The study was aimed at evaluating the impact of situational and personality factors on expectation of success. Participants (130 university students) estimated their probability of success in two - lottery and competition - situations. 'Success scenarios' for the two situations were constructed in such a way, as to include situations in which the number of winners participants was higher, equal, or lower than the number of participants who win nothing. The two personality characteristics under study were dispositional optimism (assessed with the LOT-R) and belief in good luck (assessed with the BIGL). The data indicate that in both the lottery and competition situations people display optimistic expectations of success. These optimistic expectations depend most strongly on the objective frequency of outcomes, however, optimistic expectations were higher in competition than in the lottery situations. The role of individual differences in dispositional optimism and/or belief in good luck was most salient in ambiguous situations (equal probability of winning vs. not winning). Under lottery condition optimistic expectations of success were positively associated with belief in good luck, whereas under competition these expectations were positively related to disposional optimism. In general the impact of situational factors was more salient than the impact of personal factors on expectancies of success.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.