How many skeptics does it take to screw in a lightbulb? I don’t know, but Matthew Smith’s “Go Luck Yourself! The Psychology of Uncertainty and Control” certainly drew in enough, and rightly so. The Edinburgh Skeptics Society has put on a lot of entertaining and informative shows and this one lived up to past performances. The topic of his talk was positive psychology i.e. the idea that positive thinking can lead people to take actions that improve their lives, making them seem “lucky”. It was amusing, interesting, and certainly challenged the opinions of the skeptical audience, but I feel that it was somewhat lacking in terms of empirical evidence, possibly because this is a relatively new idea in psychology. If you’re looking to have a laugh and learn something, The Edinburgh Skeptics Society’s talks at the Banshee Labrynth are certainly for you.
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