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Optimism

Berlin Wall Monument (West view) – the west side of the Wall is covered with graffiti that reflects the hope and optimism post-1989 Optimism is a mental attitude or world view that interprets situations and events as being best (optimized), so that in some way that may not be fully comprehended the present moment is in an optimum state. The concept is extended to include the hope that future conditions will unfold as optimal. The broad concept of optimism is the understanding that all of nature - past, present and future - operates by laws of optimization along the lines of Hamilton's principle in the realm of physics. This understanding, although criticized by counter views such as pessimism, idealism and realism, leads to a state of mind that believes everything is as it should be, and that the future will be as well.A common idiom used to illustrate optimism versus pessimism is a glass with water at the halfway point, where the optimist is said to see the glass as half full, however the pessimist sees the glass as half empty.The term is originally derived from the Latin optimum, meaning "best". Being optimistic, in the typical sense of the word, ultimately means one expects the best possible outcome from any given situation. This is usually referred to in psychology as dis-positional optimism.Researchers sometimes operationalize the term differently depending on their research, however. For example, Martin Seligman and his fellow researchers define it in terms of explanatory style, which is based on the way one explains life events. As for any trait characteristic, there are several ways to evaluate optimism, such as various forms of the Life Orientation Test, for the original definition of optimism, or the Attributional Style Questionnaire designed to test optimism in terms of explanatory style.While the heritability of optimism is largely debatable, most researchers agree that it seems to be a biological trait to some small degree, but it is also thought that optimism has more to do with environmental factors, making it a largely learned trait. It has also been suggested that optimism could appear to be a hereditary trait because it is actually a manifestation of combined traits that are mostly heritable, like intelligence, temperament and alcoholism. Optimism may also be linked to health. ^ http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/optimism ^ Vaughan, Susan C. (2000). Half Empty, Half Full: Understanding the Psychological Roots of Optimism. New York: Courtyard.  ^ Schulman, P.; Keith, D.; Seligman, M. (1993). "Is Optimism Heritable? A Study of Twins". Behavior Research and Therapy 31 (6): 569–574. doi:10.1016/0005-7967(93)90108-7.  ^ Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling on YouTube
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