Monday, 25 May, 2009 Science

People Are Optimistic by Nature, Research Found


Although today people around the world face natural disasters, global economic slowdown and food crisis, they still remain optimistic, because optimism is universal by nature, say researchers from the University of Kansas and Gallup.

They carried out a study, the results of which were presented on May 2009 in San Francisco, where the Association for Psychological Science held its annual meeting. The research discovered that optimism is universal and borderless.

The discovery was driven by the information collected from the Gallup World Poll. Adults from over 140 countries took part in the survey. Over 150,000 adults represented a sample of 95 percent of the world population.

According to the results of the study, 89 percent of people around the world believe the next 5 years will be better than their current life. At the same time 95 percent of people expect in 5 years their life will be better than it was 5 years ago.

"These results provide compelling evidence that optimism is a universal phenomenon," mentioned the study's lead researcher Matthew Gallagher, who is a psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas.

The highest level of optimism around the world was registered among people living in: Ireland, Brazil, Denmark, and New Zealand. The least optimistic people were found to be living in: Zimbabwe, Egypt, Haiti and Bulgaria. During the research it was found that such demographic factors as age and household income had an insignificant effect on individual levels of optimism.

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