GOOD THINGS DO NOT HAPPEN TO ME...BUT NEITHER DO THE BAD THINGS: COMPARATIVE OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM IN A SLOVAK SAMPLE
This study examined whether participants will show optimism about common events, yet show pessimism about rare events (regardless of their desirability), and whether there is a relationship between optimism and overconfidence, conceptualized (Shepperd et al., 2013) as unrealistic absolute optimism. 136 pedagogy students completed a questionnaire with 28 events (positive and negative, rare and common) together with two cognitive tasks and an estimation of their performance. The results support neither the unrealistic hypothesis nor the egocentrism hypothesis fully – the participants appeared to be somewhat pessimistic in estimating the likelihood of mainly positive events happening to them; they were quite optimistic in expecting to avoid negative events. Only a small overlap between the unrealistic comparative optimism and unrealistic absolute optimism (overconfidence) was found. These results support the necessity to distinguish between distinct types of optimism bias and highlight methodological problems connected mainly with estimates of unrealistic comparative optimism.
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