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Handicapping with optimism

Optimism has been shown to predict a candidates success in political elections
Politicians who make attributions which are optimistic, such as explaining problems as temporary and maneagble, are much more likely to be picked by voters than those candidates who explain events as being chronic and global. Optimism, according to Martin Seligman?s theory, is a way of explaining the cause of events.  A person with an optimistic explanatory style would view the cause of an event as temporary, domain specific and manageable rather than permanent, pervasive and persistent.  Optimism is associated with many beneficial outcomes.  Research  by Andrew Rosenthal, Prateek Sharma and Martin Seligman has looked at the explanatory style of political candidates, for this year.  The researchers analysed the content of candidate?s political speeches using a specific technique called CAVEing.  This technique looks at the way people explain events, either in a written passage or in spoken word.  80% of the winners of presidential elections, since 1900, were the most optimistic candidates. Optimism seems to predict who will win. To read this article and read comments click here
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