Positive generalized outcome expectancies (Scheier & Carver, 1985: 219). Compared with hope, optimism is less explicitly concerns with self-initiated actions one can take to create a successful future for oneself. Simply put, the optimistic person believes that somehow—either through luck, the actions of others, or one’s own actions—that his or her future will be successful and fulfilling. The hopeful person, on the other hand, believes specifically in his or her own capability for securing a successful and fulfilling future.
An individual difference variable that reflects the extent to which people hold generalized favorable expectancies for their future.
Scheier, M. F., & Carver, C. S. (1985). Optimism, coping, and health: assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology, 4(3), 219-247. doi: 10.1037/0278-618.104.22.168; Alarcon, G. M., Bowling, N. A., & Khazon, S. (2013). Great expectations: A meta-analytic examination of optimism and hope. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(7), 821-827. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.12.004; Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Segerstrom, S. C. (2010). Optimism. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 879-889: 10.1016/j.cpr.2010.01.006.