Background/Objective: The most common used instrument to measure optimism, both in psychological and medical research, is the Life Orientation Test- Revised (LOT-R). A multi-countries study using the future item from the LOT-R, found that level of optimism varied between countries. The provision of population-based norms is necessary, since norms enable the application of the LOT-R in individual diagnosis to compare individuals or special patient groups’ scores with reference data.
Method: A representative population based survey was conducted in 2014-2015. Norwegian aged 18–94 years (N = 1,792) completed questionnaires assessing sociodemographic, optimism and health and quality of life.
Results: The mean age was 53.2 (SD = 16.6) and 53% were women. Mean LOT-R score was 17.2 (SD 3.0). There were marginal age and no gender differences. Although optimism was associated with sociodemographic variables, these were considered negligible due to small effect size. Norm data are given for the entire population. Optimism was associated with better health and quality of life.
Conclusions: This study provides age and gender specific norm values from a representative sample of the Norwegian population. The normative data may be used in comparisons of optimism between individuals or between different samples of patients or sub-groups of people.
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