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Half Empty, Half Full: Understanding the Psychological Roots of Optimism
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Half Empty, Half Full: Understanding the Psychological Roots of Optimism

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Why do some people lead positive, hope-filled lives, while others wallow in pessimism? In her groundbreaking book, Half Empty, Half Full, leading psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and researcher Susan C. Vaughan reveals the specific character traits that produce highly hopeful individuals and offers fresh and helpful advice on how to become a more optimistic person. Examining t ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 3rd 2001 by Mariner Books (first published May 8th 2000)
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HeavyReader
Jun 16, 2015 HeavyReader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: optimists and pessimists
In this book, Susan Vaughan (a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst) explores optimism and pessimism and asserts that neither condition is innate.She describes research that shows that optimism comes from strong self-esteem, which comes from feeling in control, which is learned in infancy primarily through interactions with (surprise!) one's mother.

I guess a pessimist would read this book and be pissed at his/her mother for messing things up for him/her from the start. An optimist would believe that s
...more
Lisa
Jun 05, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed learning about the fundamental differences between people who are pessimistic vs. optimistic. It felt less like a self help book and more like a book giving you information based on research. I'm using the information presented to instill optimism in my children. They didn't give specific ways to do this but the research teaches you what basic beliefs/concepts people believe that are either the basis of their optimism or pessimism. Very interesting.
Leslie
Jun 15, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it
Another chance to look into the looking glass and think. Vaughan has certainly provided plenty of well researched studies and counseling anecdotes to be useful as a step towards self-help. I'm not quite finished yet, so I await assigning the remaining "star". Now that I've finished the book, can't decide if it earned the last star. I should have taken notes!
Tanya
Jul 17, 2012 Tanya rated it really liked it


Not crazy about her writing style but several key concepts were fascinating. LOVED the study data info... And it had a very enlightening section on how a mother's interaction with her infants can have long reaching effects. Thought provoking.
Alexander
Aug 30, 2007 Alexander rated it it was amazing
Anecdotal, yet powerful in Susan's analysis.

If you think 'thinking positive' is just another thing that teachers say, you'll be surprised at all of the case studies and anecdotes that Vaughan has brought together.

Highly recommended.
Wisteria Leigh
non-fiction,psychology,self-help,optimism
Jason
Aug 09, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it
Great introduction to the benefits of optimism. I would not view this as self help as much as scientific understanding and support for the practice of optimism. Well written and entertaining.
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