The link between judgements of comparative risk and own risk: Further evidence

Gold, Ron 2007, The link between judgements of comparative risk and own risk: Further evidence, Psychology, health & medicine, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 238-247, doi: 10.1080/13548500600568183.

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Title The link between judgements of comparative risk and own risk: Further evidence
Author(s) Gold, Ron
Journal name Psychology, health & medicine
Volume number 12
Issue number 2
Start page 238
End page 247
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2007-03
ISSN 1354-8506
Keyword(s) comparative risk
health threat
own risk
deleterious outcome
probability of exposure
unrealistic optimism
Summary Individuals typically believe that they are less likely than the average person to experience negative events, a phenomenon termed “unrealistic optimism”. The direct method of assessing unrealistic optimism employs a question of the form, “Compared with the average person, what is the chance that X will occur to you?”. However, it has been proposed that responses to such a question (direct-estimates) are based essentially just on estimates that X will occur to the self (self-estimates). If this is so, any factors that affect one of these estimates should also affect the other. This prediction was tested in two experiments. In each, direct- and self-estimates for an unfamiliar health threat—homocysteine-related heart problems—were recorded. It was found that both types of estimate were affected in the same way by varying the stated probability of having unsafe levels of homocysteine (Study 1, N = 149) and varying the stated probability that unsafe levels of homocysteine will lead to heart problems (Study 2, N = 111). The results are consistent with the proposal that direct-estimates are constructed just from self-estimates.
Notes Online Publication Date: 01 March 2007
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13548500600568183
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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