The Irish Times

Is your glass half empty . . . or half full?

The world is divided into pessimists and optimists – who respond to life’s events in different ways – but evidence suggests curmudgeons can retrain themselves to see things in a better light.

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Look on the bright side, banish the blues and think yourself happy

A Horizon programme shows how you can recalibrate your brain and train yourself to have a more sunny disposition.

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Scientific American Mind

Tune Your Subliminal Biases toward Optimism

On the cover of this month’s Scientific American Mind, Elaine discusses how we can tune our mind to notice the bright side of ambiguous events and bolster our resilience to stress and anxiety.

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The Independent

Are you an Oscar or an Elmo?

Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, a new book reveals that you can learn a lot from attempting the opposite attitude.

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Blackwell - The Knowledge Retailer

Rainy Brain Sunny Brain Podcast

What is optimism? .. and pessimism. Elaine Fox conversation with George Miller for Blackwell’s bookshop…

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New Scientist

Can you train yourself to be an optimist?

New Scientist asked Elaine why some people see the glass as half empty, and what techniques science offers us to change that perspective…

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Daily Gazette

Do you see the glass half empty?

“There are many things we can do to change… you create new pathways in your brain to think more positively – and literally change the way you think.”

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Royal Society

Tunnelling Underground

The Inaugural Royal Society podcast features an interview with Professor Elaine Fox who discusses her paper on the genetic basis for looking on the bright side and 2007.

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Looking on the bright side of life is in the genes

Whether a glass is viewed as half full or half empty depends on your genes, claim scientists. Professor Elaine Fox said: “People who carried one form of the serotonin transporter gene tended to look on the bright side of life, and selectively avoided negative material. Meanwhile, those who carried the other version showed a complete absence of this protective bias.”

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Have you got the happy gene?

Piece on AOL online about Biological Psychiatry paper on “for better and for worse” genes

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Radio 4

Today Programme

Pressure groups are scaremongering about the effects of mobile masts and wi-fi on health, the charity Sense about Science says. Elaine Fox, who helped with Sense’s research discusses whether there is any evidence that these devices cause harm.

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Tucson Citizen: Shelf Life

Book reviews from Larry Cox.

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The Joy Cardin Show

Elaine Fox proposes a slightly different definition of optimism, saying that optimists are those who feel they have control over their lives.

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It’s Your Health Network

Elaine talks about how to overcome pessimism on the Lisa Davis Show.

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Tesco Magazine

According to Professor Elaine Fox, author of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain (£12, William Heinemann), it’s not what happens to you that makes you feel good or bad; instead, it’s how you interpret and analyse what happens.

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New York Moves

Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain

There now seems to be scientific evidence that, like Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, it really does pay to “Always look on the Bright Side Of Life.”

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The Guardian

Review of Rainy Brain Sunny Brain

Fox constructs an elegant narrative from neuroimaging results, her clever psychology experiments, and the interaction of genetics and environment. One can even learn, she promises, to be less pessimistic…

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IEEE Spectrum

Podcast – Training the Brain for Happiness

There’s new data on the complicated genetic basis of depression and happiness.

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La Vanguardia

El compromiso es un elemento clave de la felicidad – La Vanguardia

En Una mente feliz (Temas de Hoy), consciente de que nuestra forma de ver el mundo y de interactuar con él modifica el modo en que este nos responde…

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New York Times

How to Make Optimism Work for You

Elaine Fox, author of an informative new book on the science of optimism, “Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain,” says positive thinking is not the main thing about optimism…

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Book club: Rainy or sunny brain?

Elaine discusses optimism and pessimism on Irish television’s breakfast show.

Watch Elaine’s TV appearance →

The Boston Globe

How to rewire your brain to be more optimistic

Where scientists once thought that having a sunny outlook, or a rainy one, was set in stone on the day we were conceived, the latest research suggests that genes play only a 30 percent to 40 percent role in our outlook.

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New York Post

The perils of positive thinking

Chad Concelmo explores the downside of happiness.

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Essex County Standard

Back to the Future star Fox backs ‘happiness’ research

A HOLLYWOOD star met an Essex Uni professor after reading her research on the science of being positive.

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Michael J. Fox and Professor Elaine Fox

Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

The New York Daily News reviews Michael J Fox’s documentary about optimism.

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The Guardian

Psychologists find gene that helps you look on the bright side of life

Those unfortunate enough to lack the ‘brightside gene’ are more likely to suffer from mental health problems such as depression. Guardian report on Elaine’s “optimism gene” study…

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Daily Mail

The happy gene that makes you a smiley, more positive person

Daily Mail article about Elaine’s Biological Psychiatry paper on “for better and for worse” genes.

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BBC News

Phone mast allergy ‘in the mind’

Mobile phone masts are not responsible for the symptoms of ill health some blame them for, says a major UK study led by Professor Elaine Fox of the University of Essex.

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Cell-Tower Emission Risks Probed

Among researchers who study the effects of electromagnetic emissions from mobile phones and towers, the prevailing wisdom is that it’s too early to conclude that they are harmless to humans…

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Bottom Line Health

Even You Can Become an Optimist

Optimists generally are more successful at most things in life – from business to personal relationships – than pessimists.

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The Huffington Post

Post-Olympic Blues? 10 Ways To Achieve ‘Personal Life’ Best

With a little practise, you’ll be able to enjoy some serious life highs of your own, without the help of London 2012, says the professor of cognitive psychology from the University of Essex.

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How to retrain your rainy brain

Research into the ‘optimist gene’ shows that you can always be on the sunny side.

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The Guardian

Guardian Science Weekly Podcast

Do optimism and pessimism shape our destiny? Professor Elaine Fox discusses her book Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain which explores the science of optimism and pessimism.

Listen to Guardian Podcast →


Make your ‘rainy brain’ sunnier

Why do some people flourish, seemingly resilient to all that life throws at them, while others are vulnerable and at risk of serious problems like anxiety and depression?

Read Elaine’s article for CNN →

RTE Radio 1

The John Murray Show

Elaine is interviewed and tests the audience for optimism or pessimism. You can listen to a podcast of the show by clicking the link below and scrolling down the page. Elaine’s optimism test appears at the top of the page.

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The evolutionary origins of optimism

Positive feeling evolved to make us do critical tasks — but new findings suggest it can also help us live longer.

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London School of Economics

Literary Festival 2012: Science in the Media

Professor Elaine Fox appears with other guest speakers Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Professor Pedro Ferreira, Mark Henderson.

Further information and podcast →


Rainy Brain Sunny Brain Review

Overall, it is a fascinating and interesting study that really leaves you with new knowledge, and, dare I say, optimism.

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Happy gene research puts Elaine in the spotlight

Imagine receiving a call from American TV producers asking if you would mind genetically testing the well known actor Michael J Fox to see whether he has a gene that will make him optimistic…

Read in Wyvern (University of Essex Magazine) →

New Scientist

‘Happiness’ gene helps you look on the bright side

New Scientist report on Elaine Fox’s “optimism gene” study.

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The Economist

Sunny side up

FOR some people in this world, the glass always seems to be half-full. For others it is half-empty. But how someone comes to have a sunny disposition in the first place is an interesting question…

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Breakthrough on Stress

Scientists at the University of Essex, led by Elaine Fox, have made a breakthrough in understanding what makes people vulnerable to stress. Elaine  is interviewed by Heart FM on biases and stress reactivity.

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