Brief report - “Every little thing gonna be all right” (at least for me): Dispositional optimists display higher optimistic bias for infection during the Italian COVID-19 outbreak

Dario Monzani, Alessandra Gorini, Davide Mazzoni, Gabriella Pravettoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Dispositional optimism (DO) and optimistic bias (OB) in risk perception are two distinct phenomena and previous studies about their reciprocal relationship report contrasting results. In the present study, we focused on the relationship between DO and OB when reporting the personal and the other persons' risk about COVID-19. We hypothesized that, when facing a largely uncontrollable risky situation (like the recent pandemic), dispositional optimists would defensively increase their OB about the current risks. A convenience sample of 414 Italian participants aged 18 or older were recruited. They completed a questionnaire investigating past protective behaviors, DO, perceived personal and other persons' COVID-19-related risk. Results of the mixed regression model showed that more optimistic people were more likely to underestimate their COVID-19 personal risk over the other's person risk. These results shed light on the relationship between different forms of optimism and provide useful insight about the potential implications of risk communication approaches to face the current pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume168
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

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