Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 201–228 | Cite as

Effects of optimism on psychological and physical well-being: Theoretical overview and empirical update

  • Michael F. Scheier
  • Charles S. Carver


The primary purpose of this paper is to review recent research examining the beneficial effects of optimism on psychological and physical well-being. The review focuses on research that is longitudinal or prospective in design. Potential mechanisms are also identified whereby the beneficial effects of optimism are produced, focusing in particular on how optimism may lead a person to cope more adaptively with stress. The paper closes with a brief consideration of the similarities and differences between our own theoretical approach and several related approaches that have been taken by others.

Key words

optimism stress coping health adjustment personality 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael F. Scheier
    • 1
  • Charles S. Carver
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCarnegie-Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.University of MiamiUSA

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