Expecting the best is best

Scientists from Seattle Pacific University, and the University of Washington have disproved the old adage that the lower your expectations, the happier you should be following success and the less disappointed you should be following failure.

In fact, the opposite turned out to be true. Students were asked how well they expected to do in word association tests, and then questioned again afterwards. Of those who did poorly in the tests, those who expected to do well, but in fact performed poorly, felt better about themselves than those who expected to do poorly and were proved right…

The two tests performed in the study concluded that there was little evidence to support the old adage, and found that those people who thought they would do well tended to be more positive thinking in general.

(Cognition & Emotion, Volume 20, Number 1/January 2006)