Distinguishing Optimism From Neuroticism (and Trait Anxiety, Self-Mastery, and Self-Esteem): A Reevaluation of the Life Orientation Test

Michael F. Scheier, Charles S Carver, Michael W. Bridges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3450 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research on dispositional optimism as assessed by the Life Orientation Test (Scheier & Carver, 1985) has been challenged on the grounds that effects attributed to optimism are indistinguishable from those of unmeasured third variables, most notably, neuroticism. Data from 4,309 subjects show that associations between optimism and both depression and aspects of coping remain significant even when the effects of neuroticism, as well as the effects of trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem, are statistically controlled. Thus, the Life Orientation Test does appear to possess adequate predictive and discriminant validity. Examination of the scale on somewhat different grounds, however, does suggest that future applications can benefit from its revision. Thus, we also describe a minor modification to the Life Orientation Test, along with data bearing on the revised scale's psychometric properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1078
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume67
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994

Fingerprint

neuroticism
optimism
Self Concept
self-esteem
Anxiety
anxiety
Psychometrics
psychometrics
coping
Depression
examination
Research
Neuroticism
Optimism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Distinguishing Optimism From Neuroticism (and Trait Anxiety, Self-Mastery, and Self-Esteem) : A Reevaluation of the Life Orientation Test. / Scheier, Michael F.; Carver, Charles S; Bridges, Michael W.

In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 67, No. 6, 01.12.1994, p. 1063-1078.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1662f03776304ded9e0b27b865653a0b,
title = "Distinguishing Optimism From Neuroticism (and Trait Anxiety, Self-Mastery, and Self-Esteem): A Reevaluation of the Life Orientation Test",
abstract = "Research on dispositional optimism as assessed by the Life Orientation Test (Scheier & Carver, 1985) has been challenged on the grounds that effects attributed to optimism are indistinguishable from those of unmeasured third variables, most notably, neuroticism. Data from 4,309 subjects show that associations between optimism and both depression and aspects of coping remain significant even when the effects of neuroticism, as well as the effects of trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem, are statistically controlled. Thus, the Life Orientation Test does appear to possess adequate predictive and discriminant validity. Examination of the scale on somewhat different grounds, however, does suggest that future applications can benefit from its revision. Thus, we also describe a minor modification to the Life Orientation Test, along with data bearing on the revised scale's psychometric properties.",
author = "Scheier, {Michael F.} and Carver, {Charles S} and Bridges, {Michael W.}",
year = "1994",
month = "12",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "67",
pages = "1063--1078",
journal = "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-3514",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Distinguishing Optimism From Neuroticism (and Trait Anxiety, Self-Mastery, and Self-Esteem)

T2 - A Reevaluation of the Life Orientation Test

AU - Scheier, Michael F.

AU - Carver, Charles S

AU - Bridges, Michael W.

PY - 1994/12/1

Y1 - 1994/12/1

N2 - Research on dispositional optimism as assessed by the Life Orientation Test (Scheier & Carver, 1985) has been challenged on the grounds that effects attributed to optimism are indistinguishable from those of unmeasured third variables, most notably, neuroticism. Data from 4,309 subjects show that associations between optimism and both depression and aspects of coping remain significant even when the effects of neuroticism, as well as the effects of trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem, are statistically controlled. Thus, the Life Orientation Test does appear to possess adequate predictive and discriminant validity. Examination of the scale on somewhat different grounds, however, does suggest that future applications can benefit from its revision. Thus, we also describe a minor modification to the Life Orientation Test, along with data bearing on the revised scale's psychometric properties.

AB - Research on dispositional optimism as assessed by the Life Orientation Test (Scheier & Carver, 1985) has been challenged on the grounds that effects attributed to optimism are indistinguishable from those of unmeasured third variables, most notably, neuroticism. Data from 4,309 subjects show that associations between optimism and both depression and aspects of coping remain significant even when the effects of neuroticism, as well as the effects of trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem, are statistically controlled. Thus, the Life Orientation Test does appear to possess adequate predictive and discriminant validity. Examination of the scale on somewhat different grounds, however, does suggest that future applications can benefit from its revision. Thus, we also describe a minor modification to the Life Orientation Test, along with data bearing on the revised scale's psychometric properties.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0028725058&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0028725058&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 7815302

AN - SCOPUS:0028725058

VL - 67

SP - 1063

EP - 1078

JO - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

SN - 0022-3514

IS - 6

ER -