IMAT 2020 Q2 [Conclusion | Positivity]

Thousands of books and blogs – and quite a bit of legitimate science – sing the praises of positivity. Optimistic, happy people tend to be healthier, more physically active and more successful. They may even live longer. But as shown by research, positivity, when deployed at the wrong time or in the wrong amount, can have negative effects. For example, when it comes to waiting for the results of an exam or a job interview, ‘being prepared for the worst’ is shown to be a better strategy for protecting ourselves than categorical optimism. When it comes to health, negative thinking spurs people into seeking information and engaging in healthy behaviour. Finally, relentlessly positive people may seem dismissive or insensitive to friends who are having difficulties, seeming to make light of their problems.

Which one of the following best expresses the main conclusion of the above argument?

A. Positive thinking is not always helpful.

B. Negative thinking about health can be beneficial.

C. People who think positively live longer.

D. Being overly positive can damage our relationships with friends.

E. Research into positivity has so far ignored its potential downsides.