Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 455–474 | Cite as

When Less is More: A Short Version of the Personal Optimism Scale and the Self-Efficacy Optimism Scale

  • Vesna Gavrilov-Jerković
  • Veljko JovanovićEmail author
  • Dragan Žuljević
  • Dragana Brdarić
Research Paper


The past few years have seen increased theoretical and applied research on the relations between constructs related to positive expectations. However, instruments capable of distinguishing positive expectancy constructs are still lacking. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the 18-item Personal Optimism Scale and Self-Efficacy Optimism Scale. Two student samples from the University of Novi Sad in Serbia were recruited for the present research, with a total of 728 participants. The results of the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses did not support the theoretically expected structure. The results of the confirmatory factor analysis and content validity support shortening the scale to 9 items. The short versions of the scales demonstrated adequate reliability in internal consistency and adequate concurrent and convergent validity by significant correlations with dispositional optimism, general self-efficacy, hope, resilience and subjective well-being. The analyses lead us to conclude that a shorter 4-item Personal Optimism Scale and a 5-item Self-Efficacy Optimism Scale provide a clear, precise measures of two types of positive expectations. The authors argue that the limitations of the original scales emanate from their vague theoretical-substantive validity, and call for future research to replicate these findings.


POSO-E Positive expectancies Personal optimism Self-efficacy optimism Reliability Validity 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia (Grant No. 179006).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vesna Gavrilov-Jerković
    • 1
  • Veljko Jovanović
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dragan Žuljević
    • 1
  • Dragana Brdarić
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia

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