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Optimism plays a central role in human progress. Therefore, it is concerning that many Americans are pessimistic about the future of the United States and its role in the world. For example, according to a Pew Research Center survey, 65% percent of Americans believe the United States is only going to become more politically divided in the coming decades, 60% believe the United States will become less important to the world, 73% believe the gap between rich and poor will grow, and only 20% predict the average family’s standard of living will improve.

How can we promote an optimistic and ultimately progress-oriented mindset among Americans? The current analysis explores national pride as a potential variable to target in efforts to inspire American optimism. Are proud Americans more optimistic about the future of their nation, the world, and human progress than Americans who are not proud of their national identity?


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