Separating optimism and pessimism: a robust psychometric analysis of the revised Life Orientation Test (LOT-R)

Psychol Assess. 2006 Dec;18(4):433-438. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.18.4.433.


The internal structure of the revised Life Orientation Test (LOT-R, German version; M. F. Scheier, C. S. Carver, & M. W. Bridges, 1994) was analyzed in a sample of 46,133 participants who ranged in age from 18 years to 103 years. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that dispositional optimism, as measured by the LOT-R, is bidimensional, consisting of an Optimism and a Pessimism factor. Consistent with previous results, there were small to moderate negative correlations between Optimism and Pessimism, but the strength of the association continuously decreased with age. The relative independence of the 2 dimensions occurred in both genders and across different age groups of patients with different medical disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude*
  • Disease / psychology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Distribution