Optimism, gender and success: The effect of optimism on achieving life goals
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The relation between optimism and success is thoroughly studied and addressed in the literature. However, the definition and operationalization of success widely varies across studies and mostly entails a career-related approach. The present study introduced the achievement of life goals as an alternative operationalization of success and investigated its relation to gender and optimism. In light of this approach, a positive correlation between optimism and goal achievement was expected. Moreover, it was hypothesized that no gender differences in optimism and goal achievement would appear, as well as no moderation effect of gender on the relationship between optimism and goal achievement. Participants (N = 148, 63% female, mean age 42 years) completed self-report questionnaires on all variables. The outcomes supported the hypotheses by showing that optimism and goal achievement were related, but no moderation effect of gender was present. The findings imply that alternative approaches to success may erase the perceived gender gap in success and support the association between optimism and success. However, future studies should study and discuss this approach to gender and success more in-depth. Implications and methodological shortcomings of the present study are discussed.