G. Vittorio Caprara and G. Alessandri

Paper and Pencil

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The Positivity Test is a self-report questionnaire for the assessment of positive attitude. It explores how people view themselves, their future, their life, and their general trust in others.

Suitable for

Suitable for all occupational levels; for selection and development, vocational guidance, counselling and research.

Language Versions

Dutch, Italian, UK English, US English

Product Description

Positive thought, or positivity, can be described as a basic general tendency to approach everyday life with hope and trust. It has also been shown to be a successful predictor of professional success. Positivity corresponds to a pervasive tendency in how people look at reality, which can have a profound effect on the way in which they assign significance and value to their existence in the world.

The Positivity Test assesses positivity by presenting a series of statements reflecting three positive constructs:

  • Self-esteem captures the individual’s general opinion of their self-worth as a person.
  • Optimism captures individual expectations regarding the future.
  • Satisfaction with life reflects the individual’s expression of a very general evaluation of their existence.

Each statement is rated on a scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree, thus providing an insight into the individual’s overall positivity. In definitive terms, self-esteem, optimism and life satisfaction are ‘global evaluations’ that have a pervasive influence on individual emotions, cognition and actions. All three constructs have also demonstrated correlations with a consistent number of indicators of good psychological adjustment or success in life and at work.


The Positivity Test is a useful tool for businesses, as evidence links positivity to job performance. It can also be used by clinical psychologists as a predictor for mood changes or disorders such as depression. Cross-cultural studies have shown that it is equally appropriate for people from different cultural backgrounds.


The test has two scales of measurement.

  • The Positive Orientation Scale evaluates orientation towards oneself, others and the future, resulting in a detailed profile of positivity. These three dimensions combine to give a score for Positive Orientation.
  • The Positivity Scale has been designed as a quick easy-to-use tool for measuring positivity directly. It evaluates people’s assessment of themselves, their future, their life and their general degree of trust in others, to provide a single, simple positivity score.

In addition, two validity scales improve the reliability of results by measuring heroic self-perception and moralistic self-perception, self-presentation strategies (or biases) that are well known in the field of social psychology.

The Positivity Test reports describe in detail how the test taker performed. They include an introduction, results section, profile sheet, scale details, item-level analysis and response statistics. Test users can generate shorter reports by selecting just some of these sections.



Qualification level required:
Test User Occupational: Personality, or equivalent. Please see our Test User Qualifications page for guidance.


In 2018 data was collected matching the country census data for both the UK and US working populations. Final sample sizes were N = 855 from the UK and N = 825 from the US. The national census figures were used to match on gender, age, ethnicity, region and educational background.


The Positivity Test takes 5–10 minutes to complete.