Project Information

Project title
Relationships between self-esteem, control and optimism
Researcher(s)
Catherine Croft (Deakin University)
Postal address
5/ 266 Neerim Rd, Carnegie 3163
Project dates
Commenced July 2000
Anticipated completion November 2001
Nature of the project
Thesis research as part of Masters of Arts (Psychology)
Brief description

Self-esteem, perceived control and optimism are often seen as three interrelated constructs due to each being a positively biased cognition that contributes to a sense of subjective well-being. Surprisingly however, few studies have empirically examined the relationships between these constructs. The current research was designed to assess the validity of the assumption that self-esteem, perceived control and optimism form three distinct well-being constructs. To achieve this end a factor analysis was performed on scale items that were rendered equivalent in terms of Likert scale construction and response mode. Participants consisted of 309 adults aged between 18 and 90 years who were randomly selected from the general population. It was hypothesized that self-esteem, perceived control, and optimism, would form one underlying factor representing a general positive perspective towards life. The results support this hypothesis. Implications of these results for self-esteem, perceived control and optimism measurement and theory will be discussed.