The bright side of life - An intergenerational study into the origins of optimism

Optimists have the general tendency to always look at the bright side of life. This attitude toward life seems quite beneficial, as optimists lead happier and physically and mentally healthier lives than pessimists.

Intergenerational transmission

My postdoc was part of Dr. Tina Kretschmer’s ERC funded project Ghosts from the Past: Consequences of Adolescent Peer Experiences across Contexts and Generations (CAPE). In this project we investigated whether and how peer experiences are transmitted a) to adult friendships and romantic relationships, and b) across generations, i.

Positive bias and mental health

My main line of research concerns positive bias, i.e., the phenomenon that many people see the world more brightly and more positive than it really is, and whether and at what ages individual differences in positive bias are associated with differences in mental and social functioning.


In 2007, I completed my first dissertation, entitled “The philosophical development of Gilbert Ryle: A study of his published and unpublished writings”. This dissertation is the first comprehensive study of the writings, both published and unpublished, of Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976), one of the most well-known and influential philosophers of the twentieth century.