Efstratia Arampatzi, Martijn J. Burger, Spyridon Stavropoulos & Louis Tay
Journal of Happiness Studies
Publication year: 2019

Can positive expectations help foster resiliency against adversity? In this current study, we used high-frequency panel data, to examine how positive as compared to neutral and negative expectations can buffer the negative impact on subjective well-being generated by an adverse event, the announcement of the Greek bailout referendum in July 2015. Results show that individuals with more positive expectations for the future before the referendum announcement experienced smaller decreases in subjective well-being and adapted quicker to this adverse event than did individuals who held regular expectations for the future. In addition, we found some evidence that individuals who shifted from positive to negative expectations before and during the adverse event, respectively, had significantly lower subjective well-being from individuals who had consistent positive expectations. This finding supports the view that optimism, or consistent positive expectations, and even positive mindsets, as indicated by lacks of shifts to negativity, can be potentially be a source of resilience that helps individuals cope and adapt quicker to adverse events.