Increase Optimism and Decrease Depression & Pessimism With CBT

In the last couple of posts we’ve looked at how Martin Seligman and his colleagues developed a theory of optimism out of their research into learned helplessness and depression. Our Explanatory Styles/Attributional Styles determine how pessimistic or optimistic we are.

In this video, you’ll learn how to assess whether your own Explanatory/Attributional Styles are optimistic or pessimistic with examples from the Attributional Style Questionnaire (link to PDF article; reference below). And then learn how to increase you levels of optimism, making it less likely you become depressed.

Increase Optimism and Decrease Depression With CBT

There is an Explanatory Style/Attributional Style Quiz in Learned Optimism, by Martin Seligman, and an online Explanatory Style/Attributional Style Quiz on his website. You’ll need to register, but it’s free.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on the YouTube video page.

Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E., & Teasdale, J. D. (1978). Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87(1), 49–74.

Peterson, Christopher & Semmel, Amy & Baeyer, Carl & Abramson, Lyn & Metalsky, Gerald & Seligman, Martin. (1982). The Attributional Style Questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research. 6. 287-299. 10.1007/BF01173577.

Seligman, M. E. P. (1991). Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-671-01911-2.