Optimism and pessimism dimensions in the Life Orientation Test-Revised: Method and meaning

Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Daniel R. Evans, Tory A. Eisenlohr-Moul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The Life Orientation Test and its revision include items tapping both the belief that good things will happen (optimism) and the belief that bad things will not happen (low pessimism). The present investigation addressed the relationship of optimism and pessimism from psychometric and substantive perspectives. Two variations of the LOT-R, one with standard items and one with extreme adverbs (e.g., " always") removed, were administered to undergraduate (n= 971) and web-based samples (n= 2806). Although there was psychometric support for a bidimensional structure in both versions, only the revised version showed substantive differences in the correlations of optimism versus pessimism with personality criteria. The generic recommendation is to use the original, unidimensional scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-129
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Dimensions
  • Extraversion
  • Life Orientation Test
  • Neuroticism
  • Optimism
  • Pessimism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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