Defensive pessimism is:
- A cognitive strategy that uses low expectations and mental rehearsal of negative outcomes to prepare for an anxiety-producing event.
- A strategy that allows for people to turn anxiety into action. (By planning for the worst-case-scenario, that scenario can often be averterted.)
- Very useful for many individuals.
- A topic that has been extensively researched and written about by Nancy Cantor and Julie Norem, both holding PhDs in Psychology.
Defensive pessimism is not:
- Inherently depressing.
- Entirely at odds with the positive psychology movement.
- A one-size-fits-all solution.