MOOD survey from Lincoln Financial reveals women are more optimistic than men
07 March 2012

It’s no coincidence that iconic optimistic and take-charge characters from film and literature are often female — think Dorothy with her passionate pursuit of getting home from Oz, Hermione from Harry Potter with her determination, and Elle from Legally Blonde with her relentless can-do attitude. Indeed, a new survey from Lincoln Financial Group reveals that women are more optimistic than men, and uncovers key factors associated with feeling in control of one’s life. The survey, entitled MOOD of America (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction), examined Americans’ outlook on their health, finances and personal lives.

According to the survey, most women tend to see the glass half full, with three-quarters of women (76%) saying they are optimistic about their futures, compared to two-thirds of men (67%). Additionally, two-thirds of women (66%) feel in control of their health, finances and personal lives.

We Can Do It!

Not surprisingly, there is a strong relationship between being optimistic and feeling in control of one’s life. Four-fifths of take-charge women (79%) feel that there are no limits to what they can do or accomplish, and a vast majority (93%) believe they can always find a way to solve their problems.

The survey also showed that optimism should not be dismissed as a tendency to view the world through rose-colored glasses — instead, it’s the ability to view the world from a place of strength and with confidence. According to Lincoln’s survey results, the women who reported feeling more in control of their lives also reported feeling twice as confident that their personal financial situation would improve over the next year (38% among in-control women vs. 19% among those not in control).

For Women, Taking Care of Business Means Taking Care of Themselves Too

While balancing work, home and family life can be a challenge, women who have mastered being the CEO of their lives tend to take care of themselves and feel in control by:

  • Taking long walks (72%)
  • Going on vacation each year (55%)
  • Making time for friends (92%)
  • Volunteering or donating money to charity (92%)
  • Regularly going for physicals (84%) and dental checkups (75%)
  • Putting away money for retirement (75%)

"A key attribute shared by women who feel in control of their lives is that they feel empowered to take action," said Jamie DePeau, chief marketing officer at Lincoln Financial. "These women have taken proactive steps to build financial security for themselves and their families, such as putting away money for retirement. But they are also very focused on taking action to achieve balance in their lives: re-charging their mental batteries by making time to read and think, or by spending time with family and friends. Whether you are the CEO of a large household or an independent, single woman, we want women to feel inspired, confident and optimistic about their futures."

To inspire women across America, Lincoln has created a Women Take Charge online resource with information dedicated to helping women take charge of their futures. Additionally, check out Lincoln’s exclusive video documenting women from three life stages as they talk about why they took charge of their finances and futures.

Survey Methodology

The MOOD (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America survey results are based on a telephone poll conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies on November 4-8, 2011, among 803 adults 18 years of age and older across the United States. Respondents were contacted by phone via a live operator; their telephone numbers were selected using random-digit dial methods. The sample was weighted by age, Hispanic ethnicity and race. Demographic weighting targets are based on the 2010 U.S. Census figures for adults 18 years of age and older. View more details from the survey at

About Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in the Philadelphia region, the companies of Lincoln Financial Group had assets under management of $160 billion as of December 31, 2011. Through its affiliated companies, Lincoln Financial Group offers: annuities; life, group life, disability and dental insurance; 401(k) and 403(b) plans; savings plans; and comprehensive financial planning and advisory services. For more information, including a copy of our most recent SEC reports containing our balance sheets, please visit


Media Contacts:
Ayele Ajavon
Laurel O’Brien