Age differences in dispositional optimism: a cross-cultural study
- 868 Downloads
Testing the hypothesis that individuals develop their personal characteristics according to what their cultures emphasize, this cross-sectional study aimed at investigating how dispositional optimism varied with age among Americans and Hong Kong Chinese. The sample included 84 younger adults and 55 older adults that were equally distributed across the two cultures. Results revealed that older Americans displayed a higher level of dispositional optimism than did younger Americans; whereas older Chinese showed a lower level of dispositional optimism than did their younger counterparts. Findings shed light on the mixed findings on age-related dispositional optimism in the literature.
KeywordsAgeing processes Cultural context Dispositional optimism
This research was supported by a Direct Grant for Research from Chinese University of Hong Kong, and an Earmarked Research Grant, CUHK4652/05H, from Research Grants Council, Hong Kong. We thank Alice Y. Lu for collecting data and conducting the initial data analysis for the study.
- Baltes PB, Lindenberger U, Staudinger UM (2006) Lifespan theory in developmental psychology. In: Lerner RM (ed) Handbook of child psychology, vol 1. Wiley, New York, pp 569–664Google Scholar
- Chapin J (2001) Self-protective pessimism: optimistic bias in reverse. N Am J Psychol 3:253–262Google Scholar
- Fung HH, Ho YW, Tam KP, Tsai J (2009) Value moderates age differences in personality: the example of relationship orientation. Manuscript submitted for publicationGoogle Scholar
- Hamamura T, Heine SJ (2007) Approach and avoidance across cultures. In: Elliot AJ (ed) Handbook of approach and avoidance motivations. Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJGoogle Scholar