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Mark Stringer's Blog

Uh oh

The way your mother talked about the world to you when you were a child had a marked influence on your explanatory style. We found out this by giving explanatory style questionnaires to one hundred children and their parents. The mother's level of optimism and the child's level were very similar. This was true of both sons and daughters. We were surprised to find that neither the children's style, nor the mother's style bore any resemblance to the father's style. This tells us that the young children listen to whatever their primary caretaker (usually their mother) says about causes, and they tend to make this style their own. If the child has an optimistic mother, this is great, but it can be a disaster for the child if the child has a pessimistic motehr.
(from Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman)

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