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Testing the limits of optimistic bias: event and person moderators in a multilevel framework.
J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008 Nov; 95(5):1225-37.JP

Abstract

N. D. Weinstein (1980) established that optimistic bias, the tendency to see others as more vulnerable to risks than the self, varies across types of event. Subsequently, researchers have documented that this phenomenon, also known as comparative optimism, also varies across types of people. The authors integrate hypotheses originally advanced by Weinstein concerning event-characteristic moderators with later arguments that such optimism may be restricted to certain subgroups. Using multilevel modeling over 7 samples (N = 1,436), the authors found that some degree of comparative optimism was present for virtually all individuals and events. Holding other variables constant, higher perceived frequency and severity were associated with less comparative optimism, higher perceived controllability and stereotype salience with more comparative optimism. Frequency, controllability, and severity were associated more with self-risk than with average-other risk, whereas stereotype salience was associated more with average-other risk than with self-risk. Individual differences also mattered: comparative optimism was related negatively to anxiety and positively to defensiveness and self-esteem. Interaction results imply that both individual differences and event characteristics should jointly be considered in understanding optimistic bias (or comparative optimism) and its application to risk communication.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England. p.harris@sheffield.ac.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18954204

Citation

Harris, Peter R., et al. "Testing the Limits of Optimistic Bias: Event and Person Moderators in a Multilevel Framework." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 95, no. 5, 2008, pp. 1225-37.
Harris PR, Griffin DW, Murray S. Testing the limits of optimistic bias: event and person moderators in a multilevel framework. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008;95(5):1225-37.
Harris, P. R., Griffin, D. W., & Murray, S. (2008). Testing the limits of optimistic bias: event and person moderators in a multilevel framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1225-37. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013315
Harris PR, Griffin DW, Murray S. Testing the Limits of Optimistic Bias: Event and Person Moderators in a Multilevel Framework. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008;95(5):1225-37. PubMed PMID: 18954204.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Testing the limits of optimistic bias: event and person moderators in a multilevel framework. AU - Harris,Peter R, AU - Griffin,Dale W, AU - Murray,Sandra, PY - 2008/10/29/pubmed PY - 2009/1/24/medline PY - 2008/10/29/entrez SP - 1225 EP - 37 JF - Journal of personality and social psychology JO - J Pers Soc Psychol VL - 95 IS - 5 N2 - N. D. Weinstein (1980) established that optimistic bias, the tendency to see others as more vulnerable to risks than the self, varies across types of event. Subsequently, researchers have documented that this phenomenon, also known as comparative optimism, also varies across types of people. The authors integrate hypotheses originally advanced by Weinstein concerning event-characteristic moderators with later arguments that such optimism may be restricted to certain subgroups. Using multilevel modeling over 7 samples (N = 1,436), the authors found that some degree of comparative optimism was present for virtually all individuals and events. Holding other variables constant, higher perceived frequency and severity were associated with less comparative optimism, higher perceived controllability and stereotype salience with more comparative optimism. Frequency, controllability, and severity were associated more with self-risk than with average-other risk, whereas stereotype salience was associated more with average-other risk than with self-risk. Individual differences also mattered: comparative optimism was related negatively to anxiety and positively to defensiveness and self-esteem. Interaction results imply that both individual differences and event characteristics should jointly be considered in understanding optimistic bias (or comparative optimism) and its application to risk communication. SN - 0022-3514 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18954204/Testing_the_limits_of_optimistic_bias:_event_and_person_moderators_in_a_multilevel_framework_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/psp/95/5/1225 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -