Positive Past, Anxious Present, and Pessimistic Future
This chapter discusses how individual differences in the strategies people use to pursue their goals are related to the judgments they make about their past, present, and future circumstances. The focus is on these judgments and related affect, motivation, and behavior among those using the strategy of defensive pessimism. Defensive pessimism is a strategy used by those who feel anxious and out of control in situations related to their personal goals. The persistence is explained by raising the question of whether a defensive pessimist is likely to concur with an external observer's judgment that the defensive pessimist has done well. It is noted that the defensive pessimist's general tendency to avoid extensive counterfactual thinking can be viewed as effective affect regulation in the short term.
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