Tali Sharot

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Tali Sharot
NationalityIsraeli, British, American
Alma materNew York University, Tel Aviv University
OccupationProfessor of cognitive neuroscience
EmployerUniversity College London
Josh McDermott (m. 2013)

Tali Sharot is a Professor of cognitive neuroscience in the department of Experimental Psychology at University College London. She received her Ph.D in psychology and neuroscience from New York University.[1] Sharot is known for her research on the neural basis of emotion, decision making and optimism.[2]

Scientific contributions[edit]

Sharot is especially known for her discovery of the neural underpinnings of human optimism,[3] work that has been published in numerous eminent journals.[4][5] In her books The Optimism Bias[6] and The Science of Optimism, she describes the evolutionary benefits of unrealistic optimism along with its dangers.[7] Richard Stengel has written in a Time editorial that Sharot’s work gives us a better grip on how we function in reality.[8] The implications of Sharot’s discoveries for health,[9] finance,[10] cyber security,[11] policy and more have been extensively covered by the media and she is often featured on radio,[12][13] TV[14][15][16] and in the written press.[2][17][9] In 2017 her book The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others was published highlighting the critical role of emotion in influence and the weakness of data [18]. It was selected as a Best Book of 2017 by Forbes, The Times UK, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Greater Good Magazine, Inc., Stanford Business School among others.[19]. Sharot was one of the presenters on the Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, who also introduced her on stage at The Royal Albert Hall's Imagining the future of Medicine in 2014.[20] She was a speaker at TED2012.[21]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Sharot received prestigious fellowships from the Wellcome Trust, the Forum of European Philosophy and the British Academy. She won the British Psychological Society Book award for 2014 (for The Optimism Bias) and 2018 (for The Influential Mind).[22][23] She has been described as "one of the top female scientists in her country"[1] listed as one of the 15 exemplary female Israeli-born scientists alive.[24] Her TED 2012 talk has been viewed over 2 million times.[25]


  1. ^ a b "Tali Sharot". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  2. ^ a b Cadwalladr, Carole (2012-01-01). "The optimism bias: reasons to be cheerful". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  3. ^ Chan, Amanda (2011-10-11). "Brain Imaging Reveals Why Optimists Are The Way They Are". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  4. ^ Gallagher, James (2011-10-09). "Brain 'rejects negative thoughts'". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  5. ^ "Mind chemical 'controls choice'". BBC. 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  6. ^ Sharot, Tali. The optimism bias: A tour of the irrationally positive brain. Random House LLC, 2011.
  7. ^ "Look on the bright side: A Q&A with TED ebook author Tali Sharot on our biological wiring for optimism". TED Blog. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  8. ^ Stengel, Richard (2011-06-06). "Illusions and Reality". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  9. ^ a b Liat Clark (29 April 2014). "Positivity not scaremongering could help you lose weight (Wired UK)". Wired UK. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  10. ^ Ciccone, Stephen J. (2013-01-18). "Check the Calendar Before You Buy that Stock!". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  11. ^ Shah, Sonali (March 2014). "Cyber Security Risk: Perception vs. Reality in Corporate America". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  12. ^ Vedantam, Shankar (2013-03-04). "Your Child's Fat, Mine's Fine: Rose-Colored Glasses And The Obesity Epidemic". npr.org. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  13. ^ "TS Eliot Poetry Prize, Coriolanus, Film Funding, Tali Sharot, Night Waves - BBC Radio 3". BBC. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  14. ^ "Out of Control?, 2011-2012, Horizon - BBC Two". BBC. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  15. ^ "Reality Check: Is Our Universe Real?". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  16. ^ "Redes para la Ciencia » Tali Sharot". www.redesparalaciencia.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  17. ^ Hunter, Jennifer (2011-07-08). "Cheer up, you're really an optimist". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  18. ^ Sharot, Tali. The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others. Henry Holt LLC, 2017.
  19. ^ "The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others". Henry Holt and Co. 19 September 2017 – via Amazon.
  20. ^ "Imagine the future of medicine with funnyman Dara O'Briain". Time Out Blog. 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  21. ^ Walters, Helen (2012-03-01). "Thinking about the optimism bias: Tali Sharot at TED2012". TEDBlog. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  22. ^ "Book Award | BPS". www.bps.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  23. ^ "Two books honoured in British Psychological Society Awards". The British Psychological Society. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  24. ^ Snider, Lisa. "Women in Israel: In Science & Technology". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  25. ^ Sharot, Tali, The optimism bias, retrieved 2016-08-01

External links[edit]