Professor Elaine Fox

Wednesday, February 6 2013 at 7:30PM

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9 - 13 George Street

We use the upstairs function room.

To find it, go up the spiral staircase - then look for the door immediately opposite you. Go through, up another flight of stairs and you will find us. There is a bar up here and it will be open, so no need to spill your pint on the spiral stairs. If you want to eat in the function room then you have to order your food downstairs and then carry it up yourself.

Step-free access is available.

Professor Elaine Fox

What's the talk about?

Elaine will discuss the nature of “rainy brains” and “sunny brains” asking where these fundamental differences in how we see the world actually come from. She will take us on a journey through cognitive psychology, neuroscience and molecular genetics and will argue that who we are – optimist or pessimist – comes from an intricate dance of genes, fate, and – most crucially - subliminal biases in how we notice, interpret and remember what goes on around us. She will argue that optimism is much more than positive thinking and that the benefits actually come from some other core elements of optimism such as positive actions, a tendency for persistence, and a sense of having control over one’s destiny.

Elaine Fox is a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Essex and is also a Visiting Research Professor in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. She has researched the nature of pessimism and optimism for many years culminating in the publication of her popular science book Rainy Brain Sunny Brain in 2012 (http:// This highly accessible book takes a look at whether how we are is “in our genes” and asks whether we can or should change our fundamental outlook on life.