Business Insider reports on a 2015 global survey of pessimism from YouGov… “China is the only country that’s optimistic about the future”.
Interesting, although one would need to see the data broken down by age and gender to really get something out it.
I sometimes think that what the UK needs is a robust and well-tested short course for men of a certain age. It would take them through the basics of rational optimism, then inculcate awareness of the strong media bias toward pessimism, and finally train them in how to avoid falling into pessimistic habits-of-mind as they age. It might be offered to all men aged age 55, in part be based on The Rational Optimist, and would be very different from humdrum courses in happy-clappy ‘positive thinking’ or ‘mindfulness’. It would specifically train nascent “grumpy old men” in how to steer clear of becoming “grumpy old men”, and to use their rational faculties to understand how distorted aspects of their world-view (aka ‘hobby-horses’) often become as they head into middle-age. It might run alongside a general free in-depth health-check for men (minus the scary and painful anal prostate-probing, which apparently happens). Apparently age 55 is the best age for such health-checks to happen for men. Such a free course would potentially be of huge long-term social benefit, to a nation as well as to an individual.