Life Orientation Test

Citation: Michael F. Scheier & Charles S. Carver. (1985). Optimism, coping, and health: Assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology, 4, 219-247

PMID or DOI: DOI: 10.1037//0278-6133.4.3.219

Main positive psychological well-being construct measured: Optimism

Sub-constructs measured: N/A

Available subscales: N/A

Description:  The Life Orientation Test (LOT) was developed to measure individual differences in optimism versus pessimism.

Number of items: 12 (including 4 filler items)

Example of statement/item: “In uncertain times, I usually expect the best”

Response options:  5-point Likert scale ranging from 0, “Strongly disagree” to 4, “Strongly agree”.

Total score: Items are summed, yielding a range from 0 to 32. Higher scores indicate greater levels of optimism.

Other forms available (and related citation):
A) Life Orientation Test Revised (LOT-r); (Scheier, M. F., Carver, C. S., & Bridges, M. W. (1994). Distinguishing optimism from neuroticism (and trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem) – A revaluation of the life orientation test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 1063-1078)

Examples of studies:
1. Ikeda, A., et al., Pessimistic orientation in relation to telomere length in older men: the VA normative aging study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014. 42: p. 68-76.
2. Kim, E.S., W.J. Chopik, and J. Smith, Are people healthier if their partners are more optimistic? The dyadic effect of optimism on health among older adults. J Psychosom Res, 2014. 76(6): p. 447-53.
3. Kim, E.S., J. Smith, and L.D. Kubzansky, Prospective study of the association between dispositional optimism and incident heart failure. Circ Heart Fail, 2014. 7(3): p. 394-400.
4. Anthony, E.G., D. Kritz-Silverstein, and E. Barrett-Connor, Optimism and mortality in older men and women: The Rancho Bernardo Study. J Aging Res, 2016. 2016: p. 5185104.

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