From ArticleWorld

Is a glass half filled to its capacity half full or half empty? It is supposed that optimists with their positive view on life will answer ‘half full’ while pessimists who tend to see things in a negative light will answer ‘half empty’. While optimism and pessimism are considered opposites, many propose that a little of both is necessary in maintaining a balanced outlook on life.

When optimism and pessimism are balanced, they lead to the kind of hope which leads to social change. According to John Braithwaite at the Australian National University, hope is not as valued in society as it should be as it is often seen as a naïve way of thinking as opposed to a more streetwise skepticism. One example of this is the study which showed that between the years 1970 and 2000, 46,000 papers were published in psychological journals about depression but only 400 were published on joy.

Other academics maintain that just because a person is mostly optimistic, it does not mean they are less pessimistic and vice versa.


Gottfried Leibniz is often held up as an example of an optimist as he believed that we live in the best of all possible worlds. Another philosopher, William Godwin, believed that violence and force would eventually be replaced by calm reason and that the secret of immortality would be revealed because of intelligence.


An optimistic outlook is consistent with those who have a healthy self-esteem and are psychologically and physically healthy. Optimistic people are usually more motivated and achieve more than pessimists who are more prone to suffer from depression than optimists.