Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Cognitive Psychology: Attention · Decision making · Learning · Judgement · Memory · Motivation · Perception · Reasoning · Thinking  - Cognitive processes Cognition - Outline Index

This article is in need of attention from a psychologist/academic expert on the subject.
Please help recruit one, or improve this page yourself if you are qualified.
This banner appears on articles that are weak and whose contents should be approached with academic caution

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]


  1. 1.0 1.1 SR Sutton, How accurate are smokers' perceptions of risk?, Health, Risk & Society, 1999, 
  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, 
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.