Optimism and pessimism in the general population: Psychometric properties of the Life Orientation Test (LOT-R)


Background/Objective: The Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) is often used to assess dispositional optimism. The aims of this study were to test psychometric properties of the LOT-R, to provide normative scores, and to test the association between optimism and several psychological, sociodemographic, and behavioral factors. Method: A randomly selected German general population community sample with an age range of 18-80 years (N = 9,711) was surveyed. Results: The Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) proved two (correlated) factors: Optimism and Pessimism. Invariance tests across gender and age groups confirmed metric invariance. There were only small gender differences in the LOT-R total score (M = 16.4 for females and M = 16.1 for males). The correlation between the subscales Optimism and Pessimism was strong for young and well educated people. Low optimism mean scores were observed for unemployed people, people with low income, smokers, and obese people. Normative scores of the LOT-R are provided. Conclusions: The study confirmed the bidimensional structure of the LOT-R and invariance across age and gender. We can recommend using this instrument for measuring dispositional optimism and pessimism in epidemiological research and clinical practice.


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijchp.2017.02.003

Projects: LIFE Adult

Journal: Elsevier BV

Human Diseases: No Human Disease specified


Date Published: 1st May 2017

Authors: Andreas Hinz, Christian Sander, H. Glaesmer, E. Brähler, M. Zenger, A. Hilbert, R. D. Kocalevent

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Hinz, A., Sander, C., Glaesmer, H., Brähler, E., Zenger, M., Hilbert, A., & Kocalevent, R.-D. (2017). Optimism and pessimism in the general population: Psychometric properties of the Life Orientation Test (LOT-R). International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 17(2), 161–170. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2017.02.003

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Created: 13th May 2019 at 09:49

Last updated: 13th May 2019 at 09:50

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