Positive fantasies about how future events will turn out can lead to increased depressive symptoms in the long run, revealed a new study.
Positive or negative thinking is more than just a personality trait. If an individual considers himself as an optimistic person,the bad news is that their sunny outlook makes them more prone to depression, according to a study conducted by the New York University.
Lead researcher Gabriele Oettingen said that the findings suggest that as pleasurable and helpful as positive fantasies are for depressive mood in the moment, they can be problematic and cumbersome over time.
Additional findings indicate that individual effort may help to explain, at least in part, the link between positive fantasies and depressive symptoms.
College students who reported positive fantasies tended to report putting less effort into their coursework, this was, in turn, associated with lower grades and higher depression scores.
Oettingen said further experimental research would be needed to determine whether there is a direct causal link between positive fantasies and depressive symptoms in the long term.
The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.