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Pessimism bias

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Pessimism bias is a cognitive bias that results an people exaggerating the likelihood that negative things will happen to them.

It contrasts with optimism bias, which is a more general, systematic tendency to underestimate personal risks and overestimate the likelihood of positive life events.[1][2] Depressed people are particularly likely to exhibit a pessimism bias.[3][4]

Surveys of smokers have found that their ratings of their risk of heart disease showed a small but significant pessimism bias.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 SR Sutton, How accurate are smokers' perceptions of risk?, Health, Risk & Society, 1999, http://www.informaworld.com/index/784101725.pdf 
  2. de Palma, Andre (2009). "Behaviour Under Uncertainty" The Expanding Sphere of Travel Behaviour Research: Selected Papers from the 11th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research, 423–, Emerald Group Publishing. URL accessed 6 January 2011.
  3. (2007). Neural mechanisms mediating optimism bias. Nature 450 (7166): 102–105.
  4. Wang, PS; AL Beck, P Berglund (2004), "Effects of major depression on moment-in-time work performance", American Journal of Psychiatry (American Psychiatric Association) 161: 1885–1891, http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/10/1885 
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