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

by Hiroki Hosogoshi, Masahiro Kodama
Shinrigaku Kenkyu ()


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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