The Outlook Dimension


  1. When I am invited to meet new people, I look forward to it, thinking they might become my friends, rather than seeing it as a chore, figuring these people will never be worth knowing.
  2. When evaluating a coworker, I focus on details about which areas he needs to improve rather than on his positive overall performance.
  3. I believe the next ten years will be better for me than the last ten.
  4. Faced with the possibility of moving to a new city, I regard it as a frightening step into the unknown.
  5. When something small but unexpected and positive happens to me in the morning—for example, having a great conversation with a stranger—the positive mood fades within minutes.
  6. When I go to a party and I’m having a good time at the outset, the positive feeling tends to last for the entire evening.
  7. I find that beautiful scenes such as a gorgeous sunset quickly wear off and I get bored easily.
  8. When I wake up in the morning I can think of a pleasant activity that I’ve planned, and the thought puts me in a good mood that lasts the entire day.
  9. When I go to a museum or attend a concert, the first few minutes are really enjoyable, but it doesn’t last.
  10. I often feel that on busy days I can keep going from one event to the next without getting tired.

Give yourself one point for each True answer to questions 1, 3, 6, 8, and 10; score zero for each False answer. Give yourself one point for each False answer to 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9; score zero for each True answer. The higher your score, the closer you are to the Positive end of the Outlook style. Anything above seven is a Positive type, while a score below three is a Negative type.

Neurological Aspects of the Positive Outlook of the Brain

In 1982 a discovery showed that a greater activity in the left prefrontal cortex was associated with positive emotions and a greater activity of the right prefrontal cortex was associated with negative emotions. People who tend to have depressing feelings show a greater activity in the right prefrontal cortex.  What is more interesting although is that people suffering from depression experience ”happy” feelings but do not experience them for a long time compare to healthy peolple.  An inability to sustain a pleasant emotion or experience in more depressed people seem to matter more than the capacity to live this pleasant emotion which is seen in both depressed and non depressed subjects. More technically, low activity in the ventral striatum (which includes the nucleus accumbens reponsible for the release and the capture of dopamine) due to less input from the prefrontal cortex is a mark of a negative outlook.  Meditation is known to transform that.