Optimism and pessimism in teaching process

  • Svetlana Stancekova Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, 1, Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 949 74, Nitra, Slovakia
  • Katarina Chvalova Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, 1, Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 949 74, Slovakia
  • Ervin Weiss


This paper aims to investigate attribution theory and its links between optimism and pessimism and reveal how they influence a student `s success in learning a foreign language. Optimism and pessimism attest to attribution styles, thus reflecting the learner`s success or failure in learning a foreign language, while raising the importance of intrinsic motivation in the teaching process. Accordingly, Weiner`s (1994) reasons to which learner`s attribute their past success creates motivational dispositions, ensuring that students will not take up the previous activity again. The research interest focuses on two aspects. One presents the association between depression and a pessimistic explanation of negative events, whilst pointing at the shift of research from helplessness, depression and pessimism towards the relationship between optimistic attribution style and psychological well-being. The other one represents optimistic attribution style and thinking associated with higher grades, which may lead to either increased persistence or to relaxation and withdrawal of effort. The first aspect concerning pessimistic thinking may entail not only helplessness, but also the passivity of students. This way research into optimism and pessimism in the context of attribution theory might testify about the teacher`s approach to learners at his/her classes.
Research Article