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Last updated at 13:33 GMT, Thursday, 23 January 2014

Glass half full

a glass of beer

Is Angela Merkel's glass half full or half empty?!

How are you feeling about life? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Rob and Finn discuss how science is trying to find out what makes us think positively or negatively.

They also explain how we feel when we say our glass is half empty and when we say it's half full.

So, what kind of person are you? We hear from some of our learners.

This week's question:

Who wrote this famous line? "A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." Was it:

a) Winston Churchill

b) Oscar Wilde

c) Charles Dickens

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.


Glass half full

End of Section


an optimist

someone who thinks good things will happen

a pessimist

someone who always thinks bad things will happen in a situation

a state of mind

how you feel and what you think


have an effect (on something or someone)


cause / make happen


a medical condition where someone is very unhappy and cannot lead a normal life

point of view

how someone judges a situation


how you behave, feel and think


(in this situation) things that make something else happen


particular qualities or characteristics that someone has