Walking Down the Sunny Side of the Street: Three Studies Developing a Spiritually Nuanced Measure of Optimism

by Rodney L. Bassett, Irene Garrick, Melissa Fogarty, Sara Giagalone, Afton Kapuscinski, Matt Olmstead, Megan McRae, Nathan Claes, Donna Birrittella, Amanda Mogle, and Robert Distaffen

The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion (Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 330-352) 2008
  • Psychology

Across a series of studies, an effort was made to operationalize optimism in a spiritually nuanced fashion. In the first study, it was proposed and tested that spiritual optimism might consist of two factors: “here and now” and “end of story” optimism. However, a second study suggested that spiritual optimism had more of a unitary quality. The second study also suggested that the construct of spiritual optimism was separate from the construct of hope. The third study confirmed the unitary nature of the spiritual optimism measure and provided evidence for the construct validity of the measure. Spiritual optimism was directly related to a general measure of coping and a measure of religious coping. The relationships between spiritual optimism and different types of religious coping appeared stronger than between spiritual optimism and the more general measures of coping.