Optimism - how we're drawn to the bright side, even in a pandemic

Episode 17: Optimism - how we're drawn to the bright side, even in a pandemic

Rafael Behr talks to Professor Tali Sharot about optimism bias

Show notes

Rafael Behr talks to neuroscientist and author Tali Sharot about the optimism hard-wired into our thought processes, how it affects the way we look at the world – and what it means for politics.

The conversation also covers the relationship between emotion and reason, how we should respect some of the more primitive parts of our brains, what messages work best to encourage people to act on climate change, and what connects sourdough and the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine.

Tali Sharot is a professor at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University College London, where she is Director of the Affective Brain Lab, and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow.


the author of The Optimism Bias:


and The Influential Mind:


This podcast is hosted by wwww.zencast.fm


Rafael Behr

Rafael Behr

Rafael Behr is a political columnist for the Guardian. He is a former Political Editor for the New Statesman, Chief Leader Writer and Online Editor for The Observer, a business news reporter for BBC online and a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, based in the Baltic region and Russia. Rafael is a regular contributor to Prospect Magazine, a guest on BBC and Sky News and a speaker at UK think tanks. His book, Politics, A Survivor’s Guide, is published by Atlantic. He hosts the Politics on the Couch podcast. Before becoming a journalist, Rafael was a political risk analyst covering countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He studied modern languages Merton College, Oxford and took a Master’s degree in Russian Studies at the School for Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He lives in Brighton with his family. He plays the guitar and harmonica, sometimes simultaneously, not always melodiously.

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Tali Sharot

Tali Sharot

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