPenn professor tells Allen Barra of the Wall Street Journal. The Phillies have won precisely one title in their 125-year history, amid mountains of grim collapses. “Phillies history... More »

The Perils of Positive Thinking

Not just greed, but optimism and can-do led to Wall Street's downfall

(Newser) - “Positive thinking,” the philosophy of self-help books and corporate retreats, has had some negative effects on Wall Street, Barbara Ehrenreich writes in the New York Times. It's popular to blame greed of executives and traders for the current meltdown in the financial markets, but the unbridled optimism and... More »

We're Down, We're Really Down: Poll

76% of Americans say country is headed in wrong direction

(Newser) - Only 24% of Americans think the country is on the right track in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll. That number is the lowest since 1980. The other times it has dipped below 30% were during Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis, and the economic slump of 1992. As recently as... More »

Obama Speech Plays Well With Euro Pundits

Most praise it, with reservations

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s speech in Germany is drawing the full complement of responses in Europe, from glowing to scowling. Here are a few:
  • He’s “an idealist in the true spirit of the American success story,” writes Gerhard Spohl in Der Spiegel, and aspires to be "something
... More »

Keep the Hummer: Save America's Soul

Yes, it's obnoxious; that's why we need it

(Newser) - Sure, the Hummer is more of a "cartoon" than a vehicle, a ridiculously over-the-top gas-guzzling monstrosity. But the unbridled optimism it takes to manufacture it—and to fill up the tank—is what makes it uniquely American, writes Matthew DeBord in the Washington Post. If GM axes it, or,... More »

Scientists Find Eternal Sunshine Spot in Your Mind

Study: Brain section thinks happy thoughts

(Newser) - If you think the glass is half empty, you’re a pessimist—but if you think it’s half full, you have strong activity in your rostral anterior cingulate cortex. That’s the section of the brain, located right behind the eyes, that controls optimism, according to a new study... More »

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