A Primer on Unrealistic Optimism

James A. Shepperd, Erika A. Waters, Neil D. Weinstein, William M.P. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations

Abstract

People display unrealistic optimism in their predictions about countless events, believing that their personal future outcomes will be more desirable than can possibly be true. We summarize the vast literature on unrealistic optimism by focusing on four broad questions: What is unrealistic optimism, when does it occur, why does it occur, and what are its consequences? Unrealistic optimism can be operationalized in multiple ways; is commonplace yet has well-established boundary conditions; occurs for a variety of reasons; and has consequences for affect, decision making, and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015

Keywords

  • comparative optimism
  • optimistic bias
  • risk judgments
  • risk perception
  • unrealistic optimism

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Primer on Unrealistic Optimism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this