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How Robust Is the Optimistic Update Bias for Estimating Self-Risk and Population Base Rates?

Figure 1


(a) In each trial, participants were presented with a short description of 1 of 80 adverse events and asked to estimate how likely this event was to occur to themselves in the future and how likely the event was to happen on average in the population. They were then presented with the base rate in a demographically similar population. Finally, participants were asked to rate how negative/positive they found this information. The second session was the same as the first except that the base rate was not presented and participants did not submit any ratings. Examples of trials in which the participant's estimate of the event occurring to themselves and the base rate was (b) higher or (c) lower than the provided base rate. In the specific examples shown here, under either classification scheme therefore these trials would be categorized as desirable and undesirable trials respectively.

Figure 1