LOT-R (Life Orientation Test-Revised)

The Life Orientation Test (LOT) was developed to assess individual differences in generalized optimism versus pessimism. This measure, and its successor the LOT-R, have been used in a good deal of research on the behavioral, affective, and health consequences of this personality variable. An updated review of that literature can be found in the following article:

Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Segerstrom, S. C.(2010). Optimism. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 879-889.   [abstract]

Although the LOT was widely used, it had some problems.  Most important, its original items did not all focus as explicitly on expectations for the future as theory dictated.  In part to remedy this deficiency, we developed a modest revision of the LOT, called LOT-R.  It was published in the following article:

Scheier, M. F., Carver, C. S., & Bridges, M. W. (1994). Distinguishing optimism from neuroticism (and trait anxiety, self-mastery, and self-esteem): A re-evaluation of the Life Orientation Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 1063-1078.   [abstract]

We (and other people) have used the LOT-R in a good deal of research. More information on this work is contained in some of the articles on this list.  A Spanish version of the LOT-R can be found here.  A French version can be found here. A Serbian version can be found here.

The LOT-R is a very brief measure that is easy to use.  Its brevity makes it ideal for use in projects in which many measures are being used.  Please note that this is a research instrument, not intended for clinical applications. There are no "cut-offs" for optimism or pessimism; we use it as a continuous dimension of variability.

Here is the LOT-R as it is used in our own work:

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LOT-R

Please be as honest and accurate as you can throughout.  Try not to let your response to one statement influence your responses to other statements.  There are no "correct" or "incorrect" answers.  Answer according to your own feelings, rather than how you think "most people" would answer.

 A = I agree a lot
 B = I agree a little
 C = I neither agree nor disagree
 D = I DISagree a little
 E = I DISagree a lot

1.  In uncertain times, I usually expect the best.
[2.  It's easy for me to relax.]
3.  If something can go wrong for me, it will.
4.  I'm always optimistic about my future.
[5.  I enjoy my friends a lot.]
[6.  It's important for me to keep busy.]
7.  I hardly ever expect things to go my way.
[8.  I don't get upset too easily.]
9.  I rarely count on good things happening to me.
10.  Overall, I expect more good things to happen to me than bad.

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Note:

Items 2, 5, 6, and 8 are fillers.   Responses to "scored" items are to be coded so that high values imply optimism.  Researchers who are interested in testing the potential difference between affirmation of optimism and disaffirmation of pessimism should compute separate subtotals of the relevant items.
 
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University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology