Autism, optimism and positive events: Evidence against a general optimistic bias


The conclusion that people are optimistic concerning personal risk does not have a sound evidential basis. Following Harris and Hahn’s (2011) critique of unrealistic optimism research, we consider the evidence from a recent series of high profile neuroscience papers. We demonstrate that the methods used are fundamentally flawed. A simulation and an empirical comparison of autism spectrum condition participants with typical adults confirm that we have learnt nothing about optimism from these studies.

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