Hartwick’s Wellman to Wrap Up Faculty Lecture Series

May 1, 2013

Faculty Lecture SeriesAssistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Justin A. Wellman will present a talk titled "Understanding the Dark Horse of Personality: When Will the Pessimist Win?" during this year's final Faculty Lecture Series event. The talk will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3 in Bresee Hall's Eaton Lounge on the Hartwick College Campus. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Pessimism has long been regarded as an unfortunate personality trait, while optimism is associated with a plethora of beneficial outcomes -- particularly in the area of health. Wellman's lecture will review past research showing the benefits of optimism before discussing a model of behavioral self-regulation that predicts the specific conditions under which pessimists will outperform optimists.

Wellman will discuss the key pivot points of mood and expectation which distinguish the self-regulation of an optimist and the self-regulation of a pessimist. Mood plays a critical and sometimes counter-intuitive role in this self-regulation. Individuals are often  unaware of their goals while still being influenced by them and the moods they produce. Current data on the superior performance of pessimists will be examined and possible implications for health care will also be discussed. 

This Friday's lecture is the eighth and final discussion during the 2012-13 academic year. The project has received support from a Hartwick College Faculty Trustee Grant and an NEH Long-term Fellowship. Throughout the lecture series, faculty members have discussed recent research in their fields, focusing on politics, religion, art, economics, biology, and psychology.

For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Development Chair Dr. Matthew Voorhees at 607-431-4387 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031