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Distinguishing optimism from pessimism in older adults: is it more important to be optimistic or not to be pessimistic?
J Pers Soc Psychol 1997; 73(6):1345-53JP

Abstract

Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the Life Orientation Test (LOT) consisted of separate Optimism and Pessimism factors among middle-aged and older adults. Although the two factors were significantly negatively correlated among individuals facing a profound life challenge (i.e., caregiving), they were only weakly correlated among noncaregivers. Caregivers also expressed less optimism than noncaregivers and showed a trend toward greater pessimism, suggesting that life stress may affect these dispositions. Pessimism, not optimism, uniquely predicted subsequent psychological and physical health; however, optimism and pessimism were equally predictive for stressed and nonstressed samples. By exploring optimism and pessimism separately, researchers may better determine whether the beneficial effects of optimism result from thinking optimistically, avoiding pessimistic thinking, or a combination of the two.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

9418282

Citation

Robinson-Whelen, S, et al. "Distinguishing Optimism From Pessimism in Older Adults: Is It More Important to Be Optimistic or Not to Be Pessimistic?" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 73, no. 6, 1997, pp. 1345-53.
Robinson-Whelen S, Kim C, MacCallum RC, et al. Distinguishing optimism from pessimism in older adults: is it more important to be optimistic or not to be pessimistic? J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997;73(6):1345-53.
Robinson-Whelen, S., Kim, C., MacCallum, R. C., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (1997). Distinguishing optimism from pessimism in older adults: is it more important to be optimistic or not to be pessimistic? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(6), pp. 1345-53.
Robinson-Whelen S, et al. Distinguishing Optimism From Pessimism in Older Adults: Is It More Important to Be Optimistic or Not to Be Pessimistic. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997;73(6):1345-53. PubMed PMID: 9418282.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Distinguishing optimism from pessimism in older adults: is it more important to be optimistic or not to be pessimistic? AU - Robinson-Whelen,S, AU - Kim,C, AU - MacCallum,R C, AU - Kiecolt-Glaser,J K, PY - 1998/1/7/pubmed PY - 1998/1/7/medline PY - 1998/1/7/entrez SP - 1345 EP - 53 JF - Journal of personality and social psychology JO - J Pers Soc Psychol VL - 73 IS - 6 N2 - Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the Life Orientation Test (LOT) consisted of separate Optimism and Pessimism factors among middle-aged and older adults. Although the two factors were significantly negatively correlated among individuals facing a profound life challenge (i.e., caregiving), they were only weakly correlated among noncaregivers. Caregivers also expressed less optimism than noncaregivers and showed a trend toward greater pessimism, suggesting that life stress may affect these dispositions. Pessimism, not optimism, uniquely predicted subsequent psychological and physical health; however, optimism and pessimism were equally predictive for stressed and nonstressed samples. By exploring optimism and pessimism separately, researchers may better determine whether the beneficial effects of optimism result from thinking optimistically, avoiding pessimistic thinking, or a combination of the two. SN - 0022-3514 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/9418282/Distinguishing_optimism_from_pessimism_in_older_adults:_is_it_more_important_to_be_optimistic_or_not_to_be_pessimistic L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/psp/73/6/1345 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -