Yes, there is hope!
Outliers has always tended to be a glass half-full kind of column. And now, a new study shows that the tendency to feel good about the future isn’t just because spring is finally in the air and the sun is shining.
In fact, no matter where you live, how much you earn or how long you’re expected to live, chances are you believe the future will be at least as good as, if not better than, the present.
Shane Lopez, who touts himself as the “world’s leading researcher on hope” on his Web page at the University of Kansas’ School of Business, looked at Gallup World Poll surveys of more than 150,000 individuals in 142 countries, whose inhabitants are representative of 95% of the world’s population.
And what they found was that 89% of respondents expressed optimism about how their lives would turn out, and the tendency toward optimism was irrespective of age, gender, education or household income.
While there was some country-to-country variation in optimism levels, the results did not seem to be correlated to gross domestic product or life expectancy—and both richer and poorer countries had comparable levels of hope for the future.
In fact, in every country but one the majority of respondents had an optimistic view of what tomorrow will bring. The results were published in the Journal of Personality. Meanwhile, we at Outliers just know that this is the year that the Cubs will win the World Series.