Construct Validation of Optimism and Pessimism in Older Men: Findings From the Normative Aging Study

Daniel K. Mroczek*, Avron Spiro, Carolyn M. Aldwin, Daniel J. Ozer, Raymond Bossé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations

Abstract

Validation of Scheier and Carver's (1985) Life Orientation Test (LOT) has identified associations between bipolar optimism and several external constructs. However, optimism and pessimism may be not bipolar, but rather separate constructs. Furthermore, these constructs may be indistinguishable from personality traits, such as neuroticism and extraversion. This study examined the associations of separate optimism and pessimism measures with self-reports of hassles, psychological symptoms, and illness severity, controlling for personality. Ss were 1,192 men from the Normative Aging Study. Findings suggest that optimism and pessimism are separate and that their relations to external criteria remain, although attenuated, when neuroticism and extraversion are controlled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-409
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1993

Keywords

  • aging
  • extraversion
  • health
  • neuroticism
  • optimism
  • personality
  • pessimism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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