Pessimism Bias

Pessimism Bias

What is it?

Pessimism Bias is a bias that makes people believe that bad things are more likely to happen than good things.

Pessimism bias is a cognitive bias where people tend to overestimate the likelihood of negative events happening to them and underestimate the likelihood of positive events. In other words, people generally believe that they are more likely to experience bad things and less likely to experience good things compared to others.

Here are two simple examples to help you understand pessimism bias:

  1. Job Interviews: Imagine you've just completed a job interview and felt like you did well. However, you can't shake the feeling that you won't get the job because you believe that you always have bad luck in these situations. This belief is an example of pessimism bias, as you overestimate the likelihood of a negative outcome (not getting the job) despite evidence suggesting that you performed well.

  2. Travel plans: Suppose you have an upcoming vacation, and you're worried that it will rain the entire time, even though the weather forecast indicates a low chance of rain. This worry is another example of pessimism bias, as you're overestimating the likelihood of a negative event (rain during your vacation) and underestimating the possibility of a positive event (enjoying sunny weather).

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