Half empty, half full: The psychological roots of optimism |
n this fascinating book, Columbia University research scientist and psychoanalyst Susan Vaughan argues that our fundamental view of life as half empty or half full is determined by our capacity for emotional self-modulation. Based on her years of experience as a therapist and researcher, Dr. Vaughan shows how a sense of control over feelings like anger, anxiety, sadness, and even elation promotes optimism and well being. In contrast, feeling out of control makes us pessimistic and glum.
Dr. Vaughan asserts that the roots of self-control are laid down through early interactions with caretakers, everyday experiences that literally shape the neural circuitry of the brain. The pictures of self and other formed in the first three years establish the basis for mood modulation in later life. How to limit the impact of early life and reshape our neural circuitry for effective mood modulation is the promise, and the gift, of this book. A convivial and accessible writer, Vaughan engages the reader in a conversation about what really determines whether we see the proverbial glass-as well as ourselves and the world around us-as half empty or half full.