Can Optimism Be Learned? (Like Right Now?) : Short Wave Optimism is often thought as a disposition, something you're born with or without. So can it be learned? On today's show, Maddie talks with Alix Spiegel, co-host of NPR's Invisibilia, about "learned optimism." We'll look at what it is, the research behind it, and how it might come in handy in certain circumstances, like maybe a global pandemic?