How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar 7, 2017 - Psychology - 496 pages
“Fascinating . . . A thought-provoking journey into emotion science.” — 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.

“Mind-blowing.” — Elle

“Chock-full of startling, science-backed findings . . . An entertaining and engaging read. ” — Forbes

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kronomlo - LibraryThing

A fantastic book on how "Essentialism", a concept that means things have a set of characteristics that make them what they are, has been used to explain how and where emotions are made and located in ... Read full review

How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Psychologist and neuroscientist Barrett painstakingly attempts to refute traditional thinking about human emotions as portrayed in the popular media, such as the TV show Lie To Me and Oscar-winning ... 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, Ph.D., is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in psychiatry and radiology. She received an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for her research on emotion in the brain.

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