Examination of psychological well-being and subjective well-being in defensive pessimists

by Hiroki Hosogoshi, Masahiro Kodama
Shinrigaku kenkyu The Japanese journal of psychology ()


Defensive pessimists (DPs) are considered to be adaptive pessimists because of their high performances, but the well-being of DPs have not been sufficiently studied. Some studies suggested that DPs have lower well-being than optimists, but it is not clear whether their level of well-being is as low as to be considered maladaptive. In this study, well-being was distinguished between psychological well-being including self-improvement, and subjective well-being as in the traditional notion of well-being, and compared well-being among DPs, strategic optimists (SOs) and depressed persons (DEPs) in a sample of 303 college students (F=160, M=143). Results indicated no significant differences in the level of psychological well-being among DPs and SOs, and both of these groups scored higher than DEPs. DPs also scored higher than DEPs in subjective well-being and no differences were found in satisfaction in life between DPs and SOs. Thus, this study concluded that the well-being of DPs were high in some regards and were not maladaptive.

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