News Brief: Carnegie Mellon's Michael F. Scheier Recognized For Two Top-Cited Psychology Papers-Carnegie Mellon News - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

News Brief: Carnegie Mellon's Michael F. Scheier Recognized For Two Top-Cited Psychology Papers

Contact: Shilo Rea / 412-268-6094 / shilo@cmu.edu

ScheierPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Michael F. Scheier was recently recognized by two leading psychology journals for having two top-cited papers.

Scheier's 1985 landmark paper "Optimism, Coping and Health: Assessment and Implications of Generalized Expectancies" has been the American Psychological Association's Health Psychology journal's fifth most downloaded article during the past three months among papers published since 1982. The paper provides a theoretical rationale for understanding why optimism might be beneficial for health and describes an initial version of a scale measuring dispositional optimism that has become one of the most popular ways to test for optimism and pessimism.

The other papers in Health Psychology's top five were all published within the last 10 years, making Scheier and co-author Charles S. Carver's work stand out even more.

"The paper contains a measurement instrument that Carver and I revised (along with Mike Bridges) in the mid-1990's," said Scheier, professor of psychology who just finished serving 10.5 years as head of CMU's Department of Psychology.  "That newer scale continues to be the scale of choice to measure dispositional optimism.  My sense is that people are still interested in the earlier paper in order to see how the original and revised scales differ and to get a better understanding of the conceptual underpinnings of the personality trait."

Scheier's second paper, "Optimism," with Carver and Suzanne C. Segerstrom, is one of the five top-cited papers published in the Clinical Psychology Review from 2009-2013. "Optimism" explains why optimists tend to fare better than pessimists economically, in relationships and with general well-being. It points out that the behavioral patterns of optimists appear to provide models for living that others can learn from.

Scheier joined the CMU faculty in 1975 and is a leading researcher in the field of health psychology, particularly in the exploration of optimism's influence on health outcomes. Additionally, his research explores the psychological factors of coping with serious illnesses.  

For more on Scheier, visit http://www.psy.cmu.edu/people/scheier.html.

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CMU's Michael F. Scheier (pictured above) is a leading researcher in the field of health psychology, particularly in the exploration of optimism's influence on health outcomes.