Public engagement

Love and Optimism

David Edmonds interviewed Lisa Bortolotti for Philosophy 24/7, asking her about romantic love and unrealistic optimism. Does the optimism bias benefit or compromise our relationships?

The podcast was released on 18th January 2017 and can be listened to here.

Lisa discussed some of the issues concerning romantic relationships and optimism on her Reddit Philosophy AMA session on 8th March 2017.




Optimism on BBC 4 Radio, Woman's Hour

Anneli Jefferson was interviewed about optimism and talked about the project during Woman's Hour on 10th January 2017. She discussed the long- and short-term effects of optimism on people's lives.






Tricked by memory: the effects of biased, distorted, or false memories


We hosted a public engagement event as part of the Arts & Science Festival at the University of Birmingham, on how optimism and realism affect memory. The event was jointly organised by our Costs and Benefits of Optimism project and project PERFECT. On Monday 14th March, 12:15-13:45, in Learning Centre UG06, University of Birmingham, three talks were delivered, followed by Q&A:
  • Magdalena Antrobus: “Sometimes I get lucky and forget” Depression, memory and negative bias. Video of lecture.
  • Anneli Jefferson: Distorting the past to serve our present needs. Video of lecture.
  • Kathy Puddifoot: How false memory can (and cannot) improve our perception of the world. Video of lecture.



Do emotions control us?

On Monday 18 January 2016, 6.30-8pm, in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of     Economics, Lisa Bortolotti participated in a public event on emotions. The event was organised by the Forum of European Philosophy.

Speakers: Lisa Bortolotti, Giovanna Colombetti, Benedetto De Martino. Chair: Tali Sharot. Podcast




Interview: Optimism 

Lisa Bortolotti was interviewed about the project in the Spring 2016 issue of λogoi (pp. 8-9), a publication of the Centre for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. She talks about her interest in self-enhancing beliefs and about the project's activities.