Is pessimism prudence?

My wife would probably agree and say "yes." I have always said that she would have made a great law school professor because she can see every negative possibility, some I couldn’t even imagine, in every situation! The  "parade of horribles," as it was called in law school.

Her response is that by envisioning what could go wrong, she can prepare for it happening and be ready to overcome it if it does happen. Perhaps her attitude is where i got the title for my book Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Planning for Law Firms.

In today’s ABA email, there seems to be some vindication for her approach. An article by Debra Cassens Weiss said: 

"… Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, who studies positive psychology, says most optimists do better in life than merited by their talents alone.

But with lawyers, the opposite is true.

Seligman’s survey of law students at the University of Virginia found that pessimists got better grades, were more likely to make law review and got better job offers.

"In law," he told the newspaper, ‘pessimism is considered prudence.’ "

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