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“Is the glass half full or half empty?”

Seeing the glass half full is natural for some and nearly impossible to others. It has been shown in recent studies that reappraising the meaning of a bad situation may backfire for habitual worriers. Researchers tested this effect by showing women a series of negative and neural images. While showing the images, an electroencephalography (EEG) was used to monitor their responses. Participants were notified that a troubling image was coming up and that they should try to think about it in a positive way. If the image showed a man grabbing a woman, for example, they might imagine that the man was helping her from falling. This reframing was proven to be difficult for worriers. Worriers had an increase in two measures of electoral activity in their brains indicative of heightened emotional arousal. The EEG indicated a correlation between positive thinkers and a decrease in arousal during the study. Lead researcher Jason Moser, Michigan State University, states it may be better to take an objective, detached view of the situation.

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