July 16, 2008

Individualists and egalitarians are more optimistic

Personality and Individual Differences doi:10.1016/j.paid.2008.05.008

Is optimism universal? A meta-analytical investigation of optimism levels across 22 nations

Ronald Fischer et al.


A meta-analysis of dispositional optimism levels as measured by the life orientation test (LOT, Scheier & Carver, 1985) across 22 countries (k = 213; N = 89,138) is reported. Using mixed effect modeling, overall culture differences were small. Greater individualism (Hofstede, 1980) was associated with greater optimism. Greater egalitarianism (versus hierarchy, Schwartz, 1994) was consistently associated with higher optimism. Claims of fundamental cultural differences were not supported. Implications for cross-cultural research and applications are discussed.


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