To study the relationship between anxiety, pessimism and optimism, researchers examined the attitudes of more than 600 college students before exams. They had students predict their expected performance on a test and found that some students displayed a clear optimism bias, while others displayed the opposite trend.
As the study authors wrote, “Individuals with heightened negative affect, a personality trait associated with the development of anxiety disorders, showed differences in overall pessimism and learning, discouraged accurate expectations, and I predicted future anxiety symptoms.”
In other words, even if pessimists performed better than expected on tests, they did not advance with the latest perspective that their good performance could be replicated. raised their expectations of their performance based on their grades.
And in a survey three years later, pessimists had greater signs of anxiety. The study’s authors point out that this pessimism may be a coping mechanism to avoid disappointment, which is also a symptom of anxiety. “We hypothesize that a conditioned aversion to negative and unpredictable events may lead people to pessimistic and inaccurate world models and predict anxiety risk,” said the study’s authors. is adding.