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Terapia psicológica

On-line version ISSN 0718-4808


VERA-VILLARROEL, Pablo; PAVEZ, Paula  and  SILVA, Jaime. The causal role of the optimism: towards an etiological model of well-being. Ter Psicol [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.2, pp.77-84. ISSN 0718-4808.

Research into the psychological resources that benefit health and well-being have increased dramatically in recent years. The latest data from highly rigorous and controlled studies show some of the benefits that produce positive states and affects, as well as optimism and well-being, among other positive states in physical and psychological health. In spite of this evidence, there is little information about the mechanisms and variables related to the processes of well-being, optimism and positive affects. In addition, there is no real consensus regarding the psychological and/or neurophysiological mechanisms that explain the relation to positive states and their benefit for health and mainly with respect to the causal or etiological variables of well-being. The scientific evidence about the benefits of positive states like optimism, happiness and mainly well-being is reviewed. A conceptual causal model is proposed which suggests that the level of subjective and psychological well-being is previously influenced by the level of optimism. This way, and based on the prior literature and evidence, it is proposed that optimism, being a condition learned from childhood, may stimulate the greatest number of positive experiences and positive emotions. These positive affect states would then mediate the relation between optimism and well-being and their consequences.

Keywords : Optimism; well-being; etiological model.

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