Beitrag in der Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Von Dr. Marina Schall und Prof. Dr. Astrid Schütz erscheint ein Beitrag zu „Pessimismus“ in der Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences (Eds.) V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackelford. New York, NY: Springer.


Whereas some people primarily focus on negative events that may happen to them, other people tend to look forward to positive happenings. Such negative or positive outcome expectancies are known as dispositional pessimism or optimism, respectively, when they occur on a habitual level (Scheier & Carver, 1985). There is a host of research showing that whether people tend to adopt a pessimistic or optimistic outlook on life has serious consequences. For instance, studies have demonstrated negative effects of pessimism on well-being, health, and interpersonal relationships (Carver et al., 2010). The present entry will address pessimism as a personality trait and will outline its conceptualizations and measurements within the framework of current theorizing. It will describe the costs of pessimistic thinking across various domains of life and discuss some potential helpful functions of pessimism as well.