Stability of the Optimistic Bias

In a paper published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin we (Shepperd, Helweg-Larsen, and Ortega, 2003) examined the stability of optimistic beliefs, both across time and across types of 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).