Read the following passage and mark the letter A, B, C or D on your answer sheet to indicate the correct answer to each of the questions. Optimists have plenty to be happy about. In other words, if you can convince yourself that things will get better, the odds of it happening will improve – because you keep on playing the game. In this light, optimism “is a habitual way of explaining your setbacks to yourself”, reports Martin Seligman, the psychology professor and author of Learned Optimism. The research shows that when times get tough, optimists do better than pessimists – they succeed better at work, respond better to stress, suffer fewer depressive episodes, and achieve more personal goals. Studies also show that beliefs can help with the financial pinch. Chad Wallens, a social forecaster at the Henley Center who surveyed middle-class Britons’ beliefs about income, has found that “the people who feel wealthiest, and those who feel poorest, actually have almost the same amount of money at their disposal. Their attitudes and behavior patterns, however, are different from one another.” Optimists have something else to be cheerful about – in general, they are more robust. For example, a study of 660 volunteers by the Yale University psychologist Dr. Becca Levy found that thinking positively adds an average of seven years to your life. Other American research claims to have identified a physical mechanism behind this. A Harvard Medical School study of 670 men found that optimists have significantly better lung function. The lead author, Dr. Rosalind Wright, believes that attitude somewhat strengthens the immune system. “Preliminary studies on heart patients suggest that, by changing a person’s outlook, you can improve their mortality risk,” she says. Few studies have tried to ascertain the proportion of optimists in the world. But a 1995 national survey conducted by the American magazine Adweek found that about half the population counted themselves as optimists, with women slightly more apt than men (53 per cent versus 48 per cent) to see the sunny side. (Adapted from https://www.ielts-mentor.com) What does the passage mainly discuss? – Question and Answer English online

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