Diferentiating Optimists from Pessimists in the Prediction of Emotional Intelligence, Happiness, and Life Satisfaction: A Latent Profle Analysis
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What are the diferences between optimists and pessimists? The aim of this study is to analyze the diferences reported by optimists and pessimists in terms of three psychological variables: emotional intelligence (EI), happiness, and life satisfaction. To answer this question, we examined the extent to which a combination of diferent levels of optimism and pessimism can diferently predict EI, happiness, and life satisfaction in two independent samples (891 adults, 494 adolescents). To do that, we introduced a person-centered approach, which ofers several advantages in the study of optimism over the extended, predominant variable-centered approach. Then, using a latent profle analysis, we identifed three groups of individuals with a similar optimism–pessimism confguration: optimists, ambivalents, and pessimists. The results obtained supported our hypothesis that optimists report higher EI, happiness, and life satisfaction levels than those reported by pessimists. Low levels of optimism, rather than high levels of pessimism, distinguish optimistic from non-optimistic people in the prediction of external outcomes. Our results suggest that optimism and pessimism can be viewed as separate yet correlated traits that can be grouped together to explain individual afective and cognitive diferences, which encourage the refnement of strategies and interventions used in psychology practice.
Is part ofJournal of Happiness Studies, 2022
European research projects
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