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The Pessimist's 3P's
Derived from the ABC Model, initially developed by psychologist Dr. Albert Ellis and further modified by Dr. Martin Seligman, the concept of "Explanatory Style" highlights a notable difference between pessimists and optimists in how they explain adversity to themselves.
The Pessimist's 3P's:
Permanence: Pessimistic people unconsciously assume that the causes of bad events are permanent, while optimists believe that bad events are temporary.
For example, when failing a job interview, a pessimist might think "I'll never get a job. I'm just not good enough."
Pervasiveness: Pessimists make universal statements about their lives when something goes badly, while optimists make specific statements.
For example, "I'm a failure in everything I do. Nothing ever goes right for me."
Personalization: Pessimists often take negative events or situations personally, and blame themselves for everything that goes wrong, while optimists consider all variables within the larger system influencing the outcome, such as resources, timing, culture, other people and their roles, mood, energy level and health, skills & abilities, mindset and attitudes, weather conditions, aesthetics of the environment...
For example, "It's all my fault.", "I am the cause of this failure.".
Overall, the "Pessimist’s 3P's" can lead to a pessimistic and defeatist outlook on life. By recognizing and challenging these negative thought patterns, individuals can work towards developing more positive and optimistic beliefs, leading to better emotional and behavioral outcomes.
MindTools | Home. (n.d.). https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/abc.htm
Seligman, M. E. (2011). Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. Vintage.