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Friday, 18 March 2011

PsychologySalon at Robson Square: Toxic Optimism

Tuesday June 22, 7 to 9 pm
Room C400 at UBC at Robson Square  $15 at the door

Every fourth Tuesday of the month Changeways Clinic hosts PsychologySalon at Robson Square.  Information and online tickets here.

Our culture tells us to think positively, that optimism is always the best stance, and that envisioning good outcomes may bring them about. But could there be a downside to all this positive thinking? In this presentation we discuss the pitfalls of optimism, and how optimism can actually bring about misery.

Along the way we’ll discuss:

  • Personal problems that can result from sunny optimism
  • Psychological disorders that can be understood as the product of positive thinking
  • The relationship between optimism and denial
  • Cultural optimism as it applies to war, climate change, and the economy
  • Could optimism cause catastrophe? 

If optimism isn’t really the answer, then what is? We’ll take about the judicious use of pessimism, optimism, and realism, and some ideas about how to determine which might be best in a given situation.

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