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Positive orientation: explorations on what is common to life satisfaction, self-esteem, and optimism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 April 2011

Gian Vittorio Caprara*
University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome (Italy)
Patrizia Steca
University of Milan “Bicocca”, Milan (Italy)
Guido Alessandri
University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome (Italy)
John R. Abela
McGill University, Montreal (Canada)
Chad M. McWhinnie
McGill University, Montreal (Canada)
Address for correspondence Professor G.V. Caprara, Dipartimento di Psicologia, Sapienza Università degli Studi di Roma, Via dei Marsi 78, 00185 Roma (Italy). Fax: +39-06-4469115 Email:


Aim – Literature documents that the judgments people hold about themselves, their life, and their future are important ingredients of their psychological functioning and well-being, and are commonly related to each other. Methods – We used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) under the classical test theory, regression analysis, and a cross national design. Results – This study provides new findings attesting to the hypothesis that evaluations about oneself, one's life, and one's future rest on a common mode of viewing experiences which we named “Positive Orientation”. Conclusions – Results from an Italian and a Canadian study are resented, attesting to a latent dimension that lies at the core of positive evaluations and that corroborates the utility of the new construct as a critical component of individuals’ well-functioning.

Declaration of Interest: This study was partially supported by Grants from the MIUR, 2002 and 2005, and by a Grant from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, 2002 to Gian Vittorio Caprara. Authors declare “no potential conflict of interest”.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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