Optimism versus pessimism

Optimism versus pessimism

The discussion assignment provides a forum to discuss the relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered. For this assignment there are two parts. Provide a detailed response to the topic questions in the Discussion Area. For this assignment, post your responses directly in the Discussion Area. Do not use attached documents.

To support your work, make sure to utilize your course and text readings. When asked, utilize outside sources as well. As in all assignments, make sure to cite and provide references for your sources in your work, utilizing APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates for each part. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between one or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Complete your participation for this assignment.

Part 1

Family history, age, gender, race, and ethnicity are considered risk factors of CVD that are beyond our control because they have biological or genetic origins. Describe three CVD risk factors that are considered controllable, such as hypertension, obesity, cholesterol level (to an extent), metabolic syndrome, and tobacco use. Explain why you think some individuals choose to exercise control over these factors while others do not.

Following a cancer diagnosis, many individuals turn to the Internet as an important source of information about their condition. Explain from a psychological perspective, at least one advantage and one disadvantage of engaging in such behavior.

Part 2

Perceived self-efficacy, optimism versus pessimism, and locus of control are dimensions of the personality that have been studied in relation to high-risk behavior, such as unprotected sexual activity with a new partner. Describe these personality constructs and explain how you think they might be related to such behavior.

An interesting study by Siegel, Angulo, Detels, Wesch, and Mullen (1999) looked at the relationship between pet ownership and depression among men diagnosed with AIDS. The study revealed that among some men diagnosed with AIDS, those with pets reported less depression than those without pets. According to you, how would a psychosocial model explain this outcome?


Siegel, J. M., Angulo, F. J., Detels, R., Wesch, J., & Mullen, A. (1999). AIDS diagnosis and depression in the multicenter AIDS cohort study: The ameliorating impact of pet ownership. AIDS Care, 11(2), 157–170.