Optimism; lot; Life Attitude; Positive Psychology; Syrian students



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Abstract

Our positive and negative expectations regarding future life events can be defined as optimism. A key role of the understanding of optimism is to examine its importance in psychological functioning and well-being.

This study first examined Syrian students’ (N=113) optimism level and its’ relationship with their life attitude. The students are from Istanbul Şehir University.

One of the most frequently used measures of dispositional optimism is the revised Life Orientation Test (LOT–R; Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994).This study will gain insight into the Syrian college students’ levels of optimism and pessimism whose country has been continuing war.

Findings of the study indicated that average optimism level of students (N=113) is 13.893 out of 21. 15.9% of them has low optimism level. The 21.2% of the students has little confidence about their going through the terrible situation in their country. And the 49.6% has not shown preference about getting a job offer in Syria in future. 52.2% of the students thinks that some people are doomed to live unhappy life which is a thought pattern that will give rise to depression symptoms. Factor analysis of the questions taken from the original LOT-R scale extracted a single factor, and showed reliability of .717 and additional four questions about life attitude is used to study the relationship between optimism level and life attitude.

Results shows that Syrian students’ good expectation about Syrians’ future and optimism level is positively correlated. Syrian students’ preference about life and optimism level is also positively correlated), Syrian students’ thought pattern as fate is cause of unhappy life is interestingly correlated significantly with optimism.



Keywords: Optimism; LOT; Life Attitude; Positive Psychology; Syrian students

Introduction

The concept of future orientation is related to individual's hopes and fears, expectations, aspirations, plans. What an individual expects from future depends upon her/his attitude towards life. Pessimistic attitude lacks energy needed to drive a person to face the life bravely and it always make one think about failure rather than success. Life satisfaction and life orientation will be significant predictors of psychological well-being. Future orientation has cognitive components. It not only influences the behavior of an individual but is also influenced by the events in one's life such as prolonged deprivation (Agarwal, Tripathi & Srivastava, 1983).

Optimism is a generalized expectancy, that one will experience good outcomes in life, attitude or worldview to interpret past or present events in a positive manner (Carver, Scheier, & Segerstrom, 2010). This expectancy that differs from person to person is a predictor of behavior (Scheier & Carver, 1992) and leads to perseverance and striving toward goal-directed behavior (Carver et al., 2010).

A substantial body of researches indicated that optimism is associated with psychological well-being. Optimism also helped people to cope up with stress and reduce risk of illness (Horowitz et al., 1988). Scheier and Carver (1992) found that optimism is an important predictor of subjective well-being. Maintaining a positive outlook towards life and an optimistic approach to future are the qualities that add to well-being (Dubey and Agarwal, 2004).




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