This is a bias or prejudice that makes an individual to believe that they are not at much risk of encountering a pessimistic incident compared to other people. It is also called comparative or unrealistic optimism.
What Causes A Person to be Optimistically Biased?
- The desire of one to end a given state/condition.
- The cognitive mechanism of that person.
- The person’s overall mood and,
- The information one has about him/herself in comparison to others.
According to extended research and evidential results, optimism bias inclines more on negative events despite it occurring for both positive and negative events. There will be an ambivalent result from the 2 events. The positive event will lead to a feeling of self-esteem and well being, whereas the negative events will result to more risk like to engage in behaviors while taking no precautionary safety measures.
This type of bias is calculated in consideration of 2 risk determinants;
- Absolute Risk: This is where a person is asked to approximate their probability of encountering a consequential result in comparison to the actual possibility of encountering a negative event. This is also referred to as the comparison against one own self.
- Comparative Risk: Here, a person is expected to approximate the possibility of experiencing a negative result in contrast to people of the same sex and age. This is referred to as personal risk estimate against a target risk estimate.
There may be an occurrence of problems during the calculation of absolute risk since it is evidently hard to decide the real risk statistic of an individual. For that, this type of bias is basically computed in comparative risks forms where individuals compare themselves to others via indirect or direct comparisons. Having a direct comparison involves one asking if their own at risk of encountering an event is negative, positive or it is equal to somebody else’s risk. On the other hand, indirect comparisons ask a person to give out different estimates of their own risk of encountering an event as well as other people’s risks of encountering the same event.
The contrary of this bias is pessimism or realistic optimism since the principles behind it remain in effect in events where people take themselves as being inferior to others.
Optimism therefore results from either;
- An alteration from others.
- Representing personal optimism misrepresentation of personal approximation or
- Representing optimism.
Optimism Bias Consequences
Optimism leads to a hard wired brain and for that, it negatively affects the life of a person such as;
- It propense in preventing people from taking on defensive actions for good health.
- Can lead to a rude individual: once one has a strong belief about something, they are barely moving and their hard wired brain makes them believe that they are making the right decision, mostly among the youth and adolescent.
Despite this sort of bias resulting in events such as self-esteem, it is important to consider the realistic optimism in order to face the facts that could result in less negative events or consequences. It is better to live in a real world and face the reality than live in possibilities.