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"Defensive Pessimism" Before Exam Results Not a Good Strategy

A new study by Margaret Marshall of Seattle Pacific University and Jonathon Brown of the University of Washington has found that the strategy// of expecting the worst results after an examination does not pay off in the long run and individuals who adopt such defensive pessimism are not better off than their normal counterparts.

Reporting in the latest issue of the journal Cognition and Emotion, the excretes of which appear in the online edition of the journal Nature, the reserachers said a person's reaction to disappointment or failure reflects the general outlook to life adopted by that person. They added that those who were optimistic by nature generally expected good results. If they fall short of their goals, they are likely to look on the bright side and still think they have done reasonably well. However, on the flip side, those with a negative attitude always expected the worst. If they don't succeed, they take it to heart and tend to blame themselves - unlike the other group. It may be difficult for a person to cushion the blow of failure by trying to brighten their natural temperament, Brown said. People need to be strong enough to learn that failure is not bad.
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