Conservation Optimism

There has been considerable interest in optimism within the conservation community, but until recently, we did not know how optimistic conservation professionals were. Optimism is a relatively stable personality trait which is associated with increased resilience and proactive behaviours. In research published in Biodiversity and Conservation, Sarah Papworth, Becky Thomas and Sam Turvey showed that a sample of 171 conservation professionals in the UK were more optimistic than expected. 

The study used the revised Life Orientation Test, which is a simple psychometric test for optimism. If you want to find out how optimistic you are, why not take the test - it only takes a few minutes: 

click here to take the test.

More recently, Thomas Pienkowski at the University of Oxford has led further studies which use the revised Life Orientation Test to further understand the conservation professionals. In a study of 2341 conservationists, those with higher dispositional optimism were also more optimistic about key biodiversity outcomes in the next 10 years. A study of 2694 conservationists showed an association between higher dispositional optimism and satisfaction with individual goal progress.