OPTIMISM AND COGNITIVE ABILITY RESEARCH

291 views 8 pages ~ 2059 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

The major goal of this research is to determine the value of optimism and cognitive ability to individuals and to confirm whether they have a negative or positive relationship. To accomplish so, the researcher chose an organization to test the hypothesis on and conducted a survey to assess the association between optimism and cognitive abilities in the workplace. The researcher devised a study design, chose certain research procedures, and used them to collect data. He then summarized and analyzed the data before drawing conclusions to prove the hypothesis based on the findings.  Optimism is a mental attitude whereby an individual expects a positive outcome of events despite the probabilities of the outcome being false. Cognition is the thinking process of an individual. The cognitive ability is the mental process in the brain that knows what it should prompt the body to do on the basis of knowledge or intuition, awareness, perception, reasoning and judgements. The cognitive abilities also known as the intelligence levels can be measured by the individual's ability to memory, attentiveness to detail, verbal and mathematical abilities, problem solving and decision making skills. The study aims at determining the relationship between optimism and cognitive ability. An optimistic individual with excellent cognitive abilities would therefore be the best in thinking critically, taking all possibilities into consideration, making decisions and solving problems in the most effective way within the shortest time possible using the available resources.

Design of the Study

This is a hypothesis study on the relationship between optimism and cognitive abilities. The relationship may be positive or negative based on the research findings and analysis. The study shall take place within an organisation so as to view the relationship of the two within a general working environment in a production company. The aim of the study is to determine whether the relationship between the two provides a better input into the organisation and output achieving better results in terms of the organisational goals and objectives.

Research Methodology

The data for the survey was collected through observation, verbal interviews and questionnaires forms with a questionnaire to determine the participant's optimism and cognitive ability levels. First the researcher observed the organisational structure, the individuals within the organisation, the number of departments and the processes of production. Participants were picked at random from different departments and different levels of the organisation structure within the organisation. They were informed that participation was optional and those who were not willing to participate did not have to get involved (Scott & Reynolds 2010). Those who agreed to participate were verbally interviewed then issued with the survey forms which had instructions to carry out an activity and fill in the questionnaire below the activities. The participants were informed that the activities were optional therefore those who did not want to carry out the activities could just answer the questionnaire. They were informed that they would remain anonymous and the information they put in the questionnaire would remain confidential and would only be used for the purpose of the educational survey.

Data Analysis

The researcher carried out both a qualitative and a quantitative analysis of the data collected. The quantitative analysis involved data classification into three clusters namely departmental, structural hierarchy and age group. The qualitative analysis involved merging answers from the interview and the survey for each participant then analysing them to test the cognitive abilities in terms of memory and narration and the optimism each individual who participated had. The researcher then went ahead to observe how the participants carried out their activities at work and compared their thoughts with the responses from the survey forms. The researcher also observed the quality and quantity of work the participants did, their innovativeness at work, their social relationships with co-workers and their overall performance (Hmieleski, & Baron 2009). The researcher then drew summaries and conclusions to their observations on each participant.

Result Presentation

The differential statistics were derived from the quantitative analysis. The researcher put the number of participants in a table and the rest of the statistics were just written down. Out of fifty staff members thirty five participated in the survey which was a 70% turn out. There were five departments' namely administrative sales, production, finance and marketing. Each department was represented by one manager, supervisors and junior staff as presented in table 1 below.

The inferential statistics were summarised as follows

4 of the managers had high levels of cognitive abilities while the other one was average. The Production, Sales and Marketing managers were very optimistic while the other two were pessimistic most of the time. This would lead to the conclusion that a combination of cognitive ability and optimism were good managerial traits for innovativeness, strategic planning, good decision making and problem solving (Escher et.al, 2002).

Out of the 11 supervisors interviewed 8 had high cognitive abilities while the other three were average. Once again the sales, marketing and production teams were all optimistic while the finance and administration were not hence 9 optimistic and 2 pessimistic. This would conclude that high cognitive skills an optimism are essential for successful production, sales and marketing while in the administrative and finance departments at least average cognitive abilities are required in supervising but optimism is not so essential (Noe et.al, 2006)

5 out of 15 of the junior staff had high cognitive skills 2 were average and 8 were low. 13 of the junior staff were optimistic and only 2 were pessimistic. This would conclude that optimism is very important in all junior staff in order to motivate them to carry out their duties and responsibilities effectively while cognitive ability is not as important but is good to cultivate from this stage for future growth in the organisation (Carver et.al, 2010).

Discussion

From the research and analysis the researcher carried out, we could point out that there is a very close relationship between optimism and cognitive ability. Individuals with high cognitive ability have good memories, can identify opportunities faster and know what resources to use to tap into the opportunities at the lowest cost possible without compromising on quality in order to attain positive results like profits and growth. They are therefore able to make wise decisions quickly and solve problems quickly. In order to think like that one has to have a positive mind (Langabeer & Delli, 2011). That is why we see more than 90% of managers and supervisors having high cognitive abilities. Without optimism individuals are not open to think of solutions to problems or make decisions quickly. The junior members of staff have little worry and are optimistic about their work because they have a lot of room for growth. Those who possess average cognitive are likely to climb the corporate ladder faster. They stick more to routine and do not think outside the box.

The limitations to this research were that the participants may not have taken keen interest in giving true feedback to the researcher. Also it is sometimes difficult to observe the true character of individuals at the workplace. It was also impossible to get data of previous performance levels of the participants especially for the managers and the supervisors. The researcher initially had 42 willing participants but only got feedback from 35. If I were to conduct this study again, I would give it a longer time frame to get more positive results. I would recommend at least six months and at least two surveys to monitor the cognitive values of individuals better. To have more time, I would carry out the surveys during school holidays for better results.

References

Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Segerstrom, S. C. (2010). Optimism. Clinical psychology review, 30(7), 879-889.

Escher, S., Grabarkiewicz, R., Frese, M., Gwenda, v. S., & al, e. (2002). The moderator effect of cognitive ability on the relationship between planning strategies and business success of small scale business owners in South Africa: A longitudinal study. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 7(3), 305-318. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/208430168?accountid=45049

Hmieleski, K. M., & Baron, R. A. (2009). Entrepreneurs' optimism and new venture performance: A social cognitive perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 52(3), 473-488.

Langabeer,James R.,,II,& DelliFraine, J. (2011). Does CEO optimism affect strategic process? Management Research Review, 34(8), 857-868. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01409171111152484

Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2006). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage.

Scott, J., & Reynolds, D. H. (2010). Handbook of workplace assessment. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Appendix

Table 1: Number of Participants in the Survey

Department

Designation Managers Supervisors Junior Staff

Administrative 1 1 1

Finance 1 1 1

Production 1 2 5

Sales 1 4 10

Marketing 1 3 2

Survey Interview and Questionnaire Contents

Q22 Do you wish to complete the survey? Please indicate your response and click the advance button.

Yes (1)

No (2)

Condition: No Is Selected. Skip To: End of Survey.

Q16 Timing

First Click (1)

Last Click (2)

Page Submit (3)

Click Count (4)

Q16 Your challenge is to remember the words provided below. Please do not write down the words or say them aloud. Concentrate briefly for few seconds on each word. You will be given 2 minutes to memorize the list of words, after which point you will be automatically directed to the next portion of the assessment.   House Shoe Mirror Car Flower Telephone Gate Tree Ring Pen Bird Earring Coin

Q17 Timing

First Click (1)

Last Click (2)

Page Submit (3)

Click Count (4)

Q7 Please take six minutes to write a short paragraph about a time when you went to the grocery store. After six minutes, the screen will automatically advance. You will not see the advance button until six minutes have passed.

Q16 Please take six minutes to write a short paragraph about a time when you were happy. After six minutes, the screen will automatically advance. You will not see the advance button until six minutes have passed.

Q8 Please write as many of the words you remember from the list you were shown at the beginning of the survey -- be sure to spell the words correctly. You are not required to list the words in the order they were presented to you.

1 (1)

2 (2)

3 (3)

4 (4)

5 (5)

6 (6)

7 (7)

8 (8)

9 (9)

10 (10)

11 (11)

12 (12)

13 (13)

Q18 Next, you will be asked to rate how you are feeling after the activity. Please rate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements.

Q9 I feel optimistic.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q10 I feel reflective.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q11 I feel challenged.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q12 I feel positive.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q13 I feel discouraged.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q14 I feel inspired.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q23 I did my best to memorize the provided list of words.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q24 I did my best to recall all possible words. 

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q18 I took this survey seriously.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q20 This survey was easy to understand.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q21 I had difficulty understanding this survey.

Strongly disagree (1)

Disagree (2)

Somewhat disagree (3)

Neither agree nor disagree (4)

Somewhat agree (5)

Agree (6)

Strongly agree (7)

Q14 What is your gender?

Male (1)

Female (2)

Other (3)

Q15 What is your age?

Q15 Thank you for your participation in our study.  We sought to measure the effects of optimism on enhancing cognitive memory. After being presented a list of 13 words, participants were told to either write a narrative about a time they were happy, or about a neutral experience. This was our mode of operationalizing optimism. We then tested you to evaluate whether the presence or absence of optimism-inducing exercises enhanced cognitive memory. This study was conducted solely for educational purposes. These data will never be used outside of the Psychology 205 Research Methods course.    If you are interested in seeing the results of your test, contact [email protected] for further information. If you have any further questions about the study, please contact [email protected].

April 19, 2023
Category:

Education Economics

Subcategory:

Learning Workforce

Number of pages

8

Number of words

2059

Downloads:

26

Writer #

Rate:

4.4

Expertise Organization
Verified writer

RiaSm02 is great for all things related to education. Sharing a case study that I could not understand for the life of mine, I received immediate help. Great writer and amazing service that won’t break the bank!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro