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Kathryn Hoban

Legislative Aide - Michigan Senate, National Society of Collegiate Scholars

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Optimism and Pessimism: The Impact of Outlook on Outcome

Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist?
What do you think are the drawbacks and benefits of each?
To what extent do you think your outlook impacts your actions?
Tali Sharot talks about the blame that optimists and pessimists place on either themselves or other factors. To what extent do you blame internal or external factors regarding your success or failure?


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    May 16 2012: Its safer to be an optimist as future is uncertain & optimism helps us keeping the blood-pressure under control. We hardly have an option otherwise. Life is transient, its better to believe in rebirth. Pessimism tend to play the game in an manner that reduces the happiness quotient for all participants. I am not a psychologist but being a marketing pro i have concluded that pessimists have poor sense of belonging & friendship. An optimist is part of the solution whereas a pessimist could be good critic.
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      May 17 2012: Thanks for your comment, Gurinder. A marketing pro would have an interesting perspective in regards to optimism and pessimism. Could you tell me a little more on how they differ in the marketing world? Does one take more risks than the other? Is one easier to work with?
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        May 18 2012: Hi Kathryn, Consumer profile is central to a good marketing strategy, therefore we spend our lifetime in trying to study basic personality types & evolution of personality of consumers. An optimist is generally someone who would believe in what others have to offer & be the first to try new product. A pessimist would remain a prisoner of post purchase dissonance and would require more effort to be convinced into buying products. Risk taking ability of a person depend upon both external & internal factors. An optimist being a believer would take more risk than a pessimist. But it does not mean that a pessimist is n economic buyer. A pessimist requires intensive selling effort and therefore is a expensive proposition for sellers. Pessimists take time to adjust to change & whereas an optimist would love to experiment. Team play requires that most of the participants trust each other and work toward common goal which is difficult for a pessimist. Hope this answers your inquiry.Thanks for asking.

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