A Depressing Contradiction

To begin with, I believe that Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 contradict themselves. In Chapter 4, the researchers claim that those that are more optimistic┬áthan their somber peers die sooner. Then, in the following chapter, they claim that those that are catastrophizers die sooner. As far as I know, a catastrophizer is far from optimistic. Therefore, shouldn’t they live longer? It seems that their definitions of each personality type vary.

Additionally, their findings were very somber. The idea that those either have anxiety or feel the need to put mind over matter will be punished with early death is sad. My mom always taught me that, with the right attitude, you can overcome any problem whether that be anxiety or a common cold. While I often was sick longer than my friends, I do believe that mind over matter has a positive impact on mental health. Therefore, it is very difficult for me to believe these findings even if they are grounded on evidence.

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4 Responses to A Depressing Contradiction

  1. Jacob Roberson says:

    Alexis…. That’s a great point! I was thinking the same thing but you just worded my thoughts much better so thank you. I personally find myself to be a rather optimistic person but at the same time I can be dramatic (in a negative, not so joking kind of way) sometimes. I too believe mind of matter and controlling what you can control, but I have to disagree with your mom in that I would take medicine when I was sick because I controlled that and wanted to get well as soon as possible, haha. Nonetheless, the main point you made–the contradictions, which we have seen throughout the book thus far–still stands. We must continue to remind ourselves that these are only correlations so we must think critically about each piece of evidence.

  2. Alexa Bertrand says:

    I definitely do agree with you that the two chapters contradict themselves. I think it would’ve been more worthwhile and would’ve made more sense to the reader to simply combine the two chapters and state that you need to have a middle ground between optimism and catastrophizing. But then again, if you think about it, that is the most logical point of view. You should never look at situations too positively or negatively, but rather, you should always weigh the pros and cons.

    As to your second point, I definitely agree that I do take issue with the authors and how black and white they make these topics seem. I thin it’s probably more fair to say that these things may be true and if you don’t fall into that category, that it’s ok. I feel like a lot of the book labels people in certain ways and doesn’t allow for exceptions, which we know the world is full of.

  3. Amelia Updike says:

    I agree with your first paragraph that these two chapters contradicted themselves. This was a good finding that I looked past. A majority of this book contradicts itself, which I find kind of frustrating while reading. It is hard as a reader to know what to believe in when the authors are saying two different things, and sometimes not grounded in hard evidence. I thought it was dramatic how in chapter 5 the researchers linked catastrophizers to suicide. I found this part of the chapter to be depressing. There may be a correlation between catastrophizers and suicide, but I think it was a large conclusion to jump to.
    I like to believe that with a positive attitude you can overcome any problem as well. I think it is a good mindset to have when facing adversity.

  4. Jasmine Fernandez says:

    I agree with your thought that these two chapters contradict themselves, and I do not understand how the researchers were able to come to both of these conclusions, if each is correct. I found the claim that optimistic people die sooner to be shocking and I actually disagree because I think this depends on who you are. A person can also change while they are sick, such as going from pessimistic to optimistic about their health situation, so what would happen to that person, then? I also wish the authors had included a bit more about the evidence their findings are based on. I understand that they conducted research for years on the participants of this study, but I think I would be a little more convinced if I could see their total findings.

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