World Constantly Improving, But People Getting More Pessimistic

As the world continues to develop, people seem to be increasingly dissatisfied. A psychological study published in Science found that the growing role of ‘problems’ in the brain may have contributed to this bias.

A survey conducted by the UK company Observation Network (YouGov) in 2015 asked people around the world, ‘Is the world getting better or worse?’ The final statistics are as follows:

pessimist people

So we can write down people are very pessimistic.

Steven Pinker, a psychologist and linguist at Harvard University, also gave a TED speech in April this year. ‘In the past few decades, human beings as a whole are becoming healthier, richer, smarter, safer and happier, but it turns out they are becoming more pessimist as well.’

People always feel that they are getting more and more problems. It is related to people’s cognitive bias. We are limited by the small time and space, and it is difficult to see the slow and wide-ranging changes. On a more microscopic point of view, some of the problems in people’s daily lives always appear to be inconsequential and lingering. We have been plagued by frequent blue screens and crashes on our computers. Now, these problems are gradually disappearing.

pessimist people

A psychology team from Harvard University found that people’s ignorance and pessimism may not be too much related to the half-cup of the water, but because ‘the cup is getting bigger.’ For example, whenever an enthusiastic community sees signs of a potentially criminal act (such as robbery or theft), it will call the police. But as the crime rate drops, can they sit back and relax? No – as the number of illegal events decreases, they may begin to be suspicious of people who are wandering around and ‘sneaky.’

pessimist people

That is to say, the ‘problem’ has never been solved because people are constantly broadening the definition of ‘problem’ – if you are a goalkeeper, the problem is like a goal that will always grow bigger, making you run out.


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