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Research Article

Unrealistic Optimism About Specific Genetic Risks and Perceived Preventability

Authors:

Myriam Welkenhuysen,

University of Leuven, BE
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Gerry Evers-Kiebooms ,

Center for Human Genetics, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, BE
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Géry d’Ydewalle

University of Leuven, BE
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Abstract

Unrealistic optimism about risks concerning genetic and acquired disorders in a child is investigated within a group of first-year university students (Study 1) and a group of adults with a mean age of 32 years (Study 2). Although an optimistic bias is found for each risk, only cystic fibrosis provides evidence of an effect of information about prevention (Study 2) and of a positive relation between optimism and perceived preventability (Study 1 and 2). The absence of relation qualifies the importance of preventability for the occurrence of unrealistic optimism. Moreover, optimism is affected neither by personal (Study 1) or professional (Study 2) experience nor by the perceived influence of heredity (Study 2), leaving the question concerning determinants of optimism regarding genetic risks largely unanswered.

How to Cite: Welkenhuysen, M., Evers-Kiebooms, G. and d’Ydewalle, G., 1997. Unrealistic Optimism About Specific Genetic Risks and Perceived Preventability. Psychologica Belgica, 37(3), pp.169–181. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.915
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Published on 01 Jan 1997.
Peer Reviewed

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