According to Wikipedia, cynicism is an attitude which is the result of social problems. The reason why Wikipedia argues in such a way is because this is explained in the mainstream literature of what a pessimistic philosophy is. In reality, cynicism can explained with gametheory. Here are the details.
At first, it has nothing to do with an individual or the society, instead cynicism is part of certain types of games which have a high probability to getting lost. At first we suppose a game which is the opposite, that means the game is easy. The task is to run the 100 meter in under 20 seconds. That task can be done by most of the people, i would guess at least by 90% or more. That means, the runner is confident that he will reach the goal. He suppose this because he knows the average time of his colleagues, and also his own result from the last trial. Perhaps, he has done the 100 meter in the last exercise in 15 seconds, and if not a serious problem will happen, he can do this again, and again.
In such a game, no cynicism is happening. That means, there is no doubt, that the goal is reachable. And now I want to describe the opposite kind of games. That are games, which are not possible to win, or which are very difficult to win. For example, if somebody not only wants to run the 100 meter in 20 seconds, but in 14 seconds, because otherwise he will get a bad mark in his sport diploma. The problem is, that the 14 seconds are not reachable for that person. He has tried it before, but he failed. His best run was done with 15 seconds, and he isn’t able to run faster. Or I want to give an anther example. If somebody is playing chess, has lost his queen, and also two bishops. .Than it is no longer possible to win the game. That means, the game is lost or it is very difficult to win against the superior opponent. That are all example, which are resulting into cynicism. That means, if the person who plays the game is trying to express his feelings and describe rational the situation, then a sarcastic mood is normal.
Perhaps an example. Which option has the chess player, which lost his queen to predict the future? The first option would be, to give a positive outlook. He can say “I will win the game, I’m confident, I’m strong”. That would be a non-sarcastic description. The only problem is, that this description is not reachable. If somebody from outside will analyse the situation rational, he would recognize, that the game is lost. So the optimistic description to win the game, in case of the bad situation is wrong. That means, it has nothing to do with the real situation. The better description would be a negative description, because it has a higher probability. This description is called cynicism.
Avoiding cynicism is easy. The only thing what a person has to do is playing only games, which he can win. He will never be in the situation to give a negative outlook. In contrast, if a user is playing games, which are too hard for him, and which will get lost all the time, he will start describing the world cynical. The best novel so far is “House of God” from Samuel Shem which plays in a hospital. It is a massive example in cynicism. But the negative mood has nothing to do with the author itself, or the characters which he describes, instead the tone is given by the setting. “House of god” describes the reality in a medical hospital. The basic assumption is, that most of these games are lost. Because there is no therapy available for the diseases. That is not only the perception of the protagonist, but a reality which is written in every textbook about medicine.
In theory it would be possible to describe the working in a hospital with a more positive outlook. But the problem is the same, like in the chess game. If somebody from outside looks at the description, he would recognize, that it is wrong.