Glass half full or half empty meaning

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glass half full or half empty meaning

Hollinger: 5 Fall 2011 - Our Town: Question Set #2 Showing 1-44 of 44

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Published 03.12.2018

Is the glass half full or half empty? The final proof! Leo Bormans at TEDxGhent


This expression is part of a proverb that asks about whether a glass that contains 50 percent water and 50 percent air is half full or half empty. Obviously, regardless of which way you choose to answer, the glass will contain the same amount. However, your answer will represent your view of the world. The idea is that if you say the glass is half empty, you see the world in a negative, or pessimistic way. If you say the glass is half full, you have a more optimistic viewpoint. The exact origin of the expression is unclear. However, digital records seem to show it originated in the first half of the s.

Traditionally, the optimist sees the glass as half full while the pessimist sees it as half empty. This has spawned a zillion joke variants—e. But what if the empty half of the glass were actually empty—a vacuum? The vacuum would definitely not last long. But exactly what happens depends on a key question that nobody usually bothers to ask: Which half is empty? On the right is a glass like the traditional one, except the air is replaced by a vacuum. For the first handful of microseconds, nothing happens.

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Want to perform a quick and easy psychological test on friends and family members? Grab a clear glass from the cupboard and fill it halfway with water. Place it on the table and ask friends and family members to describe it. Some people will probably say the glass if half-full. Others may look at it and proclaim that it's half-empty. Since both groups would be correct, what does this test tell you? Psychologists use simple tests like this to determine whether a person tends to be an optimist or a pessimist.


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  2. Alaine B. says:

    "Is the glass half empty or half full?" is a common expression, a proverbial phrase , generally used rhetorically to indicate that a particular situation could be a.

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