Friday, September 25, 2009

New Science of Willpower Study: The Virtue of Pessimism

Check out my latest post on Psychology Today.

"Two people are beginning a weight-loss program. One is an optimist and the other a realist -- perhaps even a pessimist. Who has the better chance of losing weight?

According to a new study from Doshisha University in Japan, it's the pessimist. People who began a six-month program of nutrition, exercise, and counseling were less likely to lose weight if they had an optimistic personality.

This at first doesn't make sense. We usually associate optimism with greater success and better health. There's plenty of research showing that optimists have stronger social relationships, are happier, and even live longer. So why wouldn't optimism help people lose weight?"........ [click to read full column]

Study: Saito, H., Kimura, Y., Tashima, S., et al. (2009). Psychological factors that promote behavior modification by obese patients. BioPsychoSocial Medicine 3:9 (in press).

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