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Most Americans See Upside of Life: Pepsi Optimism Project

The economy may be bad and the world news may include wars, natural disasters and other tragic and worrisome events, but most Americans are looking on the bright side.

The economy may be bad and the world news may include wars, natural disasters and other tragic and worrisome events, but most Americans are looking on the bright side. According to the second survey conducted by New York-based independent research firm StrategyOne on behalf of the Pepsi Optimism Project (POP), Americans are more optimistic now than last year regarding their relationships with family and friends (91 percent vs. 81 percent); overall well-being (88 percent vs. 84 percent); health (86 percent vs. 78 percent); finances (77 percent vs. 64 percent); and chances of finding love (70 percent vs. 61 percent).

The new research found that 96 percent of Americans are optimistic about their futures and believe in each other, POP noted.

"In 2008, our POP research informed us that there was a collective and contagious sense of optimism pervading the youth mindset," said Frank Cooper, CMO of portfolio brands at Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages. “This year we see that same spirit of optimism is not only pervasive among the millennial generation, but [also] across all demographics

The survey further found that Americans most often associate the words "hope," "confidence" and "success" with optimism. The only aspect of their lives respondents weren’t more optimistic about than last year, in fact, was their careers. Additional findings included:

• 72 percent of African-Americans are significantly more likely than whites (53 percent) or Latinos (60 percent) to expect more good things to happen to them than bad;

• African-Americans (62 percent) were significantly more likely to associate the word “necessary” with optimism than whites (51 percent) and Latinos (52 percent);

• The sense of optimism is stronger in cities than small towns, with 64 percent of city dwellers saying they’re more likely to be optimistic about an economic recovery than their non-metro counterparts (53 percent);

About 1,280 Americans ages 18 and older were interviewed by telephone from June 11 through June 15 and June 18 through June 22, 2009, as part of the POP, a continuing study gauging the national level of optimism on a quarterly basis, by measuring the national state of optimism via a composite score. The national optimism score is reached by scoring and totaling Americans’ responses to survey questions about their overall sense of optimism, their sense of optimism about their personal lives, their optimism about the world and their optimism about the future. Optimism levels are broken down into five categories: 'Very Optimistic" (scores between 200-161), "Optimistic" (160-121), "Neutral" (120-81), "Pessimistic" (80-41) and "Very Pessimistic" (40-0). According to the survey, the nation's optimism score is 143, squarely within the "Optimistic" camp.

—Nielsen Business Media