Optimistic bias is a phenomenon in which people believe they are less likely to experience negative events, and more likely to experience positive ones, than other people. There is evidence that optimistic bias reduces people's motivation to undertake self-protective behaviour, as well as reducing the impact of risk communication and health promotion messages. In this article, the phenomenon of optimistic bias is described and examples of where it has been identified in the food domain are provided. To increase awareness of situations in which the phenomenon can occur, suspected causes of optimistic bias are identified
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