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Optimism May Help Female Undergrads With Their Grades

Optimism May Help Female Undergrads With Their Grades

12/01/11

THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Optimism is associated with higher grades for female students, but lower marks for males, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel assessed the attitudes and grades of 174 business undergraduates (28 percent male, 72 percent female) aged 20 to 28.

The investigators found that female students who were more optimistic had higher grades than those who were less optimistic. However, high levels of optimism in male students tended to lead to overconfidence and less studying, resulting in lower grades, the findings indicated.

The study was presented earlier this year at the International Conference on Positive Psychology in Philadelphia.

"Optimism in male students can lead to overconfidence or an attitude of 'things will work out for the best,'" Tamar Icekson, a doctoral student in the Faculty of Business and Management, said in a university news release. "So instead of studying enough for a test, they go out the night before."

"For female students, optimism alone was beneficial because they're naturally more conscientious than their male counterparts," Icekson said. "Women have lower self-esteem and so if they are not sure things will work out, they study for the test."

While the study uncovered an association between attitude and grades, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains the link between health and academics.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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