Canadian Positive Psychology Association

Defensive Pessimism Implications for Positive Psychology.

  • 28 Nov 2012
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Online Webinar


  • Free for Members
  • Small fee for our non-members.

Registration is closed

Defensive Pessimism Research

and its implications for positive psychology:

(Or, why I'm defensively pessimistic about positive psychology.)


CPPA Webinar Speaker Series with Dr. Julie Norem


Wednesday Nov. 28, 2012,

1 - 2pm EST

Always free for Members

$19.95 for non-members

Defensive Pessimism is a strategy anxious people may use to pursue important goals, and (unlike strategic optimism) involves having low expectations and thinking through the possible outcomes of a situation. This webinar will review major findings in defensive pessimism research and focus on the ways in which defensive pessimism can be an appropriate and effective adaptation for those who feel anxious. Defensive pessimism points to potential pitfalls in using positive psychology as a framework for research, and as a platform for recommending personal, institutional  and societal changes.


In this webinar Dr. Norem, the leading researcher on defensive pessimism, will discuss the research on defensive pessimism and its implications for positive psychology both in terms of theory and practice.





More about our speaker:

Julie Norem's research explores the strategy of defensive pessimism and its implications for the adaptation of those who use it.  She is a frequent commentator on the costs and benefits of optimism and pessimism, and the limitations of a "positive outlook."  


She was President of the Association for Research in Personality, and holds the Margaret Hamm Professorship in Psychology at Wellesley College, where she was also Department Chair, and has taught for 20 years. Her book on defensive pessimism, The Positive Power of Negative Thinking (Basic Books) was published in 2001.  Her research has been published in top journals, such as The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and books such as The Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology. Dr. Norem has served as associate editor of the Journal for Research in Personality and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.


Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The London Times, SELF, "O," Cosmopolitan, Men's Health and dozens of other print media. She has appeared in many regional, national and international radio programs, on "Chronicle" (ABC Boston affiliate news show), and the ABC special "Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist."

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