Unrealistic optimism in internet events

Jamonn Campbell, Nathan Greenauer, Kristin Macaluso, Christian End

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


This study assessed the tendency for individuals to be unrealistically optimistic about internet related activities. Ninety-seven participants estimated their chances of experiencing 31 positive and negative internet events compared to the average student at their school. The data indicated that students believed positive internet events were more likely to happen to them and negative events were less likely to happen to them compared to the average student. Heavy internet users reported more optimistic responses than did light users. Perceptions of event characteristics (controllability, desirability, and personal experience) were also significantly correlated with optimistic bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1273-1284
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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