UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Understanding the coherence of the severity effect and optimism phenomena: Lessons from attention

Harris, AJL; (2017) Understanding the coherence of the severity effect and optimism phenomena: Lessons from attention. Consciousness and Cognition , 50 pp. 30-44. 10.1016/j.concog.2016.10.014. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Harris_2016_C&C.pdf - ["content_typename_Accepted version" not defined]

Download (565kB) | Preview

Abstract

Claims that optimism is a near-universal characteristic of human judgment seem to be at odds with recent results from the judgment and decision making literature suggesting that the likelihood of negative outcomes are overestimated relative to neutral outcomes. In an attempt to reconcile these seemingly contrasting phenomena, inspiration is drawn from the attention literature in which there is evidence that both positive and negative stimuli can have attentional privilege relative to neutral stimuli. This result provides a framework within which I consider three example phenomena that purport to demonstrate that people’s likelihood estimates are optimistic: Wishful thinking; Unrealistic comparative optimism and Asymmetric belief updating. The framework clarifies the relationships between these phenomena and stimulates future research questions. Generally, whilst results from the first two phenomena appear reconcilable in this conceptualisation, further research is required in reconciling the third.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding the coherence of the severity effect and optimism phenomena: Lessons from attention
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2016.10.014
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2016.10.014
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Motivated attention; Automatic vigilance; Severity effect; Unrealistic optimism; Wishful thinking; Belief updating
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1524207
Downloads since deposit
100Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item