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Are you a glass half-empty person?

Are you a glass half-empty person? That's something to worry about... Research suggests pessimists are at greater risk of struggling with anxiety


It is bad news for the Eeyores of this world who have a glass-half-empty approach to life.


Pessimists are at greater risk of struggling with anxiety, a study suggests.


Researchers looked at 625 students, who were asked to predict the grades they expected to get in a set of four exams.


Many students had an 'optimism bias', meaning that they upgraded their expectations of future exam grades based on how they had previously performed.


Pessimists are at greater risk of struggling with anxiety, a study suggests


Researchers looked at 625 students, who were asked to predict the grades they expected to get in a set of four exams 


But pessimistic people expected the worst, so did not update their predictions of future grades adequately when they did better than anticipated.


These pessimists later showed greater signs of anxiety, the researchers discovered, based on a questionnaire they completed up to three years later.


Experts suspect pessimism is a strategy people adopt because they don't want to be disappointed by unpredictable events.


That is also a sign of anxiety, so the two can be strongly linked.


Dr Aaron Heller, who led the study from the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami, said: 'Our results suggest that people who are pessimistic learn differently from the surprises in their lives.


Pessimistic people expected the worst, so did not update their predictions of future grades adequately when they did better than anticipated


'Not only are they less optimistic, but even when small good, surprising things happen to them, they don't change their outlook as much as people who are not pessimistic, and this may put them at greater risk of symptoms of anxiety.'


The study, published in the journal Science Advances, asked people for predictions of their results in four difficult chemistry tests.


Pessimists generally failed to increase their predictions for themselves when they did slightly better than expected.


The anxiety test, six months to three years later, asked questions such as whether people felt anxious and on edge or felt they worried too much.


The researchers used exam results to test for pessimism, as previous studies have looked only at gambling tasks, which are less related to real life.

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