Is the science behind facial coding weaker than we think? For decades, we’ve relied on Dr. Paul Ekman’s facial coding system to gauge true emotion. Neuromarketing companies now use it to power studies by webcam and mobile devices. Not so fast, says this week’s guest, Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett…
She takes on more sacred cows in our conversation. The belief that the brain is divided into rational and emotional components is an ancient one, and hard to dispel. But Lisa and her team are doing work that debunks many of the old stereotypes we have about emotions, facial expressions, and rationality. She joins us to talk about her new book How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain and shares some of its most groundbreaking insights.
Lisa is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University. She is in the midst of original research that may be fundamentally changing our understanding of the science of emotion. She received a NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for her research on emotion in the brain.
In this episode, Lisa begins by talking about the long-held belief that certain emotions correspond to certain sections of the brain. She debunks the idea that emotion and rationality happen separately, and reveals that they are actually simultaneous, full-brain phenomena. We also touch on the structure of the brain, and how every one of us constantly craft our own reality thanks to the brain’s attempts to predict the future.
Lisa’s work is on the cutting edge of neuroscience – and her insight will undoubtedly change the way you think about your brain and your influence.
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On Today’s Episode We’ll Learn:
- What’s wrong with the classic philosophical divide between reason and emotion.
- How Lisa and others have debunked the idea that specific emotions are tied to specific areas of the brain.
- The three things your brain is constantly doing to shape your reality.
- Why research on “facial coding,” or recognizing emotions via facial expressions, doesn’t reflect the complexity of emotion.
- How the brain constantly “simulates” your reality so that there is no one objective experience.
- How Lisa’s research ties into the recent US election and research on the emotions of animals.
Key Resources for Lisa Feldman Barrett and the New Science of Emotions:
- Connect with Lisa: Website | Twitter
- Amazon: How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain
- Kindle: How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain
- Audible: How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain
- Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Persuade the Lizard with Jim Crimmins on The Brainfluence Podcast
- Misattribution of Arousal
- Facial Action Coding System from Paul Ekman
- Trust Factor: The Key to High Performance with Paul Zak on The Brainfluence Podcast
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Full Episode Transcript: