Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Research has linked optimism to higher levels of subjective well-being, to positive mood and good morale, to perseverance and effective problem solving, to achievement and success in a variety of domains, to popularity, to good physical health, to reduced suicidal ideation, and even to long life and freedom from trauma. In this chapter, we review what is known about one cognate of optimism—“explanatory style,” how people habitually explain the causes of events that occur to them. We trace the history of explanatory style research, focusing on the neglected question of the origins of explanatory style. Finally, we conclude by addressing issues that need to be considered by positive psychologists doing research on explanatory style. Research still focuses too much on negative outcomes, ignoring the premise of positive psychology: What makes life most worth living needs to be examined in its own right.

Keywords: attributional reformulation, explanatory style, learned helplessness, optimism, pessimism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.