Optimism and the reporting of flu episodes

P. Nicholas Hamid1
1City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Cite this article:  Hamid, P. N. (1990). Optimism and the reporting of flu episodes. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 18, 225-234.

Volume 18 Issue 2 | e620 | Published: August 1990 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1990.18.2.225

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This study examined the differences between dispositional optimists and pessimists in their reporting of ill health and health promoting behaviours for a stress related illness, namely influenza. The results revealed clear and consistent attentional biases of the dispositions as measured by the Life Orientation Test. While optimists and pessimists did not differ in stress levels or the number of incidences of flu, pessimists reported the duration as longer, a higher expectancy of flu in the future, and more symptoms and causes of stress that optimists. On the other hand, optimists reported greater engagement in health promoting behavior and more specific attempts at prevention of flu. These differences are discussed with regards to attentional style and affect and the implications for further research are outlined.
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