Dispositional Optimism is Weakly and Not Significantly Related to Decision Making

  • Neshat Yazdani Fordham University
  • Karen L. Siedlecki Fordham University


Dispositional optimism is considered a stable personality trait and as such may influence expectations about outcomes in a variety of decision-making scenarios.  The current study assessed the relationship between dispositional optimism and decision-making behavior when risk is present.  To investigate whether optimism was associated with risky decision-making behavior, we examined the relationships between dispositional optimism and two correlates (attributional style and trait hope) and risk-taking behavior on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) for 61 participants (Mage = 19.62).  Correlational analyses between the three measures of optimism and IGT performance indicate that dispositional optimism and risky decision-making behavior are not significantly related to one another.  This study contributes to the literature examining how individual differences influence decision-making.  A broader perspective on the factors that influence decision making is necessary so that the mechanisms that predict and explain risky decision making can be better understood.


Keywords: dispositional optimism, decision making, risk, attributional style, hope, Iowa Gambling Task

Author Biographies

Neshat Yazdani, Fordham University
Graduate Student, Applied Developmental PsychologyDepartment of Psychology Fordham University
Karen L. Siedlecki, Fordham University
Karen L. Siedlecki, PhD 
Associate Professor Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies at Lincoln Center
Department of Psychology Fordham University


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