Ivan Vasilev is a graduate psychology student at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. His research interests lie in the interaction between optimism and well-being, motivation, and leadership. Ivan is fascinated about integrating positive psychology concepts and interventions in organizational life to foster motivation, cohesion, and creativity at the workplace. Ivan's articles are here.
Interested in contributing to psychology research and learning more about yourself? This study being conducted by the Institute of Psychology at the University of Heidelberg focuses on how different life perspectives and well-being measures relate to each other. More specifically, it aims at investigating how many empirically distinct kinds of optimism there are, and what positive and negative effects they have on psychological well-being and human health.
You can access the survey through the following link:
As a reward for supporting the research by filling out the rather long questionnaire, the study gives you the opportunity to receive a personal feedback report on your scores on scientific scales assessing personality characteristics related to life perspectives and well-being.
Research background: Even though “optimistic” and “pessimistic” are terms regularly used for the description of people in everyday life, in psychology research there is still no agreement of what “optimism” exactly is. Some research groups see it as a general positive expectancy of the future, others as a specific way people explain the causes of things that happen to them. A third viewpoint focuses more on whether individuals tend to focus on positive or negative aspects of situation when both are given. Finally, another stream of research speaks of “unrealistic optimism” in risk assessment and its possible consequences.
While some of these concepts have been very widely researched, there is still little understanding to what extent they reflect the same underlying processes or how they possibly differ from each other. Answering this question may reveal important insights on which aspects should be trained and how their development can be better approached.