Scientific article

International optimism: correlates and consequences of dispositional optimism across 61 countries

Published inJournal of Personality, vol. 89, no. 2, p. 288-304
Publication date2020

Objective: The current exploratory study sought to examine dispositional optimism, or the general expectation for positive outcomes, around the world. Method: Dispositional optimism and possible correlates were assessed across 61 countries (N = 15,185; mean age = 21.92; 77% female). Mean-level differences in optimism were computed along with their relationships with individual and country- level variables. Results: Worldwide, mean optimism levels were above the midpoint of the scale. Perhaps surprisingly, country-level optimism was negatively related to gross do- mestic product per capita, population density, and democratic norms and positively related to income inequality and perceived corruption. However, country-level op- timism was positively related to projected economic improvement. Individual-level optimism was positively related to individual well-being within every country, al- though this relationship was less strong in countries with challenging economic and social circumstances. Conclusions: While individuals around the world are generally optimistic, societal characteristics appear to affect the degree to which their optimism is associated with psychological well-being, sometimes in seemingly anomalous ways.

  • Cross-cultural
  • Dispositional optimism
  • Well-being
NoteAuthors are Members of the International Situations Project
Citation (ISO format)
BARANSKI, Erica et al. International optimism: correlates and consequences of dispositional optimism across 61 countries. In: Journal of Personality, 2020, vol. 89, n° 2, p. 288–304. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12582
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0022-3506

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