Are Comparative Risk Judgments Consistent Across Time and Events?
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Research reveals pervasive optimism in people's comparative risk judgments such that people believe they are less likely than others to experience negative events. Two studies explored the extent to which people are consistent in their comparative risk judgments across time and events. Both studies found strong evidence for consistency across time and some evidence for consistency across events. The consistency across time and events was moderated by experience. Specifically, when viewed together, the studies suggest that experience produces an initial decrease in the consistency of comparative judgments (Study 2), followed by greater consistency in subsequent judgments (Study 1). The discussion focuses on reconciling evidence demonstrating consistency with evidence demonstrating variability.
Shepperd, James A., Marie Helweg-Larsen, and Ligia Ortega. "Are Comparative Risk Judgments Consistent Across Time and Events?" Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29, no. 9 (2003): 1169-1180. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167203254598