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

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The study included undergraduate students who are Syrian (N=113) from Istanbul Sehir University in Istanbul .Participants completed the questions taken from the original LOT-R scale and additional four questions about life attitude (see Appendix, A).


Present study was conducted to estimate the level of pessimism and optimism in Syrian students .Syrian students in Istanbul Sehir University have filled a set of questionnaire based on LOT-R and four additional questions.

First, the six questions from original ten items of LOT-R was administered. Participants also responded the four questions related to their life attitude in order to investigate the correlations between optimism and life attitude.

Scale from Life Orientation Test-revised (LOT-R)

The LOT-R (Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994) is a test developed to measure self-reported dispositional optimism, being a reduced and revised version of the Life Orientation Test - LOT (Scheier & Carver, 1985). The Scale has 10 items: three statements on optimism (items 1, 4 and 10), three on pessimism (items 3, 7 and 9) and four unscored distractor items (2, 5, 6, 8). Subjects answer the statements indicating their level of agreement on a Likert scale of five point, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The negative scores on the test need to be inverted for the statistical analysis, so that values close to five always indicate a higher degree of optimism.

All items summed together (after removing the fillers and reversing the scores on the pessimism items) create the overall optimism score. This overall score treats pessimism as the opposite of optimism, and reflects a respondent’s overall dispositional optimism. The items reflecting optimism (such as, “In uncertain times I usually expect the best,”) can be summed to create the optimism subscale. The scores of items reflecting pessimism (such as, “If something can go wrong for me, it will”, ) , “I rarely count on good things happening to me” can be summed and reversed. No official “cut scores” have been developed for the LOT-R (Nelson et al., 2003).

The survey is constructed by six items of LOT-R and additional four questions about life attitude. The item on optimism (item 1) “In uncertain times I usually expect the best,” and the one on pessimism(item 3) and distractor items(item 2,5,8) and the item 9 on pessimism “I rarely count on good things happening to me” is adopted inversely as “ I count on good things happening to me” on optimism.(see Appendix, A) .At the end the five item test constructed showed reliability of . 717 after filtering an item on pessimism .

Additionally, participants completed also four questions related to their attitude towards life. (see appendix, B)These questions are treated as four different variables and their relationship with participants’ optimism level is studied . The items “After all , my people will go through it successfully” and examines students’ optimism level about Syrians’ future. The item “I will be glad to get a Job offer in my homeland in near future ” is adopted to study students’ future plan. The item “It is important to love what you are doing” is adopted to examine students’ preference about life, to say , whether they are living just for living or living for the goal and meaning of life .The item “Some people are doomed to live an unhappy life” is adopted to examine whether that fate is thought to be the causative agent of unhappy life.

Subjects answered the statements indicating their level of agreement on a scale of seven point, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree.


The survey was conducted online, the survey link is sent to Syrian students via international relations office of university by email. Once the link is clicked, students can access to fill the survey.

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