Which is Your World? How Optimists and Pessimists See our Future

If you were to become the supreme leader of the universe, what would you change? Your answer to this question likely reflects on how you see the world, and whether you’re generally more optimistic or pessimistic in nature. Here at GroupSolver, we want to get to know you, so we asked participants what they would like to happen in the world within the next 5 years. Responses ranged from wanting to understand UFO’s to the desire to solve world hunger, but through the use of GroupSolver technology, we were able to narrow answers down to just a few simple categories.

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Demographic:”Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist?”[/caption]

A Range in Needed Change

Of the key categories we found, the concept of creating greater peace in the world was consistently supported. Many individuals (90%) supported wanting “more cooperation between countries”, but 90% of respondents also specifically agreed with the desire to have “more tolerance and kindness towards others.” Responses also included desires for the world to have more respect, less violence, and increased cooperation and understanding between people of different belief systems. This illustrates that respondents felt as though it is important to increase levels of peace on multiple fronts, not just as an abstract idea.

In addition to suggesting greater peace, many respondents also asserted the need for government changes. Recommendations for government change included making improvements to the economy (supported by 99%), creating changes to labor laws (90%), and becoming more unified (90%). We also discovered that men who reported voting for Donald Trump in the previous election were more likely to assert a need for less corruption. However, women who reported voting for Clinton were more focused on ending poverty and encouraging unity. Although both groups had several suggestions in common (such as the 84% who supported the desire for Americans to begin working together), these differences give insight into differences between genders and political parties.

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Demographic: “Who did you vote for in the presidential election?”[/caption]

Half Full vs. Half Empty

While conducting this survey, we were not only interested in what individuals would like to change, but how they viewed the world today. We therefore asked respondents, “how would you describe the world you live in right now?”. We were also interested, however, in understanding how pessimists and optimists view the world differently. By requesting that respondents reveal their identity as either optimists (57%), pessimists (17%), or neither (26%), we were able to find some interesting differences.

Although less respondents identified themselves as pessimists, those who did still had some definitive opinions. As expected, pessimists tended to describe the current world negatively, and used words such as “chaotic”, “busy”, “in need of help”, and even “turbulent.” When asked what changes they would like to see in the world, they were also more likely than optimists to agree with statements suggesting changes related to education, such as: better preparing younger generations for careers after college (89%), increasing education (91%), and learning lessons from history (85%). This indicates that pessimists believe better educational practices will bring about the knowledge necessary to stabilize and help the world overcome its difficulties.

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IdeaCloud™ displaying results of optimists response to the question, “How would you describe the world you live in right now?”[/caption]

Ever true to their title, optimists were more likely to express positive outlooks concerning the world. Although many still expressed that the world today is vast and dangerous, a majority of optimists stated that there was still hope for the future. In describing the world, optimists used words such as “connected”, “beautiful”, and “interesting.” These descriptions represent a more positive worldview, but self-proclaimed optimists were still open to world change. The world changes optimists wanted tended to relate to the comfort and well-being of others, such as ending the refugee crisis (74%), eliminating poverty (86%), and caring more fully for the elderly (88%). Such changes relate to views already shared by optimists, as these changes reflect a feeling of connection between people of different ages and cultures.

It is unlikely that you’ll ever get that “supreme leader of the universe” title. However, what you can get is answers. How do your employees or colleagues view your office? What changes would they like to see? Their answers may surprise you, and here at GroupSolver we’re ready to help you find out.

Author: Kira Proudfit