Expectations in Psychology 


There are 2 types of people: pessimists and optimists
  • pessimists expect the worse outcome of every situation: most psychologists say this is a bad attitude to have causing people to always have negative and melancholy feelings toward life but there are also many psychologists that say expecting the worse is not always such a bad thing. when expecting the worse outcome, 5/10 times the outcome  will be better than what you expected causing you to be happy and never disappointed
  • Optimism can be dangerous as they are always expecting the best and that life will always have good and happy outcomes but as we know this does not always happen in our lives. In an article, “The Dangers of Optimism,” by Susan Kranz she states that, “It is important to recognize the reality of life—which is that it sometimes sucks. (Optimists) while trying to be encouraging and supportive, completely overlook the reality of life’s (negatives) and leads us to ignore our problems instead of dealing with them.”

Making our expectations unrealistically high
  • By making high expectations for ourselves we set ourselves up for disappointment because not everything is going to be perfect which only assures our frustration and unhappiness

Positives vs. Negatives of Low Expectations 
Positive Aspects of Low Expectations
 1) When having low expectations, the outcome is always better leaving us more satisfied
            ·  Expectations are said to ruin happiness

             · When making unrealistic expectations we set ourselves up for disappointment because it did not turn out to be perfect as we expected 

2) Life with low expectations gives us no preconceived ideas of how something will outcome
              ·     Low or no expectations lets us consign the outcome
Negative Aspects of Low Expectations
1) by having low expectations, “you will unconsciously prevent yourself from succeeding.” (Article: Self-Expectations by Mr. Andrews)
              ·      We stop striving to be the best we can because we become satisfied with the average or the C on an exam
              ·       We don’t always get the best out of life because we become lazy and unmotivated


Self Fulfilling Prophecy 

  • self fulfilling prophecy is when our expectations cause us to act and behave in a certain way in order to cause the expected scenario to occur 
  • when doing this people tend to create what ever they seek and set themselves up for
  • can be positive or negative 
  • fear is a self fulfilling prophecy because fearing is the greatest fear of all, fear immobilizes a person and tells them what they can and canot do even if it is not entirely the truth 
  • this type of self fulfilling prophecy creates a life that is more difficult to live in
  • causes a person to become physiologically dead 
  • fear becomes the persons reality because the things they fear will come to rise as the prophesy and sooner than later they will be faced with the fears that they have faced the most 
  • self fulfilling prophesy arose from the pygmalion effect 
  • the pygmalion effect comes from the Greek story of Pygmalion the sculptor who carved his ideal woman into a ivory stone and falls in love with his own creation and hopes and dreams of her coming into a reality and soon,Venus (Aphrodite) brought her to life as Galatea 
  • if a person is treated by others as if they are capable of success, they tend to be able to do better; the impression or expectation of others is something that is quite difficult to change so therefore it causes us to pressurize ourselves in order to live up to the self fulfilling prophecy 

Expectations As We Age

  • “a study by the University of Chicago sociologist Yang Yang, found that we grow happier as we age because older people have fewer goals to reach in life resulting in fewer expectations to be made
  • “A study conducted by Wharton School economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, found that women are less happy today than they were in the 1970s,” says Eric Weiner in his article Lowered Expectations. The economists say that the women’s movement gave women across the world hope to go out, work, and have power which elevated their expectations, “faster than society was able to meet them.”

Women’s happiness has changed since 1970
·  A study conducted by Wharton School economists, found that women are less happy today than they were in the 1970s. They found this to be true because the women's movement in the workplace "raised the women's expectations faster than society was able to meet them."

Denmark: The Happiest Place in the World

           In an article called Lowered Expectations by Eric Weiner, researchers found the answer to this mysterious question. Low expectations year after year seems to be the key to happiness for the Danes. “Danes seem to know instinctively that expectations kill happiness,” stated Eric. The Danes are showing a lesson for the rest of us, if we just calm down and don’t expect anything to unrealistic, we could look at our lives and finally be satisfied instead of trying to be better than the next guy. We were born with this unrealistic image that we must have the most money and be the most famous but all those things are unrealistic. We have to try to do our best and be satisfied with the outcome and when our expectations are unimaginable and wild- we lead our selves into a bottomless pit of depression. 
          In a 60 Minutes segment, Dr. Christensen states his idea of how very few Danish people become depressed is Denmark's isolation. "What we basically figured out that although the Danes were very happy with their life, when we looked at their expectations they were pretty modest," Dr Christensen explains. This goes along with the main idea that we should all have expectations in our lives but keeping them realistic is the key idea. If one were to do extremely poor on his or her job performance, then one should never expect a promotion. That person should keep trying and try to improve their job performance, later realizing that by not trying harder and just expecting a promotion that they would never receive they were left very disappointed. But if they realized that a promotion was completely unrealistic, and they kept trying harder to get that promotion, they would receive it because they were not stuck on this perplex dream that was not going to come true without time and effort. Dr Christensen goes along to state that "what if it was opposite? That Denmark made the worst, number 20, and another country was number one. I'm pretty sure the Danish television would have said, 'Well, number 20's not too bad. You know it's still in the top 25.'" This really shows that the Danish are happy with what is given to them and never expect anything more. If they are given something, they appreciate it and would never ask for more being unhappy with their gift. 

Self- Esteem

Self-esteem can be defined as the way in which a person looks and values themselves. When a person has a high self-esteem this simply means that one has high standards of life but these standards aren't ridiculous. This person is truly able to meet their standards and almost never fails to meet them. A person that has a low self-esteem is always unsure of their actions, always asking other's opinions, has low unhealthy self-expectations, or has unrealistically high self-expectations. When a person attains a healthy self-esteem they are able to work and try no matter if they have to face failure rather than one with low self-esteem who becomes very dramatic and sees the world ending when they fail at completing a goal. In life we have to evaluate our self expectations all the time because for instance as high school students we feel that we are superman and think we are able to save all of our assignments until the last minute until we realize we have four papers, two tests, and a project due the next day. It is unrealistic and we have to realize this before we are left with a huge amount of work the day before something is due. Acquiring high self expectations is always good because it pushes oneself to try harder. The danger of high expectations comes when we fail at one of these goals or standards and we become very hard on ourselves and don't give our selves a break or any credit for trying our hardest. If seven people are working to try to obtain the same top position, only one person is going to get the job which leaves six losers. We have to fail at some point in our lives, but the strongest people are the ones who can take that failure, learn from it, and try harder. 

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