high self-esteem and aggression

Cathy Quinones quinones at mindspring.com
Wed Feb 28 22:55:17 EST 1996

In message <chrisp-2802961658190001 at chrisp.bio.sunysb.edu> - chrisp at life.bio.su
nysb.edu (Christine Polk) writes:
:>This reminds me of a study I heard about (I'd have to dig up the
:>reference) regarding optimism:  When people were tested on how accurate
:>their views corresponded to reality, pessimists were extremely accurate,
:>while optimists thought things were a lot better than they in fact were.  

This rings a bell, only I remember something about depressed people being 
more capable of accurately describing their situation/status in life, as 
compared to non-depressed people.  This agrees with what you said (depressed 
people hardly have a rosy outlook) but brings another twist: what *causes* a 
person to be depressed.  Are women in general more likely to show symptoms of 
depression and if so, is this showing up in our self-assessment?

:>Personally, I think it makes sense for half the women surveyed to think
:>they are above average;  only half *can* be.  The question I'd like to
:>answer (both in my personal life and in this larger scale) is would it be
:>better to try to be more optimistic or will optimism come naturally with
:>an improvement in the situation?

I think optimism comes from feeling in control, to a certain extent anyhow.  
As to whether optimism happens or is created, I think it's a bit of both:  
you need some chance of success to even try, yes, but you also need to know 
when to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and just go for it even if you 
feel insecure.  There are ways through which one can give oneself pep talks 
that help put things into perspective.  Unfortunately, wee are usually really 
good at self-criticism and notoriously disinclined to award self-praise.  

Cathy Quinones			quinones at mindspring.com
http://www.mindspring.com/~mintz/coverpg.html = bird care info

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