Optimism: its nature, causes, and effects

February 25, 2016 - February 26, 2016
Philosophy Department, University of Birmingham

Woburn Room
Senate House, Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

View the Call For Papers


  • Hope and Optimism funding initiative
  • Mind Association
  • British Society for the Philosophy of Science

All speakers:

Fernando Blanco
Lisa Bortolotti
Anneli Jefferson
Bojana Kuzmanovic
Miriam McCormick
Constantine Sedikides
Tali Sharot
James Shepherd


Anneli Jefferson

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

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Day 1, 25th February 2016 

What is Unrealistic Optimism and what Causes it?

10:30 -11:30  Tali Sharot (University College London) – How the Human Brain forms Optimistic Beliefs

11:30 -12:00 break

12:00 -13:00  Bojana Kuzmanovic (Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Cologne) – The Subjective Value of Optimistically Biased Belief Updating 

13:00 -14:00 lunch

14:00 -15:00  Anneli Jefferson (University of Birmingham) – Is the Optimism Bias an Adaptation? 

15:00 -15:30 break

15:30 -16:30  Constantine Sedikides (University of Southampton) – The Unbearable Lightness of Being Wonderful

Day 2, 26th February 2016  Effects of Unrealistic Optimism

09:30 - 10:30  James Shepperd (University of Florida) – Consequences of Unrealistic Optimism

10:30 - 11:00 break

11:00 - 12:00  Miriam McCormick (University of Richmond) – Rational Hope

12:00 - 13:00 lunch

13:00 - 14:00  Fernando Blanco (University of Deusto) – Sadder but Safer: Optimistic Causal Illusions can Affect our Health

14:00 - 14:30 break

14:30 - 15:30  Lisa Bortolotti (University of Birmingham) – Optimism Bias and Engaged Agency

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February 1, 2016, 12:00pm BST

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Custom tags:

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