The neurophysiological basis of optimism bias

Dricu, Mihai; Kress, Laura; Aue, Tatjana (2020). The neurophysiological basis of optimism bias. In: Aue, Tatjana; Okon-Singer, Hadas (eds.) Cognitive biases in health and psychiatric disorders: Neurophysiological foundations (pp. 41-70). San Diego, CA: Elsevier 10.1016/B978-0-12-816660-4.00003-9

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Optimism bias describes people’s tendency to overestimate their likelihood of experiencing positive events and underestimate their likelihood of experiencing negative events in the future. The present chapter provides the necessary theoretical background to understand the various facets of optimism bias (section “Introduction”) and depicts multiple motivational and cognitive underpinnings of the bias (section “Major theories in the field”). Following a short primer on the methods used to investigate optimism bias (section “Methods used to investigate the optimism bias”), the empirical evidence is laid out from structural and functional neuroimaging studies (section “Brain regions involved in the emergence and maintenance of the bias”) and psychophysiology studies (section “Somatovisceral responses related to optimism bias”). Differences in optimism bias in clinical populations with respect to the healthy mind are also described (section “Similarities and differences between healthy and clinical populations”). The chapter concludes with the challenges faced within the field (section “Limitations”) and the areas that future research can explore (section “Future directions”).

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Weitere Forschungsgruppen

UniBE Contributor:

Dricu, Mihai, Kress, Laura, Aue, Tatjana


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Tatjana Aue Seil

Date Deposited:

04 May 2020 11:07

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:38

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

optimism bias, comparative optimism, updating, belief bias, positive expectancies, neuroimaging, psychophysiology, psychopathology


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