Positive illusions and well-being revisited: separating fact from fiction

Psychol Bull. 1994 Jul;116(1):21-7; discussion 28. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.116.1.21.


In 1988, we published an article that challenged the notion that accurate perceptions of self and the world are essential for mental health (Taylor & Brown, 1988). We argued instead that people's perceptions in these domains are positively biased and that these positive illusions promote psychological well-being. In the current article, we review our theoretical model, correct certain misconceptions in its empirical application, and address the criticisms made by Colvin and Block.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Illusions*
  • Mental Health*
  • Self Concept*