Irish people are the most optimistic people in the world, while people in Egypt and Lebanon are the least, a new study suggests.
A study by researchers from the University of California, Irvin, Boston University, the University of Kansas and the Gallup/Clifton Strengths Institute and published in the Journal of Personality shows that most citizens in countries worldwide are optimistic.
After ranking countries in a scale of optimism, the countries with the five highest mean expectations for the future are Ireland, Brazil, Denmark, New Zealand, and the U.S. The countries with the lowest levels of optimism are Zimbabwe, Egypt, Haiti, Bulgaria, and Lebanon.
“Taken together, our results suggest that the most optimistic people in the world may be young, economically secure, educated women in Ireland, Brazil, Denmark, New Zealand, and the United States. Conversely, the most pessimistic people in the world may be old, poor, uneducated men in Zimbabwe,” the study says
Matthew Gallagher, the lead author of the study and a clinician at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University, said the study provides compelling evidence that optimism is a universal phenomenon linked to improved perceptions of physical health and improved subjective well-being worldwide.
Gallagher added: “Our results therefore suggest that optimism is not merely a benefit of living in industrialized nations, but reflects a universal characteristic that is associated with and potentially may serve to promote improved psychological functioning worldwide.”