How to Understand Emotions?

Emaww.com Emotion Matter Podcast Lisa Feldman Barrett Understand Emotions


The cultures throughout the world have different ways of expressing their emotions. This Episode with Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett will reveal her discoveries and allow you to understand her theory that tries to explain emotions. 

Q1-01:49: You’re a psychologist who focuses on emotions. How and why did you choose this area to focus on?

Q2-07:55: Part of your theory deals with how language and context influence emotional perception. Today’s political environment is pretty charged with language which influences emotions. What does your theory reveal for those hoping to understand that concept?

Q3-13:10: Have you ever found a society, a person, or a group of people who are missing a complete emotion set or some specific emotion?

Q4-17:12: Do you find one is more appropriate than the other? Or is it just flatly different? 

Q5-21:33: Your theory tries to resolve the so-called “emotion paradox.” Tell us about that and what was your approach to finding a solution for such a complex matter.

Q6-28:50:  Let’s move to another subject. You lead a research on how humans bond and a brain chemistry that’s involved. Give our listeners some insight on that study.

Q7-34:07: Let’s talk about specific emotion relative to those children, I would think that would be the emotion of awe. Here at Emaww, we look at the emotion of awe as on of the most humbling emotion. Children are learning and seeing all new things so emotion of awe is pretty prevalent. How would you describe awe through your theory or according to your experiences?

Q8-38:50Your book How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain tries to explain the very existence of emotions. What do you consider the most critical takeaways from the book?  How would you recommend the average person to approach and understand your writings?

Q9-43:33: We have a question from one of our listeners. Pablo from Rome wants to know if how is the best way to control his emotions in situations where one must not show them, like in a professional environment?

Q10-45:46What’s next and where should we look for more of your work and publications?


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Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to the book How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, Dr. Barrett has published over 200 peer-reviewed, scientific papers appearing in Science, Nature Neuroscience, and other top journals in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, as well as six academic volumes published by Guilford Press.

Dr. Barrett received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for her revolutionary research on emotion in the brain. These highly competitive, multimillion dollar awards are given to scientists of exceptional creativity who are expected to transform biomedical and behavioral research.

Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Barrett has testified before Congress, presented her research to the FBI, consulted to the National Cancer Institute, appeared on Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and been a featured guest on public television and worldwide radio programs. She is also an elected fellow of Canada’s most prestigious national organization of scholars, the Royal Society of Canada (analogous to the National Academy in the United States).

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