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Event valence and unrealistic optimism: further evidence
journal contributionposted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ron Gold, K Martyn
Unrealistic optimism is assessed using either a single question, the rating of own likelihood of experience an event compared to that of the average person, or two questions, separate rating of own likelihood and that of the average person. The effect of using valence on more unrealistic optimism was studied in a sample of 175 students using the two-question measure. Valence was manipulated to be positive, i.e., outcome was desirable, or negative, i.e., outcome was undesirable, by 'framing' the same event appropriately. Unrealistic optimism was greater for negative than positive valence. The effect was of the same direction and magnitude as that found by Gold and Martyn (2003) using the single-question measure. The relationship between valence and unrealistic optimism does not depend on whether unrealistic optimism is assessed with one or two questions.