The article presents an analysis of theoretical and empirical studies of the optimism/pessimism problem (including philosophical, sociological and psychological approaches). It presents the results of studying the students' uniqueness depending on the type of worldview: optimistic and pessimistic. Many phenomena of the inner world, mental states and processes depend on the features of the personal attitude system. In our opinion, optimism as a system of attitudes, assessments and worldview is an active life position of the personality that influences the choice of behaviour models, role stances and resilience to psychological stress. Optimism is an individual’s stable attitude to difficulties, based on the belief in the success and strength of human nature. The project reflects the development of a model for the creation of a positive optimistic attitude for this activity with a number of objectives: forming a positive attitude towards others; forming a positive attitude towards oneself, increasing the level of self-acceptance, self-esteem; shaping a life prospect; developing strong-willed regulation, skills to control life situations and the formation of a positive attribution style of explaining successes and failures; forming an awareness of the close relationship between mental and physiological states. The development model of the pessimist's personality structure comprises four modules: Social-communicative, Personal-semantic, Predictive, Cognitive-activity.
The scientific problem and its justification. An optimistic worldview as a psychological category is a very capacious and multi-valued concept. There is currently no clear definition of this concept in domestic psychology. In everyday life, optimism most often means such qualities of a person as invigoration, cheerfulness, love of life and a sense of humor. The philosophical dictionary defines optimism and pessimism as concepts that characterize the value side of the worldview, in which the world is understood only in terms of the balance between good and evil, justice and injustice, happiness and disaster (Demenev, 2001). Based on the dynamic functional structure of Platonov’s personality, optimism as a stable personal characteristic is closely related to its orientation and attitudes. Humanistic psychology considers optimism as a belief in human nature, in the unconditionally positive, kind and constructive essence of a person, laid down in the form of potential, which reveals under appropriate conditions.
Optimism can also be considered as a system of personal views and attitudes towards one's life, the future, the people around one and oneself. Osgud noted in his writings that the greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. Many phenomena of the inner world, mental states and processes depend on the features of the personal attitude system. In our opinion, optimism as a system of attitudes, assessments and worldview is an active life position of the personality that influences the choice of behaviour models, role stances and resilience to psychological stress. Optimism is an individual’s stable attitude to difficulties, based on the belief in the success and strength of human nature (Golovin, 2003).
Optimism is viewed as a person's predisposition to believe in their own strengths and success, to have predominantly positive expectations from life and other people. "Optimists" tend to be extroverted, benevolent and open to communication. The opposite category of people, "pessimists", are characterized by doubts about their strengths and the goodwill of other people, expectation of failure, the desire to avoid wide contacts, isolation on their inner world (introversion). Activity in this context means energy, cheerfulness, carelessness, serenity and a propensity to take risks. Passivity manifests itself in anxiety, fearfulness, self-doubt and unwillingness to do anything (Arskieva, 2014).
"Active optimists" believe in their strength and success, are positive about the future, take active steps in order to achieve the desired goals. They are cheerful, not subject to despondency or bad mood, easily and swiftly reflect the blows of fate, no matter how hard they are. In difficult situations, problem-oriented strategies for coping with stress are used (Sze, 2015).
“Passive pessimists” are the opposite category of “active optimists” who do not believe in anything and do nothing to change their lives for the better. They are characterized by the predominance of a gloomy and suppressed mood, passivity, and disbelief in their own strength. In difficult situations, avoidance strategies are preferred.
"Active pessimists" are characterized by great activity, but this activity is often destructive in nature. Such people, instead of creating something new, prefer to destroy the old. In difficult situations, aggressive coping strategies are often used (Kuhn, 1998).
"Passive optimists" are those people who believe that everything will somehow work out by itself. Such people are sure that "everything will be fine", although they do not make any efforts for this. They are good-natured, cheerful and know how to find something positive even in negative things, but their distinguishing feature is the lack of activity. They rely more on chance, on luck, than on their own strength. They tend to passively wait or postpone decisions (Schopenhauer, 1991).
We should note that optimism/pessimism has not been the subject of scientific interest not only in the integrative psychology of development (in all ages) but also in the theory of integral individuality. In our study we were guided by the following hypothesis: optimistic and pessimistic worldviews influence the formation of unique, dissimilar structures of integral individuality.
The problem of this study was a number of acute issues that arise when considering the problem of optimism / pessimism that require research. For example: do these personality traits depend on genetically determined ones? And vice versa: do optimism and pessimism influence the formation of other personality traits?
- The subject of this study is the scientific substantiation of the development of an optimistic and pessimistic worldview as a factor in the formation of the structures of the integral personality of an individual.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose and objectives of the research. The purpose of the research is to study the unique structures of integral individuality depending on a certain type of worldview. The purpose of the research identified the following objectives:
- Choose a method for diagnosing optimism and pessimism and divide the subjects into two groups according to its criteria.
- Draw up a programme to diagnose the multi-level properties of the integral individuality of students with different types of worldviews and determine statistical criteria for evaluating empirical material.
- Identify the features in the structures of the structures of integral individuality of optimist and pessimist students through piecemeal, systematic analyses and compare outcomes.
Methods and stages of the research. For the period, we will focus on the following stages of the research:
- The first stage of the research includes a theoretical analysis of the literature; the identification of the research problem; the definition of research objectives; the determination of the population of subjects; the elaboration of the research procedure; the clarification of the general hypothesis of the research.
- The second stage was an ascertaining experiment that described the integrative portraits of optimist and pessimist students.
We chose the “Scale of optimism and activity” as the leading method, containing two subscales: optimism and activity.
The study involved 171 students between the ages of 18 and 20.
Testing of the optimism scale in the group of university students revealed the following results Students – "Active optimists" – 31 people; "Realists " – 22 people; "Active realists" – 27 people; "Real optimists" – 20 people; "Passive realist " – 1 person and "Passive pessimists" – 70 people who need further psychocorrective activities. According to the results of the research, we found the following. Most students have an optimistic worldview – "optimists are highly adaptable to new situations, have an internal locus of control, and are highly communicative". In difficult life situations, they tend to use constructive, transformative behaviours. Pessimists are less able to adapt to new socio-economic conditions, they are more aggressive and tend to blame their failures on fate or other people. Pessimistic students often use destructive models of overcoming behaviour and management in stressful situations and have lower stress resistance compared to optimist students (Sully, 2007). Optimism in this method is understood as the predisposition of a person to believe in his own strength and success, to have predominantly positive expectations from life and other people. Optimists tend to be extroverted, benevolent and open to communication. The opposite category of people, pessimists, is characterized by doubts about their own abilities and the benevolence of other people, the expectation of failure, the desire to avoid broad contacts, inward confinement (introversion). Activity in this context refers to energy, joyfulness, carelessness, serenity and risk-taking. Passivity expresses in anxiety, fearfulness, self-doubt and unwillingness to do anything.
Active optimists believe in their own strength and success, are positive for the future and take active actions to achieve the desired goals. They are cheerful, high-spirited, unaffected by gloom or bad mood, easily and swiftly reflect the blows of fate, no matter how heavy they may be. Active optimists use problem-oriented strategies to overcome stress in difficult situations.
Passive pessimists are the opposite category of people to active optimists who believe in nothing and do nothing to change their lives for the better. They are characterized by the predominance of a gloomy and depressed mood, passivity, and a lack of self-confidence. In difficult situations, they prefer strategies for problem avoidance.
Active pessimists tend to be very active, but this activity is often destructive. Such people, instead of creating the new, prefer to destroy the old. In difficult situations, they often use aggressive coping strategies.
Passive optimists are the people who believe: "Everything will sort itself out somehow..." Such people are confident that "everything will be fine", although they make no effort to do so. They are good-natured, cheerful and able to find something positive even in a negative situation, but their distinctive feature is a lack of activity. They rely on chance, on luck more than on their own strength. Passive optimists tend to wait passively or delay making decisions.
The analysis of the works of Seligman, Peterson, Abramson, Shejer and Karver, Kompton, King, Steger, Maskaro, Maddi and Koshaba, Tokman, Dzh. Rotter, Cheplyaev, Zhigeu, Yusupov, Abulhanova, Berezina, Kosheleva, Lobza, Kapustina, Yusupov, Sychev, Keselman, Zvonovskij, Mackevich, Muzdybaev, Samoukina, Shcherbatyh, etc. made it possible to develop a model of correctional and consulting work with students with pessimistic worldview.
The purpose of this model is to correct a pessimistic worldview and create a positive one. The following objectives contribute to the achievement of the purpose:
- forming a positive attitude towards others;
- forming a positive attitude towards oneself, increasing the level of self-acceptance, self-esteem;
- shaping a life prospect;
- the development of strong-willed regulation, skills to control life situations and the formation of a positive attributive style of explaining successes and failures;
- forming an awareness of the close relationship between mental and physiological states.
The development model of the personality structure of pessimists includes four modules
"Social-communicative" aims at forming positive attitudes towards the social environment; developing reflexivity; enriching the repertoire of communicative and situational blanks.
"Personal-semantic" aims at developing the skills of regulating a positive mood, self-confidence, success; clarifying the role and significance of religion in human life; increasing the level of meaning in life; revitalization intellectual development and aspiration to apply the acquired knowledge in life.
"Predictive" aims at changing the attitude to time; forming a long-term life perspective, tolerance to uncertainty, an active life position; setting clear and real life goals.
"Cognitive-activity" aims at developing the skills of strong-willed regulation, control over life events, responsibility for their actions and the obtained results; forming attitudes to difficult life situations as opportunities for growth; developing adaptive abilities; forming positive attributive style.
Psychological support should help pessimistic people to harmonize their resources in such a way that they do not waste their energy on useless compensation, but achieve the desired result in energy-saving ways.
Arskieva, Z. A. (2014). A systematic approach to the study of optimistic and pessimistic world perception. Journal of Kostroma State University named after N.A. Nekrasov Pedagogy Psychology Social work Juvenology Sociokinetics, 20(1), 210.
Demenev, A. G. (2001). I.I. Mechnikov and E.P. Akvilonov: the problem of optimism (historical and philosophical analysis) [Cand. dissertation thesis].
Golovin, S. Yu. (2003). Dictionary of the practical psychologist. LLC AST Publishing House.
Kuhn, T. (1998). Density matrix theory of coherent ultrafast dynamics. Theory of Transport Properties of Semiconductor Nanostructures. Electronic Materials Series (Vol. 4, pp. 173–214). Chapman and Hall.
Schopenhauer, A. (1991). The world as will and representation. In: On the will in nature. The world as will and representation (Vol. 2). Science.
Sully, J. (2007). Pessimism: History and Criticism. (Trans. from English). Ed. and preface by V.I. Yakovenko (2nd ed., p. 360). LKI Publishing House.
Sze, S. M. (2015). Physics of Semiconductor Devices. http://site.com
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
About this article
29 November 2021
Print ISBN (optional)
Cultural development, technological development, socio-political transformations, globalization
Cite this article as:
Arskieva, Z. A., Tabolova, E. S., & Perepelkina, N. A. (2021). Features Of Students' Optimistic And Pessimistic Worldview. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in The Context of Modern Globalism, vol 117. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 117-122). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.11.16