Optimism – Its Nature, Causes, and Effects
Interdisciplinary workshop organised by Anneli Jefferson and Lisa Bortolotti which took place in the Woburn Room (Room 22), Senate House, London, on 25-26th February 2016.
Here are some of the issues that were investigated during the workshop: Is the notion of optimism coherent and worthy of empirical investigation? How are its different manifestations related to one another? For instance, does the disposition to discount evidence against the success of one’s performance lead to the acquisition of positive illusions about the self? What are the benefits and costs of the optimism bias? Does it enhance wellbeing at the expense of truth? Could the optimism bias be an evolutionary adaptation?
25th February 2016 - What is Unrealistic Optimism? What Causes it?
How the Human Brain forms Optimistic Beliefs
11:30 -12:00 coffee break
We are holier than
thou: Asymmetric learning about the moral behaviour of ingroups and outgroups
13:00 -14:00 lunch
Is the Optimism Bias an Adaptation?
15:00 -15:30 coffee break
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Wonderful
26th February 2016 - What are the Effects of Unrealistic Optimism?
Consequences of Unrealistic Optimism
11:00 - 11:30 coffee break
12:30 - 13:30 lunch
Sadder but Safer: Optimistic Causal Illusions can Affect our Health
14:30 -15:00 coffee break
Optimism and Agency
Picture by Annie Morien
The abstracts for the talks can be found here
Philosophy of Hope and Optimism
British Society for the Philosophy of Science