November 1st, 2014| Topic: RaMbLeS | 4


Are you a hater or a liker? Glass-half-empty kinda person or a glass-full kinda one?

Apparently it can all be attributed to your “dispositional attitude,” either negative (with a strong tendency to dislike things) or positive (with a strong tendency to like things). So saith those in the know, in this case an article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “Attitudes Without Objects: Evidence for a Dispositional Attitude, Its Measurement, and Its Consequences,” by researchers from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and from University of Pennsylvania.

The dispositional attitude construct represents a new perspective in which attitudes are not simply a function of the properties of the stimuli under consideration, but are also a function of the properties of the evaluator. … Some people may simply be more prone to focusing on positive features and others on negative features. … This surprising and novel discovery expands attitude theory by demonstrating that an attitude is not simply a function of an object’s properties, but it is also a function of the properties of the individual who evaluates the object.”

Doesn’t matter you don’t dislike, if you have a negative disposition, you ain’t gonna like anything, whether it be architecture, cold showers, politics, or soccer (that’s what the scientists looked at), because of your core negativity.

And from their evaluations of subjects, these social scientists came up with a scale of dispositional attitudes. If you ranked at the positive end, you are more likely than folks on the other side to be generally open, whether it be to getting a flu shot, recycling, driving carefully etc. (again, that’s what was researched).

Well, now you blame the negativists for one more thing: efficiency!

Yup. You thought you were a loser because you hit rock bottom on the “scale of dispositional attitudes”? Well, take heart. You ain’t no loser. You’re far more efficient than your counterparts at the other end. In an ironic twist, it seems grumpy, negative haters actually do better at their jobs. That came out in Social Psychology recently, in research done by psychologists at Penn: “Liking More Means Doing More: Dispositional Attitudes Predict Patterns of General Action,”

And it’s all because those negativists focus on fewer activities, thus getting to hone their skills in specific tasks. Likers, on the other hand, do more things, thus not getting to be too good in their undertakings.

Haters and likers apparently spent the same time on activities throughout the week-long study; they simply differed in the number of activities they engaged in.

This may also have something to do with attention control: likers like all those distractions that surround them; haters may be more focused. Experts vs. Jacks-of-all-trades.

So … hate more, do better!

The Bible promotes a different thesis.

Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, o Israel! The Lord our God is One Lord;
and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:29–31

And rather than you doing work according to your dispositional attitude, the Bible says that things work for you, if you are a liker!

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

So, go love God some more! And everything’s gonna be alright, soon and very soon!


  1. Luc Ladry November 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I agree, I have experienced that despite diverse emotions, the most fruitful ones, in the end, are always the ones that were animated by godly love: in family, at work, at Church, in society at large. Thanks again Abe for helping us focus on the essential and work at it.

  2. Caroline November 2, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Bah, humbug! (Let’s see if I can finish this paper now!) C.


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