Title
Comparative optimism in the spontaneous generation of future life events Comparative optimism in the spontaneous generation of future life events
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Letchworth ,
Subject
Psychology
Source (journal)
The British journal of social psychology. - Letchworth
Volume/pages
47(2008) , p. 441-451
ISSN
0144-6665
ISI
000259378200004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
We examined whether comparative optimism characterizes the events people generate when they describe their future. In contrast to previous studies in which participants estimated the likelihoods of experimenter-generated events, our participants freely listed important events they believed were possible in their future versus the average person's future. They also provided desirability ratings, controllability ratings, and likelihood estimates for these self-generated events. Participants listed more desirable and fewer undesirable events in their future than in the average person's future. These differences were stronger for controllable than uncontrollable events. Comparative optimism was also observed in participants' ratings of the likelihood of positive and negative events. Taken together, these findings suggest that a comparative optimism characterizes future expectations about spontaneously generated events as well as the pre-selected events sampled in previous studies.
E-info
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