Self-Positivity Versus Self-Negativity: Consumers’ Reliance on Base Rate and Case Risk in Perceptions of Health Risk

Dengfeng Yan, HKUST
Jaideep Sengupta, HKUST, Hong Kong
This research examines how consumers utilize base rate and case risk information to estimate health risks. Drawing on construal level theory, we propose that consumers’ reliance on base rate (case risk) will be enhanced (weakened) by psychological distance, implying that people likely to display self-positivity (i.e., underestimate their own risk) when the base rate is high but the case risk suggests low risk. In contrast, self-negativity (overestimation of one’s risk) is likely when the base rate is low but the case risk implies high risk.
[ to cite ]:
Dengfeng Yan and Jaideep Sengupta (2011) ,"Self-Positivity Versus Self-Negativity: Consumers’ Reliance on Base Rate and Case Risk in Perceptions of Health Risk", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 493-494.