PERFECT: Pragmatic and epistemic role of factually erroneous cognitions and thoughts


Professor Lisa Bortolotti from the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion has been awarded a European Research Council Consolidator Grant (ERC-2013-Co-G) for a project called PERFECT (Pragmatic and Epistemic Role of Factually Erroneous Cognitions and Thoughts), due to start in October 2014 and to run for five years. 

PERFECT will allow Lisa to build a team of three post-doctoral researchers and two PhD students. The project will also involve the participation of Dr Michael Larkin from the School of Psychology.

PERFECT aims to establish whether cognitions that are inaccurate in some important respect can ever be good for us from a pragmatic and an epistemic point of view. Can delusional beliefs, distorted memories, confabulatory explanations, which are frequent in the non-clinical population and also listed as symptoms of psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and dementia, have redeeming features?

In May 2014 Dr Ema Sullivan-Bissett has been appointed as the first post-doctoral fellow on the project. Her research will focus on belief. Mrs Magdalena Antrobus has been appointed as the first PhD student on the project. Her doctoral work will focus on benefits of cognitions in the clinical population.

The project team maintains a blog called Imperfect Cognitions, featuring posts on recent research, conference reports, presentations of new books, and interviews with experts.