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Optimism, Pessimism and the Big Five Personality Model among Egyptian College Students

Ahmed M. Abdel-Khalek

Published: 2019/12/01


The aim of the present study was to estimate the associations between optimism/ pessimism and the Big-Five (BF) personality factors. A convenience sample (N = 220) of Egyptian university students took part in this study (114 men; 111 women). Their ages ranged from 20 to 27. They responded to the Arabic Scale of Optimism and Pessimism (ASOP) and the Arabic Big Five Personality Inventory (ABFPI). Women obtained a higher mean score than men on neuroticism. Optimism correlated negatively with neuroticism and positively with all other Big Five factors. Pessimism correlated positively with neuroticism and negatively with extraversion in men and women, as well as negatively with conscientiousness and openness in men only. Principal components analysis disclosed two components: positive versus negative affectivity, and “normal” traits. Predictors of male optimism were: pessimism (negative), conscientiousness and agreeableness (both positive); and female optimism was predicted by pessimism (negative), openness and agreeableness (both positive). The inter-correlations between the Big Five factors deserve further study.

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