The Science of Emotions

by Howard Burton (Author)
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Why do we smile, laugh and actively seek out personal connections with the people around us? Why does it feel good and what evolutionary purposes do our so-called ?positive emotions? serve? This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Barbara Fredrickson, Director Positive Emotions & Psychology Laboratory at UNC Chapel Hill. Topics covered by this extensive conversation include Barbara?s work on the science of positive emotions, including her broaden-and-build theory, the undoing effect and upward spirals, while highlighting relevant evolutionary-driven hypotheses together with measurement details of empirical studies.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Only Connect, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Psychological Beginnings - Towards social psychology
Emotions, Scientifically - From endings to moments of intensity
Positive vs. Negative Emotions - Evolutionary conundrums
Positive Psychology Emerges - Examining human flourishing
Broaden and Build - A thesis emerges
Emotional Measurement - Searching for objective criteria
The Undoing Effect - A side benefit of positive emotions
Taking Charge - Cultivating positive emotional states
Responses - The perks and perils of relevance
Personal Flourishing - Bringing it home
Leveraging Positively - Generating upwards spirals

About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series:

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert in a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website:

Book details

Publication date
September 30, 2020
File size
1 MB