Optimistic biases regarding a variety of health-related hazards were examined in 119 adults. Participants completed questionnaires in which they rated the health risks to themselves and others for a range of health risks. Participants also completed the need for cognition scale, provided ratings of the perceived benefit and harm of each target risk, and completed a quiz designed to evaluate their knowledge of the mode of operation and health risks associated with the target risk. The emphasis of the current project is on those health risks associated with EMF sources and in particular the use of mobile phones (for calling and text messaging) and radiation from mobile phone antenna. In general, the results showed that optimistic biases were evident for lifestyle risks but not for EMF-related risks. For the risks from mobile phone use, NFC scores affected this pattern. People with a high need for cognition were more likely than people low in NFC to report optimistic bias in the voluntary risk of using the MP but not in the involuntary exposure to radiation from a MP transmitter. The complications for risk communication and the role of NFC in determining optimistic bias are discussed and suggestions are proposed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Mobile phone use and optimistic bias: The role of need for cognition|
|Title of host publication||26th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Athens, Greece|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Jul 2006|