Members in the Media
From: The Wall Street Journal

Pessimism Is the One Thing Americans Can Agree On

Are Americans cockeyed optimists or incorrigible pessimists? Do they think that American society has improved or gotten worse in various ways—and how accurate are their views? You might imagine that the answer would be nuanced, that it would depend on factors like people’s politics or news-consuming habits.

But the answer isn’t nuanced at all, according to a new study. In research published earlier this year in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, Gregory Mitchell at the University of Virginia and Philip Tetlock at the University of Pennsylvania looked at these questions empirically. Everybody they tested—young and old, conservative and liberal, news-addicted or not—showed the same pattern. Everybody thought that most things had gotten worse, even if they had actually gotten better. Pessimism reigned.

Read the whole story (subscription may be required): The Wall Street Journal

More of our Members in the Media >

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.