Optimistic bias: What you think, what you know, or whom you know?

John Chapin, Grace Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Optimistic bias is well-established in the literature as it relates to a variety of health risks. This study adds to the literature by documenting optimistic bias about crime, using a field survey of medical professionals. The strongest predictors of optimistic bias were beliefs about the prevalence of domestic violence in the community and first and second-hand experience with domestic violence. The medical professionals reported personal experience with domestic violence at less than national averages, yet estimate the incident rates higher than even those depicted on television. Implications for medical screening of domestic violence victims are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalNorth American Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)


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