book hack
How Emotions Are MadeBy Lisa Feldman Barrett

In a Nutshell

How Emotions Are Made explores the often misconstrued world of human feelings and the cutting-edge science behind how they're formed.

Favorite quote

An emotion is your brain's creation of what your bodily functions mean, in relation to what is going on around you in the world.

Lisa Feldman Barrett


When we were young, emotions seemed pretty simple. We dropped our ice cream cone, we were sad. We got to go to the park, we were happy. And so on. But as we got older our emotions became increasingly more complex and confusing. And it doesn't help that there are tons of widely believed myths out there about emotions. Here's one you might believe that's wrong: the world has universal facial expressions to express emotion, like smiling for joy. And here's another: emotions come from the limbic, or 'reptilian' brain and we must use our "rational" brain to control them.

It's a bit crazy how many of us believe these and many other myths about emotion. But it's not really our fault. These myths persist because 'emotional intelligence' industries, health professionals, and scientists often are not up-to-date with the current research.

If you're ready to get on the right track, look no further. In the book How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, author and distinguished professor of psychology Lisa Feldman Barrett sets out to clear the air. This TED speaker will tell you what the research really says. And in the process, she challenges pretty much all you thought you knew about human emotions. This transformative book will tell you the true story behind your feelings.

Here are the 3 key insights from this Hack

  1. 1.
    We still believe in a classical view of emotions that science doesn’t support anymore
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  3. 3.
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