Positive Signs #16, 17, & 18

Positive Signs is a weekly series of interpretive diagrams, quotes, and speculations on creativity, optimism*, and the lives of artists, published every Wednesday through June.

Pervasiveness and Explanatory Style: Pessimists view negative events as pervasive, and positive events as specific. Optimists view negative events as specific, and positive events as pervasive.

Christine Wong Yap, Positive Sign #16 (Pervasiveness and Explanatory Style), 2011; glitter and neon pen with foil print on gridded vellum; 8.5 × 11 in./21.5 × 28 cm

Permanence and Explanatory Style. Pessimists view negative events as permanent and positive events as temporary. Optimists view negative events as temporary, and positive events as permanent.

Christine Wong Yap, Positive Sign #17 (Permanence and Explanatory Style), 2011; glitter and neon pen with foil print on gridded vellum; 8.5 × 11 in./21.5 × 28 cm

Personalization and Explanatory Style: Pessimists personalize negative events, (it's my fault) and externalize positive ones (this happened to me). Optimists personalize positive events (I made this happen) and externalize negative ones (It's not my problem).

Christine Wong Yap, Positive Sign #18 (Personalization and Explanatory Style), 2011; glitter and neon pen with foil print on gridded vellum; 8.5 × 11 in./21.5 × 28 cm

*Notwithstanding brief forays into the nature of space, stuff, experience, and cognition.


Next Wednesday: Positive Signs #19 & 20 on when to use optimism, and creative individuals’ relationships to pain and enjoyment.
See all Positive Signs to date.

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