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Optimism/Pessimism Test

Based on research from the University of Cincinnati

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati developed an instrument for the assessment of optimism and pessimism. Optimism can be described as an overall hopeful disposition, while pessimism is an expectation that bad things will happen. Scientific evidence suggests that optimism is related to overall resilience and well-being, while pessimism is sometimes correlated with anxiety.

Below is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common among people who have optimistic or pessimistic tendencies. Please read each question carefully and indicate whether it applies to you.

Question 1 of 20

When I go to a party or head out to be with friends, I expect that it will be fun.



The IDRlabs Optimism/Pessimism Test (IDR-OPT) was developed by IDRlabs. The IDR-OPT is based on the Optimism/Pessimism Instrument (OPI) developed by Dr. William Dember, Dr. Stephanie Martin, Dr. Mary Hummer, Dr. Steven Howe, and Dr. Richard Melton. The IDR-OPT is not associated with any specific researchers in the field of psychology or any affiliated research institutions.

The IDRlabs Optimism/Pessimism Test was informed by the OPI’s criteria for optimism and pessimism as published in Dember, Martin, Hummer, Howe, and Melton (1989) The measurement of optimism and pessimism. Current Psychological Research and Reviews, 8, 109-119. While there is a tendency to create a divisive binary with optimism (positive bias) on one side and pessimism (negative bias) on the other, researchers posit that the two constructs are not really opposites and that there is more interrelatedness than previously thought.

The present test is intended for educational purposes only. IDRlabs and the present IDRlabs Optimism/Pessimism Test are independent of the above researchers, organizations, or their affiliated institutions. The Optimism/Pessimism Test is based on a famous and well-regarded inventory for the assessment of optimism and pessimism. However, free online tests and quizzes such as this one are solely first takes and cannot provide accurate assessments of your personality. A definitive personality or mental attitude assessment can be made only by a qualified professional.

As the publishers of this free online optimism/pessimism test, which allows you to categorize your mental attitude, we have strived to make the test as reliable and valid as possible by subjecting this test to statistical controls and validation. However, free online quizzes such as the present Optimism/Pessimism Test do not provide professional assessments or recommendations of any kind; the test is provided entirely “as-is.” For more information about any of our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. This Optimism/Pessimism Test, based on research from the University of Cincinnati, is delivered to you free of charge and will allow you to obtain your scores related to a positive and/or negative mental attitude.

2. Validity and reliability. Empirical testing has indicated the validity of the Optimism Pessimism Instrument as published in the scientific journal Current Psychology: Research and Reviews.

3. Statistical controls. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

4. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally with psychology and individual differences research.