Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R)

Author of Tool: 

Carver, C. S.

Key references: 

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

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. 

Primary use / Purpose: 

A brief measure of life-orientation.


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. 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, a modest revision of the LOT, called LOT-R was developed. 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.


Cronbach's alpha for the entire 6 items of the scale was .78, suggesting the scale has an acceptable level of internal consistency. The test-retest corrrelations were .68, .60, .56 and .79, suggesting that the scale is stable across time.


Digital Object Identifier (DOI):