Illusion and well-being: a social psychological perspective on mental health.

@article{Taylor1988IllusionAW,
  title={Illusion and well-being: a social psychological perspective on mental health.},
  author={S. Earl b. Taylor and J D Brown},
  journal={Psychological bulletin},
  year={1988},
  volume={103 2},
  pages={
          193-210
        }
}
Many prominent theorists have argued that accurate perceptions of the self, the world, and the future are essential for mental health. Yet considerable research evidence suggests that overly positive selfevaluations, exaggerated perceptions of control or mastery, and unrealistic optimism are characteristic of normal human thought. Moreover, these illusions appear to promote other criteria of mental health, including the ability to care about others, the ability to be happy or contented, and the… 
Positive illusions and mental and physical health in later life
TLDR
Retirees who harboured an exaggerated youthful bias reported more satisfaction with leisure time, higher self-esteem, better perceived health, and less boredom proneness than those who felt as old as they were or who, except for perceived health), entertained a moderate youthful bias.
Psychological resources, positive illusions, and health.
TLDR
A program of research tested the implications of cognitive adaptation theory and research on positive illusions for the relation of positive beliefs to disease progression among men infected with HIV to suggest psychological beliefs such as meaning, control, and optimism may not only preserve mental health in the context of traumatic or life-threatening events but be protective of physical health as well.
The costs and benefits of positive illusions
TLDR
This paper describes positive illusions, their potential benefits but also quantifies their costs in five specific fields (gambling, stock and other markets, new firms and startups, preventive medicine and wars) and the psychological reasons giving rise to positive illusions.
Positive Illusions: Positively Correlated with Subjective Well-Being, Negatively Correlated with a Measure of Personal Growth
Psychologists have long debated the benefits and costs of self-deceptive enhancement or positive illusions. Accurate perception of reality is central to the definitions of mental health proposed by
DO POSITIVE ILLUSIONS FOSTER MENTAL HEALTH ? The Taylor and Brown Evidence for Unrealistic Positive Views of the Self
The proposition recently offered by S. E. Taylor and J. D. Brown (1988) that positive illusions foster mental health has garnered considerable attention and acceptance. However, the significant
The illusion of mental health.
TLDR
Evidence is presented indicating that many people who look healthy on standard mental health scales are not psychologically healthy, and illusory mental health (based on defensive denial of distress) has physiological costs and may be a risk factor for medical illness.
On Seeing Clearly and Thriving: Interpersonal Perspicacity as Adaptive (Not Depressive) Realism (Or Where Three Theories Meet)
Abstract Does realism characterize good mental health or maladjustment? In this paper, it is argued that illusory views of social reality, even if self–enhancing, represent a feature of mental
Do positive illusions foster mental health? An examination of the Taylor and Brown formulation.
TLDR
It remains unproven that positive illusions foster mental health, and close consideration of several assumptions underlying the formulation raises further questions regarding their thesis.
Depressive Realism and Nondepressive Optimistic Illusions: The Role of the Self
Clinicians and laypeople alike have known for a long time that people think negatively when they are depressed. Indeed, overly pessimistic thinking is typically viewed as a hallmark feature of
“Take away the life‐lie … “: Positive illusions and creative self‐deception
Abstract In a well‐known paper “Illusion and well‐being”, Taylor and Brown maintain that positive illusions about the self play a significant role in the maintenance of mental health, as well as in
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 406 REFERENCES
Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being.
Reigning measures of psychological well-being have little theoretical grounding, despite an extensive literature on the contours of positive functioning. Aspects of well-being derived from this
The Causes and Consequences of a Need for Self-Esteem: A Terror Management Theory
Throughout the past few thousand years, historical accounts, philosophical treatises, and works of fiction and poetry have often depicted humans as having a need to perceive themselves as good, and
Negative affectivity: the disposition to experience aversive emotional states.
A number of apparently diverse personality scales—variously called trait anxiety, neuroticism, ego strength, general maladjustment, repression-sensitization, and social desirability—are reviewed and
Public and private self-consciousness: Assessment and theory.
A scale was constructed to assess individual differences in self-consciou sness. Norms and test-retest reliability are presented. Factor analysis of the scale revealed that self-consciousness has
The Optimal Margin of Illusion
This article proposes that optimal psychological functioning is associated with a slight to moderate degree of distortion in one's perception of self and world. Past evidence suggests that
Changing the world and changing the self: A two-process model of perceived control.
There is extensive evidence that people strongly value and are reluctant to relinquish the perception of control. Yet, both helplessness and locus of control theorists interpret various "inward"
Self and Other Perception in Mild Depressives
The present study investigated the effects of mild depression on the processing of personal information about oneself and others. Specifically, mildly depressed and normal subjects rated the
Standing out and standing in: The psychology of control in America and Japan.
There are at least two general paths to a feeling of control. In primary control, individuals enhance their rewards by influencing existing realities (e.g., other people, circumstances, symptoms, or
...
...