ARTICLE SUMMARY #1
CITATION: Lee, C., Ashford, S., & Jamieson, L. (1993). The effects of Type A behavior dimensions and optimism on coping strategy, health, and performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 14(2), 143-157. doi:10.1002/job.4030140205.
Hypothesis 1- Irritability and anger/hostility would be positively related to somatic
complaints and anxiety, achievement striving would be unrelated to somatic complaints and anxiety, and optimism would be negatively related to both health measures.
Hypothesis 2- Hypothesis 2 Optimism will moderate the Type A behavior dimensions and
Hypothesis 3- Achievement striving and optimism would be positively related
to problem-focused coping, while irritability and anger/hostility would be unrelated to this coping strategy.
Hypothesis 4- Problem-focused coping strategy will be negatively related to
somatic complaints and anxiety/insomnia but will be positively related to classroom performance.
Sample: One hundred and ninety-two undergraduate full-time students in a junior level management course (a total of six classes), participated in the study on a voluntary basis.
Measures: The two dimensions of achievement striving (AS) and impatience/irritability (II) were assessed
using a revised 12-item Jenkins Activity Survey (JAS) developed and validated by Spence et
al. (1987, 1989). Additionally, the 4-item anger/hostility scale was taken from Siegel (1986).
Optimism was assessed using an 8-item Life Orientation Test (LOT) scale developed and validated
by Scheier and Carver (1985). Scheier and Carver (1985, 1987) presented preliminary
evidence in support of the reliability and validity of the Life Orientation Test (LOT) to measure
dispositional optimism. In addition to the satisfactory intemal consistency and test-retest reliability
in a sample of college students reported by Scheier and Carver (1985), the LOT was only
moderately correlated with locus of control, hopelessness, and self-esteem supporting its discriminant
validity. This 8-item scale assesses the extent to which individuals possess favorable expectations regarding life outcomes and consists of four positively and four negatively worded items.
Respondents self-report of somatic complaints and anxiety/insomnia were measured using the General Health Questionnaire. Respondents were asked to report
symptoms experienced over the past month, and responses were scored on a 4-point Likert scale.
Students' classroom performance consisted of their individual examination scores (on their second examination) and course grade.
Procedure: Surveys were distributed after students obtained their first examination
scores. Coping strategies, achievement striving, impatience/irritability, anger/hostility, optimism, and self-report of somatic complaints and anxiety/insomnia were measured at this time. These scales were coded or recoded so that higher scores refiect higher levels of the construct. Second examination scores and course grades were collected at the end of the academic quarter. All participants were assured confidentiality.
Basic Results & Interpretation: fter controlling for anxiety, none ofthe variables were significantly related to somatic complaints. However, anger/hostility was positively related to anxiety. As predicted, optimism was negatively related to anxiety Thus, hypothesis 1 received mixed support.
only the interaction of optimism and achievement striving was negatively related to anxiety. However, this interaction was not significantly
related to somatic complaints. Thus, the data provided mixed support for the second
Regression analysis showed that achievement striving was positively related
to problem-focused coping strategy but optimism was unrelated to problemfocused coping. Similarly, anger/hostility as unrelated to problem-focused coping, but irritability was negatively related to problem-focused coping. The data provided mixed support for hypothesis 3.
Problem-focused coping strategy was significantly related to
course grade, but its positive relationship to examination score was not significant. Moreover, problem-focused coping was unrelated to anxiety.
Thus, the data provided weak support for the truth hypothesis.
Limitations: data were collected on college undergraduates which limits the generalizability of the results.
Rather than optimism lowering health
risks, it is possible that higher health risks decrease optimism.
ARTICLE SUMMARY #2
CITATION: Ruthig, J., & Chipperfield, J. (2007). Health incongruence in later life: Implications for subsequent well-being and health care. Health Psychology, 26(6), 753-761. doi:10.1037/0278-618.104.22.1683.
Primary Hypotheses: pessimists would have poorer outcomes than realists.
Optimists, who overestimated their health , would experience better outcomes than realists.
Optimists would have relatively strong PC (perceived control) and pessimists would have weak PC.
Sample: 232 community-dwelling older adults
Measures: participants were drawn from a representative sample.
psychological well-being (life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions), functional well-being (objective and perceived physical activity, activity restriction), and health care (health care management, hospital admissions, length of hospital stays).
Procedure: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study
longitudinal study that involved interviewing participants from independent cross-sectional waves entering the study at three separate points in time (i.e., 1971, 1976, 1983).
2 years after participating in the most recent follow-up AIM project (2001), 232 participants took part in a more focused study, the SAS (successful aging study) 2003
Basic Results & Interpretation: Compared with realists, pessimists had significantly poorer outcomes and optimists had better outcomes. Because perceived control (PC) was weaker among pessimists and stronger among optimists, supplemental analysis determined whether PC differences explained these findings. When accounting for PC, many pessimism and optimism effects became nonsignificant, yet effects on functional well-being remained unchanged.
Intrepretation of results- Findings have implications for older adults at risk of functional decline.
Limitations: OH measure partly involved self-reported chronic health conditions, raising some concern about participants’ accuracy in reporting the presence of such conditions.
OH measure did not account for individual differences in severity of a given condition.
lack of causal inferences in this study.
ARTICLE SUMMARY #3
CITATION: Roney, C., & Lehman, D. (2008). Self-regulation in goal striving: Individual differences and situational moderators of the goal-framing/performance link. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38(11), 2691-2709. Retrieved from PsycINFO database.
Primary Hypotheses: Hypothesis 1- Negative framing will
predict poorer subsequent performance, independent of goal level, expectancy,
and past performance.
Hypothesis 2- defensive pessimists—who have
developed self-regulatory strategies allowing them to avoid or to deal positively
with anxiety—will not be adversely affected by negative framing.
Sample: Study 1 (N = 133)
Study 2 (N = 188) Age Group:Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Measures: Academic Goals Questionnaire
Defensive Pessimism Questionnaire
Procedure: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study
Students’ performance on the next
major exam after they completed the goal survey was the primary dependent
measure. Up to 10 people participated per session.
Basic Results & Interpretation: the negative goal framing/poorer-performance link was greater on a later exam (after receiving feedback) than an earlier one, and was greater for non defensive pessimists than for defensive pessimists. The findings implicate self-regulatory processes in understanding how goal framing affects performance.
Limitations: research is correlational therefore the suggestion that negative framing causes poorer performance cannot be made with certainty
sample of defensive pessimists in Study 2 was not large (N = 55).
ARTICLE SUMMARY #4
CITATION: Showers, C. (1992). The motivational and emotional consequences of considering positive or negative possibilities for an upcoming event. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(3), 474-484. doi:10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1244.
Primary Hypotheses: attention to negative possibilities for an upcoming event can have advantages for performance in comparison with a more optimistic approach
Sample: sample of 481 male and female introductory psychology students.
Measures:There were three types of outcome measures: an objective measure of behavior (time talking), the confederate's ratings, and the subject's ratings. Used Likert scales.
Procedure: Study 1- Four female confederates were used in a balanced design. All were undergraduates who were blind to the hypotheses and design of the experiment.
Study 2- Two subjects were scheduled for each session. They were told that they would be having a 10-min get-acquainted conversation, after which they would fill out confidential ratings of their impressions of each other. Then, both subjects filled out the focus manipulation, followed by the three mood items. When they were finished, the experimenter made an excuse about needing more questionnaires and asked them not to talk until she returned. After 3 min, she returned and administered the thought-listing questionnaire, followed by the expectation and perceived control ratings. At this point, the experimenter explained that the conversations would be unnecessary and debriefed the subjects.
Basic Results & Interpretation:In Study 1, negatively focused defensive pessimists performed better in their conversations than positively focused defensive pessimists on several dimensions (e.g., talk time, perceived effort, and sociability). Optimists' behavior was unaffected by the focus manipulation. However, all negatively focused Ss felt worse after their conversations than did positively focused Ss. Study 2 examined the cognitive process by which a negative focus may lead to positive behaviors. Some pessimists may benefit from an initial negative focus that is not accompanied by lowered expectations and that actually facilitates positive thoughts about the self.