Are you afraid that no one would bring you groceries when your COVID test turns positive? Don’t worry! Research shows that people who are more optimistic receive more social support. 275 Japanese college students participated in a study done by Sumi to measure the correlation between optimism and social relationships.
Their level of optimism (versus pessimism) was measured with the Japanese version of the Life Orientation Test, which assesses a person’s expectancies for positive versus negative outcomes. Participants were presented with statements as “In uncertain times, I usually expect the best”. They then had to indicate how much they agreed to the statement. Their interpersonal relationships were measured with the Japanese version of the Interpersonal Relationship Inventory, which assesses social support, reciprocity of given social support, and interpersonal conflict.
People who had higher levels of optimism, scored higher on social support and reciprocity. Moreover, they scored lower on interpersonal conflict. On the other hand, people who had higher levels of pessimism, scored lower on social support and reciprocity, and higher on interpersonal conflict. This suggests that when you are more optimistic, you have a higher chance of receiving social support.
So, let’s get optimistic! You don’t want to starve after a positive COVID test result, do you?
Reference: Sumi, K. (2006). Correlations between optimism and social relationships. Psychological Reports, 99(3), 938–40.