Chautauqua Topic: "The Optimism Bias"

Sharot photo

How do emotion, motivation and social factors influence our expectations, decisions and memories?

Dr. Tali Sharot will attempt to answer that question when she addresses “The Optimism Bias” in a Chautauqua lecture at Eastern Kentucky University on Thursday, Feb. 12. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building.

Sharot is an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London, where she directs the Affective Brain Lab ( Her research has been published in leading scientific journals, including Nature and Science, and she is co-editor of The Neuroscience of Preference and Choice. Sharot’s book, “The Optimism Bias: Why We’re Wired to Look on the Bright Side,” won the British Psychological Society book award for 2014. She was also a speaker at TED’s annual conference in 2012 and has written essays for the popular press that have been published in Time magazine and The New York Times, through CNN, the BBC and more.

In her EKU talk, Sharot plans to share new research in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics that suggests healthy brains are more efficient at processing positive, rather than negative, information about the future – and how that can be both dangerous and beneficial.

Sponsors of Sharot’s lecture are the Office of Graduate Education and Research, Department of Psychology and the Chautauqua Lecture Series.

All EKU Chautauqua events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Erik Liddell, Chautauqua Lecture Series coordinator, at

Published on January 29, 2015

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