Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Optimism and Pessimism: Measurement

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_972

Synonyms

Definition

Measures assessing optimism and pessimism have been developed from two perspectives. The first is from the expectancy perspective which reflects the expectations an individual has about their future. From this perspective, dispositional optimism is described as the tendency for an individual to have positive expectations about the future, whereas dispositional pessimism is the tendency to have negative expectations about the future. The second perspective is based on attributional style. Conceptually, attributional style refers to an individual’s habitual manner of explaining the cause of negative events. Explanatory styles can be...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References and Readings

  1. Chang, E. C., Maydeu-Olivares, A., & D’Zurilla, T. J. (1997). Optimism and pessimism as partially independent constructs: Relationship to positive and negative affectivity and psychological well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 23(3), 433–440.Google Scholar
  2. Dember, W. N., Martin, S., Hummer, M. K., Howe, S., & Melton, R. (1989). The measurement of optimism and pessimism. Current Psychology: Research and Reviews, 8, 102–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ey, S., Hadley, W., Allen, D. N., Palmer, S., Klosky, J., Deptula, D., et al. (2005). A new measure of children’s optimism and pessimism: The youth life orientation test. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46(5), 548–558.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lemola, S., Raikkonen, K., Matthews, K. A., Scheier, M. F., Heinonen, K., Pesonen, A. K., et al. (2010). A new measure for dispositional optimism and pessimism in young children. European Journal of Personality, 24, 71–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Peterson, C., Semmel, A., von Baeyer, D., Abramson, L. Y., Metalsky, G. I., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1982). The attributions style questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 6, 287–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Peterson, C., & Villanova, P. (1988). An expanded attributional style questionnaire. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97, 87–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Rasmussen, H. N., Scheier, M. F., & Greenhouse, J. B. (2009). Optimism and physical health: A meta-analytic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 37(3), 239–256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Scheier, M. F., & Carver, C. S. (1985). Optimism, coping, and health: Assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology, 4(3), 219–247.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Scheier, M. F., Carver, C. S., & Bridges, M. (1994). Distinguishing optimism from neuroticism (and trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem): A reevaluation of the life orientation test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(6), 1063–1078.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Smith, T. W., Pope, M. K., Rhodewalt, F., & Poulton, J. C. (1989). Optimism, neuroticism, coping, and symptom reports: An alternative interpretation of the Life Orientation Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(4), 640–648.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at DallasDallasUSA