Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

March 2008


A Content Analysis of Verbatim Explanations (CAVE) study of all chemistry Nobel laureates’ banquet speeches (N = 79) given in Stockholm showed that the chemists are very optimistic, with strong positive emotions that arguably help them be especially creative and satisfied in their work. The results first compared to those from the laureates in physiology or medicine (N=41), then in combination, support the contention that eminent scientists, though optimistic, also use healthy skepticism, defensive pessimism, and prudence in their approach to research. Finally, the Nobel laureates’ explanatory styles appear to be consistent with sense of equanimity and low ego attachment with outcomes, particularly evident in the low internality and controllability ratings.


CAVE, attribution, attributional, explanatory, optimism, pessimism, precocity, longevity, creativity, scientists, achievement



Date Posted: 05 November 2008