Optimistic Bias

Optimistic bias is the believe individuals possess that makes them feel they are less vulnerable to diseases such as cancer or accidents (Anderson, 1983). Some different cultures have considerable influence on the optimistic bias of individuals in the world. An example is a society that regards Cannabis sativa smoking as the order of the day. This culture is common among the Rasta and Hindu communities. Since their culture makes them believe the Cannabis smoke is holy, the individuals believe they are less likely to acquire its side effects that include cancer. This belief has significantly increased their optimistic bias towards the smoking of the weed.

As an African-American, many cultures affect my optimistic bias. As an adolescent, I grew with a belief that an African-American is less likely to contract STI’s and cause pregnancy compared to other American peers. This, in fact, has increased levels of infections and unwanted pregnancies among the African-American youths.

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However, not encouraged, optimistic bias improves ones level of accuracy in making judgments at times. The incidence occurred where I had to pass by a notoriously unsafe street at night on my way home. Being an African-American, I felt I was not likely to be noticed or attacked due to my origin and color. It happened that I passed the street safely without interruptions. Later, I got to know that the boys who were notorious in that street were African-Americans, and they never attacked African-Americans.

I had never imagined myself in an accident. This feeling was because of my optimism bias that I possessed about accidents. This notion made me avoid wearing head masks and safety belts when riding motorbikes and driving. It was until I got head-knock on bare ground after a fall from a motorbike, when I understood that I was just equally vulnerable to accidents as any other person.

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