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Monday, January 17, 2005

Ever Wonder How You Get to be a Pessimist?

Doni Tamblyn, Laugh and Learn: 95 Ways to Use Humor for more Effective Teaching and Training (New York: AMACOM, 2003).

Psychologist and author Martin Seligman (Learned Optimism, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991) suggests a possible reason for our apparent preference for negativity. Our most recent evolutionary ancestors lived during the Pleistocene Age, a time of great climactic catastrophes. The ones most likely to survive that difficult era were probably those with solid skills in pessimism—who saw every sunny day as an anomaly, and remained better prepared for the hard times they were sure to follow. In other words, we may all be the descendants of worrywarts!


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