Giving off a rosy glow: the manipulation of an optimistic orientation.J Soc Psychol. 2009 Jun; 149(3):349-64.JS
Research on generalized optimism has been primarily correlational in nature. The authors attempted to experimentally manipulate optimism separately from several related constructs (i.e., mood and self-esteem). They examined 2 different optimism manipulations. For the 1st one, participants generated thoughts about positive future events to induce an optimistic orientation. For the 2nd one, the authors exposed participants to an optimism-priming task. Both manipulations produced modest increases on a dispositional optimism measure and a situational optimism measure, compared with a control group. The momentary increases appeared particular to the optimism construct because the authors did not find similar increases on measures of mood and self-esteem. The authors provide preliminary evidence that generalized optimism can be validly and discriminantly manipulated.