Spontaneous comparisons with others in gay men´s judgements of HIV risk

Gold, Ron 2007, Spontaneous comparisons with others in gay men´s judgements of HIV risk, International journal of STD & AIDS, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 175-178, doi: 10.1258/095646207780132370.

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Title Spontaneous comparisons with others in gay men´s judgements of HIV risk
Author(s) Gold, Ron
Journal name International journal of STD & AIDS
Volume number 18
Issue number 3
Start page 175
End page 178
Publisher Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd.
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2007
ISSN 0956-4624
Keyword(s) unrealistic optimism
gay men
spontaneous comparisons
HIV risk
Summary In studies on ‘unrealistic optimism’ (UO), when people are asked questions designed to make them compare their risk of experiencing an undesirable event with that of the average person, they tend to respond that their risk is lower. This study investigated whether comparisons of own and others’ risk also occur spontaneously, unprovoked by such questions. Gay men uninfected with HIV (n¼50) were asked to think aloud about their risk of becoming infected; their comments were audiotaped and analysed. Over half the men added comments relating to others’ risk. The phrasing of these comments and the reported basis for them are described. The men represented others’ risk as relatively high, own risk as relatively low. In the case of onethird of the men, it seemed possible to be confident that a comparison was being made. The findings suggest that comparisons of own and others’ risk do occur spontaneously and that, while the judgements made in UO studies do not capture all the characteristics of those made spontaneously, they resemble them in important ways.
Language eng
DOI 10.1258/095646207780132370
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Royal Society of Medicine Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30007217

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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