Optimism, Motivation, and Mental Health

L. Solberg Nes, S. C. Segerstrom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Dispositional optimists expect more good things to happen to them than bad. This positive outcome expectancy has been linked with better psychological well-being and mental health in the form of less distress, better adjustment and quality of life, better life satisfaction, better social support, and also less anxiety and depression. Expecting positive outcomes, dispositional optimists display higher motivation and persistence in goal pursuit, and when encountering obstacles or stressors they tend to engage in active, approach-type coping strategies aiming to manage or overcome. This type of coping behavior likely links optimism to mental health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123970459
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Coping
  • Coping strategies
  • Dispositional optimism
  • Engagement
  • Goals
  • Mental health
  • Motivation
  • Persistence
  • Positive outcome expectancies
  • Psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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