Relative predictive power of the optimism versus the pessimism index of a Chinese version of the Life Orientation Test.The Life Orientation Test (LOT) was first developed by Scheier and Carver carver /car·ver/ (kahr´ver) a tool for producing anatomic form in artificial teeth and dental restorations.
carver (carving instrument),
n (1985) to assess the construct of dispositional optimism, which was conceptualized as positive outcome expectancies having important health implications. In the past decade, research on optimism using the LOT has yielded convergent evidence that points to the beneficial health effects of optimism (reviewed by Scheier & Carver, 1992, 1993). Higher scores on the LOT have been shown to be associated with better health outcomes during times of difficulty in different populations such as coronary patients (Desharnais, Godin, Jobin, Valois, & Ross, 1990), breast cancer patients (Carver et al., 1993), gay men at risk for AIDS (Taylor et al., 1992), and college students under academic stress (Aspinwall & Taylor, 1992).
Scheier, Weintraub, and Carver (1986) attributed the health benefits associated with optimism to adaptive coping. Optimists, in comparison to their less optimistic op·ti·mist
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.
2. A believer in philosophical optimism.
op peers, are more likely to use adaptive problem-focused strategies and less likely to engage in cognitive or behavioral avoidance during stressful encounters. Studies in which path analysis was used have confirmed the significant mediating effect of coping (e.g., Carver et al., 1993; Scheier et al., 1989). More recently, findings from a study in Swedish twins indicate a substantial genetic effect on optimism (Plomin, Scheier, Bergeman, & Pederson, 1992). This further accentuates the importance of this construct in research on personality and health.
Although the construct of optimism has been successfully validated across different populations, the question of whether it can be adequately operationalized by the LOT has stirred up controversies lately. The LOT has been the most widely used instrument in research on optimism. It consists of four positively worded items (e.g., I'm always optimistic about my future), four negatively worded items (e.g., I hardly ever expect things to go my way), and four filler fill·er 1
One that fills, as:
a. Something added to augment weight or size or fill space.
b. A composition, especially a semisolid that hardens on drying, used to fill pores, cracks, or holes in wood, plaster, items (e.g., I enjoy my friends a lot). Scheier and Carver (1985, 1987) have suggested that the LOT should best be treated as tapping a bipolar (1) See bipolar transmission.
(2) One of two major categories of transistor; the other is "field effect transistor" (FET). Although the first transistors and first silicon chips were bipolar, most chips today are field effect transistors wired as CMOS logic, which optimism-pessimism dimension in spite of the fact that both a one-factor and a two-factor solution have been found to fit their data by using confirmatory factor analysis In statistics, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) is a special form of factor analysis. It is used to assess the the number of factors and the loadings of variables. . The one-factor stance was favored on the ground that all items loaded heavily on the first factor and correlation between the two factors was high, r = .64 (Scheier & Carver, 1985).
Others have begun to question this unidimensional u·ni·di·men·sion·al
Adj. 1. unidimensional - relating to a single dimension or aspect; having no depth or scope; "a prose statement of fact is unidimensional, its value being measured wholly in terms view by showing that the positive and the negative items of the LOT are loaded respectively onto two different factors of optimism versus pessimism pessimism, philosophical opinion or doctrine that evil predominates over good; the opposite of optimism. Systematic forms of pessimism may be found in philosophy and religion. (e.g., Lai, 1994; Marshall, Wortman, Kusulas, Hervig, & Vickers, 1992; Mook mook
An insignificant or contemptible person.
[Probably alteration of moke.] , Kleijn, & van der Ploeg, 1992). A more convincing piece of evidence demonstrating multidimensionality comes from a study of professional women done by Marshall and Lang (1990). Using confirmatory factor analysis, these two investigators found that their data on the LOT only fitted a two-factor solution. Furthermore, the optimism and the pessimism subscales have been shown in other studies to correlate differentially with reports in physical symptoms (Lai, 1994) as well as other external criteria (e.g., Marshall et al., 1992). These findings tend to suggest that the complete LOT may be treated more reasonably as bidimensional and should not be used as a single scale for assessing optimism.
This multidimensional mul·ti·di·men·sion·al
Of, relating to, or having several dimensions.
multi·di·men standpoint is supported by some researchers who have actually defined optimism with only the four positive items of the LOT (e.g., Lai, 1995; Strutton & Lumpkin, 1992). Nevertheless, the evidence accumulated to date, when examined more closely, is not yet able to point convincingly to a multidimensional interpretation for at least two reasons. First, though a two-factor solution has been repeatedly found in studies using confirmatory factor analysis (e.g., Marshall & Lang, 1990; Scheier & Carver, 1985; Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994), this may result from differential responding on the basis of difference in the direction of item wording (e.g., Marshall & Lang, 1990) instead of any substantive difference between the positive and the negative items. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , a two-factor solution does not necessarily imply a split of the scale into two substantive dimensions of optimism versus pessimism. Second, differential relations of the two dimensions with external criteria have not been consistently demonstrated. Differential correlations have been reported for some criteria (e.g., reports in physical symptoms, Lai, 1994) but not others (e.g., psychological stress, Chang, D'Zurrilla, & Maydeu-Olivares, 1994). In view of these data, some researchers suggest that the unidimensional stance should be preferred for the reason of parsimony par·si·mo·ny
1. Unusual or excessive frugality; extreme economy or stinginess.
2. Adoption of the simplest assumption in the formulation of a theory or in the interpretation of data, especially in accordance with the rule of (e.g., Marshall & Lang, 1990; Scheier & Carver, 1993).
Although research on optimism using the LOT has been proliferating Proliferating is the multiplication of a certain thing. Often it is used as a biological term to describe the increase of cells due to cell division.
Look under proliferate or proliferation for more details. during the past decade, most of the studies were carried out with Western samples. As a consequence, the applicability of the concept of optimism, as assessed by the LOT, in Asian cultures remains to be investigated. Three studies using the original English version of the LOT have been conducted recently among Chinese undergraduates in Hong Kong Hong Kong (hŏng kŏng), Mandarin Xianggang, special administrative region of China, formerly a British crown colony (2005 est. pop. 6,899,000), land area 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km), adjacent to Guangdong prov. (Lai, 1994, 1995, 1996). The resulting data indicate that the LOT is a valid measure of optimism among Hong Kong Chinese. The two-factor structure of the test has been replicated and the optimism subscale is correlated more strongly than the pessimism subscale with symptom reports (Lai, 1994). Optimism defined by the four positive items has also been found to moderate the relation between hassles and somatic somatic /so·mat·ic/ (so-mat´ik)
1. pertaining to or characteristic of the soma or body.
2. pertaining to the body wall in contrast to the viscera.
adj. complaints (Lai, 1995). In addition, Lai (1996) has also found that optimistic students used more adaptive strategies The expression adaptive strategies is used by anthropologist Yehudi Cohen to describe a society’s system of economic production. Cohen argued that the most important reason for similarities between two (or more) unrelated societies is their possession of a similar to cope with academic examinations than their less optimistic peers. These findings are similar to what have been reported previously in the West, and therefore point to the applicability of the construct of optimism among Hong Kong Chinese.
However encouraging, the data mentioned above must be interpreted with cautions in view of a major limitation which is concerned with the use of English tests among respondents who are not native English speakers. Scheier and Carver (1985) have pointed out that negatively worded items are semantically more complex than positively worded ones, and they may form the basis of difference in responding between the positive and negative items. This semantic effect may be further accentuated in Hong Kong Chinese taking the original English version of LOT. The two-factor solution and differential correlations reported by Lai (1994) may be attributed to this semantic artifact A distortion in an image or sound caused by a limitation or malfunction in the hardware or software. Artifacts may or may not be easily detectable. Under intense inspection, one might find artifacts all the time, but a few pixels out of balance or a few milliseconds of abnormal sound . Therefore, to evaluate more accurately the dimensionality of the LOT among Hong Kong Chinese, a Chinese version of the test must be used.
The present study was designed to examine the dimensionality of LOT in different samples of Hong Kong Chinese using a Chinese version of the test. As discussed above, the multidimensional view will be supported if the two subscales of the LOT can be shown to correlate differentially with the same health-related criterion. This was examined using statistical analyses adopted by Lai (1994). Differential correlation was evaluated by using the Hotelling's T test. In addition, the relative contributions of the two subscales to the predictive power The predictive power of a scientific theory refers to its ability to generate testable predictions. Theories with strong predictive power are highly valued, because the predictions can often encourage the falsification of the theory. of the complete LOT was assessed by semipartial correlation.
Subjects and Procedures
Data of the present study were obtained from two separate Hong Kong Chinese samples. The first consisted of 58 male (M age = 20.8 yr, SD = 1.2) and 172 female (M age = 19.6 yr, SD = .8) undergraduates taking a course in introductory psychology at two different universities in Hong Kong. The participants (N = 230) were all social work majors in their first year of study. Subjects were asked to complete a Chinese version of the LOT, a physical symptoms checklist (Lai, 1994, 1995), and the Chinese Affect Scale (Hamid & Cheng, 1995) at the end of a lecture to satisfy part of the course requirements. After the test session, they were debriefed about the aim and nature of the present study, and they were assured that the information they provided would be kept strictly confidential.
Participants in the second adult sample were randomly recruited from civil servants working in eight different divisions of the Hong Kong Labour Department. Three offices of each of the eight divisions were randomly selected and each worker in these 24 offices received a test battery comprised of the three scales that were administered to the student sample. The respondents were asked in a cover letter to complete the tests and send them back to the researcher within two months. Out of 232 questionnaires, 173, were returned subsequently, which represented a response rate of 75%. Participation was voluntary and anonymous, and subjects were assured of data confidentiality. The final sample consisted of 100 men and 73 women. The lowest education level attained by 72% of this group was Form 5 (equivalent to grade 11 in us). The rest had either postsecondary or tertiary qualifications. The age of 84% of the subjects was between 20 and 40, with the remaining 16% older than 40. Because the subjects in this sample were selected on a random basis from the Labour Department and workers in different government departments were expected to be similar in major aspects, the present sample was therefore assumed to be representative of government workers in view of the high response rate.
The Life Orientation Test (LOT). The LOT (Scheier & Carver, 1985) is comprised of four positively worded, four negatively worded, and four filler items. The scale has been used as a measure of the extent to which individuals have positive expectancies of life outcomes. Previous studies have shown that the test is psychometrically sound and predicts health outcomes in different populations (Scheier & Carver, 1985, 1987). For reasons mentioned above, a Chinese version rather than the original English LOT was administered. The original version of LOT was first translated into Chinese by the present author. The test was then back-translated into English by two postgraduate students of psychology, with items being modified until the exact meaning was back-translated. Subjects were required to indicate on a 5-point scale the degree to which they agreed with each of the 12 items (0 = strongly disagree; 4 = strongly agree). The positively phrased items and the negatively phrased items were scored separately, with the positive items representing the optimism subscale and the negative items representing the pessimism subscale. In addition, a complete LOT score was computed by adding the ratings of the positive items and the reversed ratings of the negative items.
Chinese Affect Scale (CAS). This affect checklist was based on affective affective /af·fec·tive/ (ah-fek´tiv) pertaining to affect.
1. Concerned with or arousing feelings or emotions; emotional.
2. terms indigenous to the Hong Kong Chinese culture. It consists of 10 positive and 10 negative affect indicators in Chinese (Hamid & Cheng, 1995). The scale has been found to be a reliable as well as valid measure of both state and trait trait (trat)
1. any genetically determined characteristic; also, the condition prevailing in the heterozygous state of a recessive disorder, as the sickle cell trait.
2. a distinctive behavior pattern. affect among Hong Kong Chinese (Hamid & Cheng, 1995). According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. these two researchers, principal component analysis yielded a two-factor solution with the 10 negative items (sad, helpless, frightened fright·en
v. fright·ened, fright·en·ing, fright·ens
1. To fill with fear; alarm.
2. , disappointed, bitter, tense, insecure in·se·cure
1. Lacking emotional stability; not well-adjusted.
2. Lacking self-confidence; plagued by anxiety.
in , exhausted, annoyed, depressed) loaded onto the first factor and the 10 positive items (contented, exuberant exuberant /ex·u·ber·ant/ (eg-zoo´ber-ant) copious or excessive in production; showing excessive proliferation.
Proliferating or growing excessively. , excited, agreeable, happy, meaningful, joyful joy·ful
Feeling, causing, or indicating joy. See Synonyms at glad1.
joyful·ly adv. , comfortable, relaxed, peaceful) loaded onto the second. To complete the scale, subjects rated each item on a 5-point scale (0 = very slightly or not at all; 4 = extremely) to indicate how they were feeling in the past month. A positive affect (PA) and a negative affect (NA) score were computed by adding the ratings of the positive and the negative items respectively. The correlation between PA and NA scores was found to be low in prior studies (e.g., r = -.30.30, Hamid & Cheng, 1995; r = -.28, Lai, Hamid, & Chow, 1996).
Physical Symptoms Checklist (PSC (Public Service Commission) Same as PUC. ). This scale has a total of 30 commonly experienced minor symptoms that have been shown to be sensitive to stress among Hong Kong college students (Lai, 1993; Lai, 1995). These include sore throat Sore Throat Definition
Sore throat, also called pharyngitis, is a painful inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the pharynx. It is a symptom of many conditions, but most often is associated with colds or influenza. , congested con·gest·ed
Affected with or characterized by congestion.
congested ENT adjective Referring to a boggy blood-filled tissue. See Nasal congestion. nose, running nose, sneezing To verbally tell somebody about a new and interesting Web site. See viral marketing. , chills, coughing, headaches, fever, muscle aches, constipation constipation, infrequent or difficult passage of feces. Constipation may be caused by the lack of adequate roughage or fluid in the diet, prolonged physical inactivity, certain drugs, or emotional disturbance. , upset stomach, poor appetite, diarrhea, poor sleep, indigestion indigestion or dyspepsia, discomfort during or after eating caused by some interference with the normal digestive process. Symptoms include nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain, gas distress, and a feeling of abdominal distention. , out of breath, toothaches, nausea, pimples on face, back pains, racing feel faint, stiff muscles, severe itching itching
Stimulation of nerve endings in the skin, usually incited by histamine, that evokes a desire to scratch. It is often transient and easily relieved. Pathological itching with skin changes usually signals dermatologic disease. , severe pains or cramps in stomach, cold hands or feet even in hot weather, sweat even in cold weather, itching or painful eyes, sensation of pressure in head, hands tremble or shake. The symptoms on the checklist are not apparently psychological in nature and were extracted from the Cohen-Hoberman Inventory of Physical Symptoms (Cohen cohen
(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male. & Hoberman, 1983) and the Pennebaker Inventory of Limbic limbic /lim·bic/ (lim´bik) pertaining to a limbus, or margin; see also under system.
1. Of, relating to, or characterized by a limbus.
2. Languidness (Pennebaker, 1982). The scale was translated into Chinese using similar procedures for translating the LOT. Subjects were asked to rate on a 4-point scale how often they had experienced each of the 30 symptoms in the last month (1 = not at all; 4 = very often). A total symptom score was generated by adding ratings on the 30 items.
Descriptive Statistics descriptive statistics
Six separate scale scores were studied in both the student and adult samples. These included scores on the complete LOT, the optimism subscale (OP), the pessimism subscale (PE), PA, NA, and the physical symptoms checklist (PSC). The means and SDs of these scores were listed separately for the two samples in Table 1. The six scales were all internally consistent for these two samples, with Cronbach alphas ranging from .65 to .90. However, means of the pessimism subscale and the three criteria (PA, NA, and PSC) were different between the two samples. College students tended to score higher on pessimism, t(397) = 4.33, p [less than] .001; NA, t(388) = 4.78, p [less than] .005; and PSC, t(391) = 5.86, p [less than] .001. In addition, students reported fewer positive affects than did the government workers, t(383) = 5.65, p [less than] .001. In other words, the college sample appeared to be more pessimistic pes·si·mism
1. A tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view: "We have seen too much defeatism, too much pessimism, too much of a negative approach" , reporting more negative affects and bodily symptoms, but fewer positive emotions, than did the government workers. This may be taken to imply that the former may be more disturbed, which is supported by previous Western findings suggesting that undergraduates are a highly stressed population (Tanck & Robbins, 1979). However, because the health measures used in the present study are subclinical subclinical /sub·clin·i·cal/ (sub-klin´i-k'l) without clinical manifestations.
Not manifesting characteristic clinical symptoms. Used of a disease or condition. in nature, the clinical implications of the difference observed in the two samples may only be minimal. In contrast, the difference in health status between the two samples may be attributed to the fact that the sample of working adults were recruited from government workers and therefore is not representative of people working in the private sectors. It is not impossible that government workers experience less work-related stress than do their peers in the private sectors, and therefore appeared to be healthier when compared with college students. In other words, these observed differences in scores on health measures should be interpreted cautiously.
Table 1 Mean and Standard Deviations of Scores of the Three LOT Scales and the Three Health-related Criteria for the Undergraduates and Working Adults Mean SD Cronbach Alpha 1. Complete LOT 19.38 4.73 .70 19.82 4.39 .69 2. Optimism Index 10.17 2.79 .71 10.10 2.69 .68 3. Pessimism Index 9.21 2.73 .67 6.28 2.58 .65 4. Physical Symptoms 50.90 11.04 .84 47.24 10.57 .83 5. Positive Affect 14.97 6.18 .89 20.67 5.11 .86 6. Negative Affect 15.99 7.63 .87 13.07 6.69 .90 Note. Undergraduates (N = 230), Working Adults (N = 173). Data for the adult sample are in bold type.
With regard to reports in physical symptoms, the two samples reported similar pattern of symptoms although college students tended to experience each symptom more frequently. The five most frequently experienced symptoms among the adult sample were poor sleep (M = 2.57, SD = 1.02), muscle aches (M = 2.23, SD = .97), sneezing (M = 2.05, SD = .85), headaches (M = 1.93, SD = .87), and back pains (M = 1.84, SD = .91). For the undergraduates, these were poor sleep (M = 2.98, SD = .96), muscle aches (M = 2.37, SD = .92), headaches (M = 2.19, SD = .82), sensation of pressure in head (M = 2.04, SD = .91), and racing heart (M = 2.02, SD = .84). The most frequently reported symptom common to both samples was poor sleep. Product-moment correlation between the ratings on each of the 30 symptoms averaged across the college students and those averaged across the working adults is very high, r = .91.
Factor Analysis of the Life Orientation Test
Exploratory factor analyses Verb 1. factor analyse - to perform a factor analysis of correlational data
analyse, analyze - break down into components or essential features; "analyze today's financial market" were performed on the eight LOT items (with the negatively phrased items reversed) separately for the two samples, using principal axis Noun 1. principal axis - a line that passes through the center of curvature of a lens so that light is neither reflected nor refracted; "in a normal eye the optic axis is the direction in which objects are seen most distinctly"
optic axis factoring and varimax rotation. Two factors having eigenvalues eigenvalues
statistical term meaning latent root. greater than 1 were generated in the undergraduate sample. The four items pertaining per·tain
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.
2. to the optimism subscale were loaded onto the first factor which accounted for 41.2% of total variance (eigenvalue eigenvalue
In mathematical analysis, one of a set of discrete values of a parameter, k, in an equation of the form Lx = kx. Such characteristic equations are particularly useful in solving differential equations, integral equations, and systems of = 3.29). The four items of the pessimism subscale were loaded onto the second factor and explained an additional 15.8% of variance (eigenvalue = 1.27). A similar two-factor solution was generated in the adult sample. The first factor was loaded with the four items of the optimism subscale and explained 41.9% of total variance (eigenvalue = 3.35) whereas the items of the pessimism subscale were loaded on the second factor which accounted for 15.9% of variance (eigenvalue = 1.27). The two-factor solutions of the Chinese LOT items observed in the present two samples were comparable to the one produced previously among a group of Hong Kong undergraduates using the original English LOT (Lai, 1994). The large percentage of variance explained by the first factor in the two samples lends partial support to the unidimensional view.
Relative Predictive Power of the Optimism and the Pessimism Index
The intercorrelations among the six scale scores for the two samples are listed in Table 2. The correlations between the complete LOT and the two LOT subscales, and the three criterion scores (PA, NA, and PSC) were all significant in the two samples. In addition, the patterns of correlations between predictors and criteria in the two samples were identical. Higher scores on the complete LOT or the optimism subscale [TABULAR tab·u·lar
1. Having a plane surface; flat.
2. Organized as a table or list.
3. Calculated by means of a table.
resembling a table. DATA FOR TABLE 2 OMITTED] were associated with lower levels of NA and PSC, but higher PA scores. In contrast, higher pessimism scores were associated with higher scores on NA and PSC, but lower scores on PA.
To assess whether the correlation between the optimism subscale and a particular criterion is significantly different from that between the pessimism subscale and the same criterion, Hotelling's T tests (Rosenthal & Rosnow, 1991, p. 507) were carried out on the data of the two samples separately. For the undergraduates, the Hotelling's Ts associated with PA, NA, and PSC were .37, .51, and .40, respectively. For the working adults, these were 1.49, .52, and .96, respectively. None of these Ts was statistically significant at p = .05. These results imply that the optimism and the pessimism subscales were related to similar extent with the same criterion, which is in favor of the unidimensional rather than the multidimensional view.
Relative predictive power of the optimism versus the pessimism subscale was further examined by using semipartial correlation (Keppel & Zedeck, 1989, p. 430), which looks at the relative contribution of the two subscales to the criterion variance explained by the complete LOT by controlling the effect of either one of the two subscales. As can be seen in Table 3, the correlations between the complete LOT and each of the three criteria remained significant when pessimism scores were controlled. However, while optimism scores were controlled, significant [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE 3 OMITTED] correlations were eliminated. This was observed across the two different samples and suggests that the complete LOT may owe its predictive power to the optimism subscale. In addition, the significant zero-order correlations between pessimism scores and the three criteria may be attributed to multicollinearity with the complete LOT and the optimism subscale.
The present results point to the validity of the LOT as a measure of optimism among different Chinese populations. For both the undergraduates and working adults, scores on the complete LOT were found to correlate positively with reports in positive affects and negatively with symptom reports and negative affects. This pattern of relationships has been hypothesized to be central to the construct of dispositional optimism in previous Western studies (e.g., Scheier & Carver, 1985; Marshall et al., 1992).
Although the tests used in the present study were all in Chinese, significant correlation between LOT scores and reports in physical symptoms, which has been reported in studies with Hong Kong Chinese using the original English version of the LOT, was replicated (Lai, 1994, 1995). However, language may have effect on the difference between the correlation of the optimism subscale and symptom reports, and that of the pessimism subscale and the same criterion. Differences in semantic complexity between the optimism and the pessimism subscale of the Chinese LOT might be minimized, and thus differential predictive power of the two LOT subscales was not found in the present study. Differences in predictive power reported in previous studies with Hong Kong Chinese using the original LOT (e.g., Lai, 1994) might have been produced by this semantic artifact.
Results of the present study have important implications for issues related to the dimensionality of the LOT. In spite of the split of the test into the optimism versus the pessimism subscale in the two samples, this is not necessarily substantive. As discussed earlier, a two-factor solution may be attributed to difference in the direction of item wording and the resulting difference in semantic complexity between the positively and the negatively phrased items. More importantly, if the fundamental difference between optimism and pessimism underlies the split, these two separate factors should have been correlated differentially with the same health criterion. However, the present findings did not indicate differential correlations. In other words, the multidimensional interpretation is not favored and, as suggested by other researchers (e.g., Marshall & Lang, 1990, Scheier & Carver, 1993), a unidimensional interpretation should be accepted for the reason of parsimony.
Nevertheless, treating the LOT as unidimensional is not without problems caused by certain limitations. Although differential predictive power of the two subscales has not been shown, this may only be restricted to health measures such as symptom and affect reports. Because previous studies found that the optimism and the pessimism subscales have different relations with personality dimensions such as neuroticism neuroticism
a neurotic condition; psychoneurosis.
See also: Psychology
Noun 1. neuroticism - a mental or personality disturbance not attributable to any known neurological or organic dysfunction
neurosis, psychoneurosis and extraversion extraversion /ex·tra·ver·sion/ (ek?strah-ver´zhun) extroversion.
see extroversion. (e.g., Marshall et al., 1992), it remains possible that differential correlations would have been found if other criteria had been used. Therefore, whether a two-factor split is substantive or not can only be determined tentatively by looking at the correlations of the two subscales with a particular set of criteria.
In addition to the point just mentioned, the optimism and the pessimism subscales do differ in a very important aspect. As discussed before, analyses using semipartial correlations showed that the predictive power of the complete LOT is attributed mainly to the optimism subscale. This can be taken to imply that negatively worded items that form the pessimism subscale are poor measures of dispositional optimism, which is what the complete LOT and the optimism subscale are supposed to tap. Inclusion of negatively phrased items in a scale that assesses the presence of a particular construct, like the LOT, is a common measure to minimize the influence of the response bias of acquiescence Conduct recognizing the existence of a transaction and intended to permit the transaction to be carried into effect; a tacit agreement; consent inferred from silence. (e.g., Aiken, 1994; Gatchel & Mears, 1982). However, in the present study, the four negatively worded items do not contribute significantly to the predictive power of the complete LOT and this calls for a need for revision.
Scheier et al. (1994) have revised the LOT recently by deleting one positive and one negative item, and replacing one positive item with a new one. The revision thus contains three positive and three negative items. Nevertheless, confirmatory factor analysis indicates that the two-factor solution is as good as the single-factor one (Scheier et al., 1994). Therefore, the revision does very little in answering the question of whether dispositional optimism is more validly defined by the complete LOT or the optimism subscale. To solve this problem, modifying the negatively phrased items or reducing their number so that a unidimensional LOT can be generated appears to be the most sensible measure to be taken. Any future attempt of revision should take this into account.
Support of this research was provided by City University Grant No. 9030367.
I am grateful to David Tam, Wai-man Lee, and Helen Yu for their help in data collection. Thanks to Dennis Delprato and an anonymous reviewer re·view·er
One who reviews, especially one who writes critical reviews, as for a newspaper or magazine.
a person who writes reviews of books, films, etc.
Noun 1. for their comments on an earlier version of this paper.
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Relating to or performing secretion. immunity. Unpublished doctoral dissertation dis·ser·ta·tion
A lengthy, formal treatise, especially one written by a candidate for the doctoral degree at a university; a thesis.
1. , University of Hong Kong The University of Hong Kong (commonly abbreviated as HKU, pronounced as "Hong Kong U") is the oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong. Its motto is "Sapientia et Virtus" in Latin, and " , Hong Kong.
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Of, based on, or involving perception. & Motor Skills, 83, 23-27.
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MOOK, J., KLEIJN, W. CHR CHR
canine hypoxic rhabdomyolysis. ., & PLOEG, H. M. VAN DER. (1992). Positively and negatively worded items in a self-report measure of dispositional optimism. Psychological Reports, 71, 275-278.
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SCHEIER, M. F., & CARVER, C. S. (1985). Optimism, coping and health: Assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology, 4, 219-247.
SCHEIER, M. F., & CARVER, C. S. (1987). Dispositional optimism and physical well-being: The influence of generalized outcome expectancies on health. Journal of Personality, 55, 169-210.
SCHEIER, M. F., & CARVER, C. S. (1992). Effects of optimism on psychological and physical well-being: Theoretical overview and empirical update. Cognitive Therapy & Research, 16, 201-228.
SCHEIER, M. F., & CARVER, C. S. (1993). On the power of positive thinking: The benefits of being optimistic. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2, 26-30.
SCHEIER, M. F., CARVER, C. S., & BRIDGES, M. W. (1994). Distinguishing optimism from neuroticism (and trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem): A reevaluation of the Life Orientation Test. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 67, 1063-1078.
SCHEIER, M. F., MATTHEWS, K. A., OWENS, J. F., MAGOVERN, G. J., LEFEBVRE, R. C., ABBOTT, R. A., & CARVER, S.C. (1989). Dispositional optimism and recovery from coronary bypass surgery Coronary bypass surgery
A surgical procedure which places a shunt to allow blood to travel from the aorta to a branch of the coronary artery at a point past an obstruction.
Mentioned in: Cardiac Catheterization, Thallium Heart Scan : The beneficial effects on physical and psychological well-being psychological well-being Research A nebulous legislative term intended to ensure that certain categories of lab animals, especially primates, don't 'go nuts' as a result of experimental design or conditions . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (often referred to as JPSP) is a monthly psychology journal of the American Psychological Association. It is considered one of the top journals in the fields of social and personality psychology. , 57, 1024-1040.
SCHEIER, M. F., WEINTRAUB, J. K., & CARVER, C. S. (1986). Coping with stress: divergent di·ver·gent
1. Drawing apart from a common point; diverging.
2. Departing from convention.
3. Differing from another: a divergent opinion.
4. strategies of optimists and pessimists. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 51, 1257-1264.
STRUTTON, D., & LUMPKIN, J. (1992). Relationship between optimism and coping strategies The German Freudian psychoanalyst Karen Horney defined four so-called coping strategies to define interpersonal relations, one describing psychologically healthy individuals, the others describing neurotic states. in the work environment. Psychological Reports, 71, 1179-1186.
TANCK, P., & ROBBINS, L. I. (1979). Assertiveness assertiveness /as·ser·tive·ness/ (ah-ser´tiv-nes) the quality or state of bold or confident self-expression, neither aggressive nor submissive. and locus of control locus of control
A theoretical construct designed to assess a person's perceived control over his or her own behavior. The classification internal locus indicates that the person feels in control of events; external locus . Journal of Personality Assessment, 39, 526-534.
TAYLOR, S. E., KEMENY, M. E., ASPINWALL, L. G., SCHNEIDER, S. G., RODRIGUEZ, R., & HERBERT, M. (1992). Optimism, coping, psychological distress psychological distress The end result of factors–eg, psychogenic pain, internal conflicts, and external stress that prevent a person from self-actualization and connecting with 'significant others'. See Humanistic psychology. , and high-risk sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. among men at risk for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, see AIDS. (AIDS). Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 63, 460-473.