The Psychology Behind Optimism Bias – by Lesley Kerrison, Atha & Co
Around 80 percent of people, across all age groups and genders, have what social psychologists call optimism bias.
It’s that enduring, against-all-odds belief that things are going to work out, and it’s a nice feeling.
Seemingly unbiased decisions we make every day are actually influenced by the fact that we think positively about the future. You may feel, like 90 per cent of the population, that injuries happen to other people and will never happen to you.
Unfortunately, it can also lead us to take unnecessary risks or think in a more blasé’ way about everyday situations (like driving or taking due care with safety at work). You may end up harming someone else.
This belief also may underpin a subconscious view held by some that it is wrong to claim compensation for an injury that wasn’t your fault…until it affects you.
If tomorrow, you had an accident that was not your fault, you ended up with pain, broken bones or even worse, maybe had a significant amount of time off work as a result… don’t you think you would expect to be compensated? This is the kind of scenario that faces many people just like you every week.
Some clients even admit that they previously used to be dismissive of others who made personal injury claims until they were badly affected by an injury themselves.
“We believe injured people have every right to compensation,” says Charles Atha of Atha & Co Solicitors. “The financial settlement, the support we give and the necessary medical help we facilitate all go some way to rebuilding shattered lives of ordinary people who were simply going about their day-to-day business. It is really satisfying knowing that we have helped make a positive difference to people.”