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Flashcards in Optimism and other positive psychological traits Deck (6)
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What are some assessment tools that can be used to assess optimism?

- The Life Orientation Test

- The Satisfaction with Life Test

- "Purpose in life"/life engagement test


What are the main results of the studies investigating the link between positive psychological traits and health?

- Higher optimism = lower likelihood of being re-hospitalized after coronary bypass surgery

- Greater openness = 25% lower mortality in CHD patients


What were the findings of the study "Recovery expectations and long-term prognosis of patients with coronary heart disease"?

*Recovery expectations measured using the CPE/Coping Expectations Scale)

Higher CPE scores =
- Greater functional status
- Greater social support
- Lowered depression
- Lowered mortality

*These findings held true, even after controlling for many other factors (e.g. Age, Gender, Disease Severity, Education, Depression, Social Support, Functional Status)


What are the mechanisms by which CPE scores could affect mortality?

- Level of adherence to doctor's orders (patients with low CPE scores may not follow orders because they are more hopeless about their situation)

- Stress levels (low CPE scorers may react with higher stress/make less effort to cope)


How can we find the mechanisms that create the correlation between CPE scores and mortality?

1. Demonstrate that high CPE scores are correlated with lowered mortality in CHD patients.

2. Find a measure (such as blood pressure) that may be the mediator in this relationship.

3. When testing the efficacy of a given intervention aiming to increase CPE scores, measure blood pressure in control vs intervention groups.

4. If blood pressure is truly the pathway through which coping efforts affect mortality, then CPE should no longer correlate with mortality when blood pressure is controlled for!


What were the findings of the study "Optimism, Cynical Hostility and All-Cause Mortality in 97,253 Women"?

- Hostility predicted increased mortality
- Optimism predicted decreased mortality

*The effects of hostility and optimism on mortality were significant, even after controlling for each other and for other major risk factors!