How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain

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HarperCollins, Mar 7, 2017 - Psychology - 448 pages
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Preeminent psychologist Lisa Barrett lays out how the brain constructs emotions in a way that could revolutionize psychology, health care, the legal system, and our understanding of the human mind.
“Fascinating . . . A thought-provoking journey into emotion science.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A singular book, remarkable for the freshness of its ideas and the boldness and clarity with which they are presented.”—Scientific American
“A brilliant and original book on the science of emotion, by the deepest thinker about this topic since Darwin.”—Daniel Gilbert, best-selling author of Stumbling on Happiness
The science of emotion is in the midst of a revolution on par with the discovery of relativity in physics and natural selection in biology. Leading the charge is psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett, whose research overturns the long-standing belief that emotions are automatic, universal, and hardwired in different brain regions. Instead, Barrett shows, we construct each instance of emotion through a unique interplay of brain, body, and culture.
A lucid report from the cutting edge of emotion science, How Emotions Are Made reveals the profound real-world consequences of this breakthrough for everything from neuroscience and medicine to the legal system and even national security, laying bare the immense implications of our latest and most intimate scientific revolution.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - StefBlommaert - LibraryThing

You read a lot of books, but sometimes one comes along that changes the way you look at the world . And in this case also yourself. Lucid, clear and funny. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dmturner - LibraryThing

An interesting exploration of the way our brains construct reality, including emotions. Makes the argument against "essentialism" (the idea that emotions are essential elements, born into us ... Read full review


1 The Search for Emotions Fingerprints
2 Emotions Are Constructed
3 The Myth of Universal Emotions
4 The Origin of Feeling
5 Concepts Goals and Words
6 How the Brain Makes Emotions
7 Emotions as Social Reality
8 A New View of Human Nature
10 Emotion and Illness
11 Emotion and the Law
12 Is a Growling Dog Angry?
The New Frontier
Back Matter
Back Flap
Back Cover

9 Mastering Your Emotions

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About the author (2017)

LISA FELDMAN BARRETT, PhD, is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University. She received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on emotion in the brain, and is an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada. Barrett is the author of How Emotions are Made and Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain.

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