Emotions Are a Construct of the Brain, Says Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett

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Imagine that you’re driving South on 101 when you see blue and red highway patrol lights flashing behind you. Do you feel worried? How about anxious, horrified or scared? According to psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, emotions are not something that happen to people, but rather, emotions are constructed in our brains, often with much more nuance than we readily acknowledge. Feldman Barrett joins us to talk about how emotions are made, the link between language and feelings and why assigning emotion to facial expressions has negative effects on everything from childcare to the justice system.

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Lisa Feldman Barrett, distinguished professor of psychology, Northeastern University; author, "How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain"