You aren’t at the mercy of your emotions — your brain creates them | Lisa Feldman Barrett


My research lab sits about a mile
from where several bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon in 2013. The surviving bomber,
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of Chechnya, was tried, convicted
and sentenced to death. Now, when a jury has to make the decision between life in prison
and the death penalty, they base their decision largely
on whether or not the defendant feels remorseful for his actions. Tsarnaev spoke words of apology, but when jurors looked at his face, all they saw was a stone-faced stare. Now, Tsarnaev is guilty,
there’s no doubt about that. He murdered and maimed innocent people, and I’m not here to debate that. My heart goes out
to all the people who suffered. But as a scientist, I have to tell you that jurors do not
and cannot detect remorse or any other emotion in anybody ever. Neither can I, and neither can you, and that’s because emotions
are not what we think they are. They are not universally
expressed and recognized. They are not hardwired brain reactions that are uncontrollable. We have misunderstood
the nature of emotion for a very long time, and understanding what emotions really are
has important consequences for all of us. I have studied emotions as a scientist
for the past 25 years, and in my lab, we have probed human faces
by measuring electrical signals that cause your facial muscles to contract
to make facial expressions. We have scrutinized
the human body in emotion. We have analyzed
hundreds of physiology studies involving thousands of test subjects. We’ve scanned hundreds of brains, and examined every
brain imaging study on emotion that has been published
in the past 20 years. And the results of all of this research
are overwhelmingly consistent. It may feel to you
like your emotions are hardwired and they just trigger and happen to you, but they don’t. You might believe that your brain
is prewired with emotion circuits, that you’re born with emotion
circuits, but you’re not. In fact, none of us in this room
have emotion circuits in our brain. In fact, no brain on this planet
contains emotion circuits. So what are emotions, really? Well, strap on your seat belt,
because … emotions are guesses. They are guesses that your brain
constructs in the moment where billions of brain cells
are working together, and you have more control
over those guesses than you might imagine that you do. Now, if that sounds preposterous to you,
or, you know, kind of crazy, I’m right there with you, because frankly,
if I hadn’t seen the evidence for myself, decades of evidence for myself, I am fairly sure
that I wouldn’t believe it either. But the bottom line is that emotions
are not built into your brain at birth. They are just built. To see what I mean, have a look at this. Right now, your brain
is working like crazy. Your neurons are firing like mad
trying to make meaning out of this so that you see something
other than black and white blobs. Your brain is sifting
through a lifetime of experience, making thousands of guesses
at the same time, weighing the probabilities, trying to answer the question, “What is this most like?” not “What is it?” but “What is this most like
in my past experience?” And this is all happening
in the blink of an eye. Now if your brain is still struggling
to find a good match and you still see black and white blobs, then you are in a state
called “experiential blindness,” and I am going to cure you
of your blindness. This is my favorite part.
Are you ready to be cured? (Cheers) All right. Here we go. (Gasps) All right. So now many of you see a snake, and why is that? Because as your brain is sifting
through your past experience, there’s new knowledge there, the knowledge that came
from the photograph. And what’s really cool is that that knowledge which you just
acquired moments ago is changing how you experience
these blobs right now. So your brain is constructing
the image of a snake where there is no snake, and this kind of a hallucination is what neuroscientists like me
call “predictions.” Predictions are basically
the way your brain works. It’s business as usual for your brain. Predictions are the basis
of every experience that you have. They are the basis
of every action that you take. In fact, predictions are what allow you
to understand the words that I’m speaking as they come out of my — Audience: Mouth.
Lisa Feldman Barrett: Mouth. Exactly. Predictions are primal. They help us to make sense
of the world in a quick and efficient way. So your brain does not react to the world. Using past experience, your brain predicts and constructs your experience of the world. The way that we see emotions in others
are deeply rooted in predictions. So to us, it feels like
we just look at someone’s face, and we just read the emotion
that’s there in their facial expressions the way that we would read
words on a page. But actually, under the hood,
your brain is predicting. It’s using past experience
based on similar situations to try to make meaning. This time, you’re not
making meaning of blobs, you’re making meaning of facial movements like the curl of a lip
or the raise of an eyebrow. And that stone-faced stare? That might be someone
who is a remorseless killer, but a stone-faced stare might also mean that someone is stoically
accepting defeat, which is in fact what Chechen culture
prescribes for someone in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s situation. So the lesson here is that emotions that you seem
to detect in other people actually come in part
from what’s inside your own head. And this is true in the courtroom, but it’s also true in the classroom, in the bedroom, and in the boardroom. And so here’s my concern: tech companies
which shall remain nameless … well, maybe not. You know, Google, Facebook — (Laughter) are spending millions of research dollars
to build emotion-detection systems, and they are fundamentally
asking the wrong question, because they’re trying to detect
emotions in the face and the body, but emotions aren’t in your face and body. Physical movements
have no intrinsic emotional meaning. We have to make them meaningful. A human or something else
has to connect them to the context, and that makes them meaningful. That’s how we know
that a smile might mean sadness and a cry might mean happiness, and a stoic, still face might mean that you are angrily plotting
the demise of your enemy. Now, if I haven’t already
gone out on a limb, I’ll just edge out on that limb
a little further and tell you that the way that you experience
your own emotion is exactly the same process. Your brain is basically
making predictions, guesses, that it’s constructing in the moment with billions of neurons working together. Now your brain does come
prewired to make some feelings, simple feelings that come
from the physiology of your body. So when you’re born, you can make feelings
like calmness and agitation, excitement, comfort, discomfort. But these simple feelings
are not emotions. They’re actually with you
every waking moment of your life. They are simple summaries
of what’s going on inside your body, kind of like a barometer. But they have very little detail, and you need that detail
to know what to do next. What do you about these feelings? And so how does your brain
give you that detail? Well, that’s what predictions are. Predictions link
the sensations in your body that give you these simple feelings with what’s going on
around you in the world so that you know what to do. And sometimes, those constructions are emotions. So for example, if you were
to walk into a bakery, your brain might predict
that you will encounter the delicious aroma of freshly baked
chocolate chip cookies. I know my brain would predict the delicious aroma of freshly baked
chocolate cookies. And our brains might cause
our stomachs to churn a little bit, to prepare for eating those cookies. And if we are correct, if in fact some cookies
have just come out of the oven, then our brains will
have constructed hunger, and we are prepared
to munch down those cookies and digest them in a very efficient way, meaning that we can eat a lot of them, which would be a really good thing. You guys are not laughing enough.
I’m totally serious. (Laughter) But here’s the thing. That churning stomach, if it occurs in a different situation, it can have a completely
different meaning. So if your brain were to predict
a churning stomach in, say, a hospital room
while you’re waiting for test results, then your brain will be constructing dread or worry or anxiety, and it might cause you to, maybe, wring your hands or take a deep breath or even cry. Right? Same physical sensation,
same churning stomach, different experience. And so the lesson here is that emotions which seem
to happen to you are actually made by you. You are not at the mercy
of mythical emotion circuits which are buried deep inside
some ancient part of your brain. You have more control over your emotions than you think you do. I don’t mean that you can
just snap your fingers and change how you feel the way
that you would change your clothes, but your brain is wired so that if you change the ingredients
that your brain uses to make emotion, then you can transform
your emotional life. So if you change those ingredients today, you’re basically teaching your brain
how to predict differently tomorrow, and this is what I call
being the architect of your experience. So here’s an example. All of us have had a nervous feeling
before a test, right? But some people experience
crippling anxiety before a test. They have test anxiety. Based on past experiences of taking tests, their brains predict
a hammering heartbeat, sweaty hands, so much so that they are unable
to actually take the test. They don’t perform well, and sometimes they not only fail courses
but they actually might fail college. But here’s the thing: a hammering heartbeat
is not necessarily anxiety. It could be that your body
is preparing to do battle and ace that test … or, you know, give a talk in front of hundreds of people
on a stage where you’re being filmed. (Laughter) I’m serious. (Laughter) And research shows
that when students learn to make this kind
of energized determination instead of anxiety, they perform better on tests. And that determination seeds their brain
to predict differently in the future so that they can get their butterflies
flying in formation. And if they do that often enough, they not only can pass a test but it will be easier for them
to pass their courses, and they might even finish college, which has a huge impact
on their future earning potential. So I call this emotional
intelligence in action. Now you can cultivate
this emotional intelligence yourself and use it in your everyday life. So just, you know, imagine waking up in the morning. I’m sure you’ve had
this experience. I know I have. You wake up and as you’re emerging
into consciousness, you feel this horrible dread, you know, this real wretchedness, and immediately, your mind starts to race. You start to think about
all the crap that you have to do at work and you have that mountain of email which you will never
dig yourself out of ever, the phone calls you have to return, and that important meeting across town, and you’re going to have to fight traffic, you’ll be late picking your kids up, your dog is sick, and what
are you going to make for dinner? Oh my God. What is wrong with your life? What is wrong with my life? (Laughter) That mind racing is prediction. Your brain is searching
to find an explanation for those sensations in your body
that you experience as wretchedness, just like you did with the blobby image. So your brain is trying to explain
what caused those sensations so that you know what to do about them. But those sensations might not be an indication
that anything is wrong with your life. They might have a purely physical cause. Maybe you’re tired. Maybe you didn’t sleep enough. Maybe you’re hungry. Maybe you’re dehydrated. The next time that you feel
intense distress, ask yourself: Could this have a purely physical cause? Is it possible that you can transform emotional suffering
into just mere physical discomfort? Now I am not suggesting to you that you can just perform
a couple of Jedi mind tricks and talk yourself out of being depressed or anxious or any kind
of serious condition. But I am telling you that you have more control
over your emotions than you might imagine, and that you have the capacity to turn down the dial
on emotional suffering and its consequences for your life by learning how to construct
your experiences differently. And all of us can do this and with a little practice,
we can get really good at it, like driving. At first, it takes a lot of effort, but eventually it becomes
pretty automatic. Now I don’t know about you, but I find this to be
a really empowering and inspiring message, and the fact that it’s backed up
by decades of research makes me also happy as a scientist. But I have to also warn you
that it does come with some fine print, because more control
also means more responsibility. If you are not at the mercy
of mythical emotion circuits which are buried deep
inside your brain somewhere and which trigger automatically, then who’s responsible, who is responsible when you behave badly? You are. Not because you’re culpable
for your emotions, but because the actions
and the experiences that you make today become your brain’s
predictions for tomorrow. Sometimes we are responsible for something not because we’re to blame but because we’re the only ones
who can change it. Now responsibility is a big word. It’s so big, in fact, that sometimes people feel the need
to resist the scientific evidence that emotions are built and not built in. The idea that we are responsible
for our own emotions seems very hard to swallow. But what I’m suggesting to you
is you don’t have to choke on that idea. You just take a deep breath, maybe get yourself
a glass of water if you need to, and embrace it. Embrace that responsibility, because it is the path
to a healthier body, a more just and informed legal system, and a more flexible
and potent emotional life. Thank you. (Applause)

100 comments

  1. vanities of vanities
    what to do next?
    love?
    what if I sometimes don't wanna love? o-o
    sin?
    sighs…
    idk

    Life kills me? o-o

    surrender?

    madness….
    I don't knows o-o-o-o

  2. The key info I took for this video is how we interpret sensations, emotions and if we have always perceived them this way we will continue to stay in unhelpful patterns of emotions next time if I feel a certain way or experience a sensation in my body I am going to consider more then one explanation for the sign and hopefully a more helpful one that propels me forward in life I liked the example of churning in stomach as excitement that going to ‘ace’ that test.

  3. If this talk was interesting to you should listen to Ajahn Brahm.He was a theoretical physicist and now he's a buddhist monk.There more than hundred talks of him on youtube.He talks about how our brain is programmed from the things we see and hear since childhood in a more fascinating manner. I learned a great deal from him and I owe my life to him.

  4. You couldnt have used a picture of a flower or a pizza instead? You had to use a snake? BAD choice!!!!!!!! Thanks for cruelly jarring me 😖

  5. This sounds like woo. Just because you learn doesn't mean there weren't underlining emotions or brain structures. She's pushing a blank slate and that's debunked garbage.

    She never provided evidence for her claim.

  6. For emotionally neglected and bad parenting victims this is a path towards learning the SKILL of managing the painful rejection and sh****y mom syndrome. You can do it. Decide. Learn.

  7. 1. Das Gehirn versucht zu interpretieren, auf Basis der Vergangenheitserfahrungen (gut visualisiert durch das Bild am Anfang).
    2. Emotionen sind auch nur Interpretationen, die das Zusammenfassungsgefühl gedanklich erklären zu versuchen. Die Tools von 1. können also für 2. genutzt werden.

  8. The woman talking doesn’t seem to consider Fundamental Attribution Error, which I think she should’ve with the murder case she was explaining.

  9. So the predictions, the computational models to construct whatever "emotions" are sort of built-in, not the emotions themselves?

  10. I didn't get it, so u r saying that emotions r just illusions made by our brain as a response to our physical sensations?

  11. when I feel negative thoughts in the morning before getting out of bed, I jump out of bed and go for a jog, returning home feeling ready to take on the world

  12. If your thoughts are just neurons forming together through chance then how could you trust yourself and your thoughts, if you deconstruct and think about what I just said then you will understand how complex this question is

  13. blah blah blah… so in conclusion i have scientifically proven the correct party to vote for is the democratic party, we have done all these experiments in my lab, and the results were just like my parents knew they were going to be when they brought me up, the republican party has been proved TO BE EVIL AND I HATE THEM ESPECIALLY TRUMP, because we have proved this with evidence, there is no now no good reason for the republican party not to be banned and anyone associated with them banned from speaking in public. furthermore because my lab can scientifically decide based on the evidence who would make the best president, we can avoid the risk of dumb people being 'tricked' into not voting for who we know is the right candidate by not having elections and instead using my scientific processes to appoint a president based on what's right SCIENTIFICALLY.

  14. In one of my classes they taught us that nervousness and excitement feel the same and that you can flip the switch and turn nervousness into excitement because of that. Ever since then when I'm nervous about an appointment or meeting someone I tell myself over and over that I'm excoted and it works!

  15. You know how when someone had done u wrong but when u confront them they reply with, ‘I already moved on. Grow up.” ? You don’t get closure. What I want is closure in such situations. Unlikely to get apology fr the other party of course. Yet somehow it seems so unfair the victim has to be the one to adjust, swallow the pain, heal enough to not hover over the matter anymore. It’s doable but it stings.

  16. Control and Tickle Your Amygdala www.BrainRadar.com Intelligence, Pleasure, and Creativity as easy as clicking a light switch.

  17. She doesn’t know what the fcuk she’s talking about. A lot of scientists nowadays are using similar strategies as the news industry. Putting their own twist on something that’s been tried and tested and stood the test of time and claiming they’ve reinvented the wheel just to gain popularity and make their names. Your conscious mind (I want to do this so I will do this) makes up <5% of your total brain power the rest is genetics, hormones, social conditioning and upbringing during a time when brain was malleable <7 years old. These circuits do become hard wired through repetition during formative years – and this what you call your personality. Sure you can change certain aspects and habits but to claim total control is like saying you bought a Toyota Corolla and now you’re going to try really hard to turn it into a pickup truck.. good luck it wasn’t made to be a pickup truck no matter how big tires you put or a trailer you stick on it’s back. It was made a Toyota Corolla.

  18. This title is kind of inaccurate and so feels misleading, a better one could be: Your emotions aren't felt, they are made? Don't know, just feel like the title could be better cuz this talk is amazing!

  19. Could this be one of the empirical arguments for meditation? Because meditation gives us the ability to hesitate before making predictions, it places a barrier of space for calm between emotional or thought-based prediction, it gives me a better chance of controlling the ingredients we put in to make those predictions?!

  20. "If you are not at the mercy of mythical emotional circuits which are buried deep inside your brain somewhere and which trigger automatically, then who's responsible? Who's responsible when you behave badly? You are."
    "Sometimes we are responsible for something not because we are to blame but because we're the only ones who can change it."
    Great talk demonstrating individual responsibility over emotional experience without invalidating the experiences themselves, or the individual; but in pointing out the relationship between sensation and emotion, Dr. Barrett shows how we can LEARN to be conscious navigators of our emotional lives and not just helpless passengers awaiting emotional determinism.

  21. Emotions don't come from your brain, they come from your heart. Through picking up electromagnetic signals that every living thing emits. The heart and the brain are deeply connected but the brain's job is basically only to try making sense of what emotions mean. The heart is the one that feels.

  22. I don’t think this is true. People who are born blind smile if they’re happy- yet they’ve never seen anyone smile. They also raise their hands above their head in victory, yet they haven’t seen anyone do so.

    How would she explain that?

  23. If you're taking 1 or more psychiatric drugs, you are at the mercy of drug-induced emotions that are NOT your own, but drug created. Psychiatric drugs cause a chemical imbalance. They alter our thoughts, feelings & behaviors, many to death. Why is no one talking about this at TED? Interview with Peter Gøtzsche – APA Counter-Conference 2018 – https://youtu.be/zjbmJOT5jJ4

  24. Thank you very much for confirming by means of scientific evidence what meditation teachers have been teaching us for hundreds of years!

  25. please write a book. your thoughts are amazing and actually life changing. what is your contact information…. thank you for a …well. thank you for helping me through a very tough time..

  26. Youre way of thinking creates your life. Mindfullness meditation,autobservation is key to change things that make you suffer. The internal world (psyche- soul) is far more important than the external world

  27. Why do all cultures have so similar emotions expressions then?
    What about dogs? they all move their tail when they are happy

  28. obviously scanning the face for emotions is wrong and determining their emotions or remorse like that is wrong.

  29. Emotions come from our brains. Think yourself better.

    You are beautiful.
    You are smart and intelligent.
    You are loved.
    You will achieve all your goals.
    Your future is bright and wonderful.
    You are good.
    You have achieved so much.
    You can handle these challenges.
    You will continue to be successful.
    You are a great person.
    You are persistent and resilient.
    You are the boss of your life.
    You are amazing.
    You got this.

    Failure is a lesson. It's the best teacher you can get, so feel proud of your mistakes.
    What's on your list? What would you tell yourself to encourage yourself?

  30. Try
    understanding native
    Japanese emotions.
    it's an other world here. i've been in Japan for 18 years. i'm no longer white washed. i'm appauled by fellow American's behavior. Mass shootings by people who have sought psychiatric help. Psychotropic medication prescribed at a hit and miss basis as opposed to biocompatibility tested. There's no biochemical standard for dopamine, and serotonine. can you scientifically prove that depression is based on a chemical imbalance with and hormones and neurotransmitters and their quantifable factual numbers?
    i know that 8% of the body's serotonin is in the blood. 90% is in the gut, and only 2% of serotonin is in the brain.
    Catecholimines cause anxiety it is in Why Zebra Don't Get Ulcers by Standford University Professor Robert Sapolsky.
    MELAS syndrome is what's wrong with my life. And there's no cure nor will there be because it's from a genetic mutation and genetic manipulation scares the crap out people. it's 'playing God' or it might lead to Super Soldiers. Captain America? MELAS syndrome is maternally inherited.

  31. What's that clicking noise i heard from my phone? hackers? Grrr frustrated

    emotions by pass the prefrontal cortex for less than a second reactions. Emotions kept our ancestors alive in melee combat.
    Anger helped my viking ancestors swing those battle-axes that much harder while raiding England's rocky shores. Fear let my English farmer ancestors run like the f*cking wind when they saw a viking ship. Yup, i'm both. Plus Finnish, Swedish, Danish, and English yet i'm more American than most Americans by continuing my ancestors' quest west so much so that i landed in the far east.
    Ain't no one's plotting anyone's demise. i'm thinking about those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
    it would be awesome if you could
    change how you feel, what would you change?

    or instead of battle it could be your body preparing to ask that cute little redhead out on a date.
    My wife dyed her hair last week.

  32. Teaching this approach in primary and middle school years and as part of mental health programs would be so beneficial.

  33. I've had to, over the past several years, restructure my schema so that my brain makes completely different predictions in order to overcome a great deal of trauma from when I was barely old enough to form memories. This has been done through repetition and focusing on new experiences. My point is I'm living proof that this is true.

    I've dealt with fear and anger and loneliness my entire life, and every time I have those predictions made by my emotions not come true, the easier it is to thrive and find the place to belong that I've been searching for.

  34. Does this mean that the psychoanalytical approach where a therapist will encourage you to bring out and cathart you emotions might actually be deepening the trauma

  35. So when you're born screaming that's not an emotion because you haven't conceptualised it yet. And somehow you go from 0 to 1 despite 1 depending on 0. And when you hit puberty the only reason you have sexual desire is because of social constructivism, and the older you are the more emotions you get because they're based on experience – that makes sense. And we can't read faces, facial expressions mean absolutely nothing now. And when you're hospitalised for emotion problems, it's merely your interpretation that you could choose to control. And when a rat flees from a cat and screams to the local rats, none of these animals have any emotions because that would require them to construct them at the same level of process as human cognition. I could go on. The main thing that annoys me isn't the fiction but the way she persuades people to her way of thinking instead of letting what she deems to be mere scientific fact speak for itself.

  36. This talk helped me. As a lifelong sufferer of depression, this talk changed things for me. I'm using this information now, and these are the best answers I've ever heard.

  37. This really didn’t vibe with me at all…poor presentation and I don’t buy much that was said. The churning of the stomach is the same in anticipation of eating a cookie, and a feeling of dread at the hospital?? No. It’s not. There’s a massive massive difference. I don’t know, maybe there were some nuggets here but I’m not buying a huge amount of this.

  38. She is basically saying what psychotherapists had known for decades from practice. People are capable of learning to react to things differently than before. And that the associations we learned as children can be undone. And consequently, you can change your emotions about something. Having said that, she still hasn't convinced me that nobody can read anybody else's emotions on their face (which was the opening point of the talk). There is something called the "attunement" when people closely pay attention to each other and it IS based on neurobiology. So, yes, it is totally possible to read somebody else's emotions.

  39. Does somebody know why TED events uploaded here to YT aren't dated? Thanks.
    I would love to have this woman listen to Ed Snowden re Boston Bombing.

    I would also love to hear what she has to say about my racing brain. Mine makes it nearly impossible to fall asleep. Doesn't matter what happened during my day (nothing), what might need to happen tomorrow (nothing), and it is RACING, a million thoughts all over the place. Not omg what shall I make while my brat and cat cat are howling -zillions of thoughts.
    No amount of trying to focus and deep breathing, thinking of waiting in the car for someone is shopping, nothing helps. I take anxiety meds, I can fall asleep, period.

  40. I'm bipolar and thanks to simply being aware of my own state and consciously compensating I have more self-control than the average person with no diagnosed disorder. She calls it being the architect of your experience, I've been calling it objective self-awareness for years. Most emotions are unconscious decisions which can become conscious, controlled ones fairly easily.

  41. architect of your experience, can we say working spells and witchcraft? this is what shamans have been doing since the beginning.

  42. I'd recheck youre comment as that has not been my experience..and I do have a rather long record of experience and that has not been my findings whatsoever.

  43. But there is always that part of me that says im utterly nuts if I don't worry. If the worst most abbhorent is definitely possible to say the absolute least; How will I cope!?!?!? ……. Solutions have to worked on ASAP…. I'M really no different from any one else in that regard.

  44. To add to her point… whenever my anxiety and racing thoughts creep up, I do notice I'm not breathing deeply, sometimes not breathing at all. Breathing again calms that. Crazy how physiological it is…

  45. My expressed 'regret' about my last traffic infringement, however sincere, didn't bring about a reduction of the penalty or a forgiveness of the debt

  46. wait what! Why does this professor needed decades of data to show that! Hasn't she read any buddhist philosophy ever !?

  47. I do not contest the scientific evidence for there being no built in emotions.
    But leaping to the conclusion of "responsibility of the individual" implies a few things for which less evidence is present and skips over some other possible causes for emotions and other facts like the pliability of the brain, but most importantly:

    -Responsibiliy implies a free will and there is quite strong evidence, we might not actually have any in the traditional sense.

    -Control over environment is implied in responsibily of the individual. Unless we are talking about "taking responsibility", which has more to do with crime and punishment, than the concept of responsibility. If continued discomfort is present from the environment, feeling sad or angry is a fully justifiable and possibly even healthy response.

    -Control over initial conditions is implied. (Like discomfort in the body through disease or comparitive intelligence which might lead to discomfort)

    -Some things, like language are not built in, but are there in potentia, leading to similar, but individually different expressions in brains, like the areas of Wernicke and Broca, which seem to express naturally, but cannot be pinned down in location. A more logical conclusion would be that the emergence of emotions functions in much the same way.

    -Emotions form a short term memory of subconscious experience. The experience of emotion can lead to thoughts that are consistent with the emotion. And behaviour and thoughts lead to new (or the same) emotions. This is usually a beneficient functioning, but also has a propensity to lead to a feedback loop in both directions. This can explain how people become stuck in one setting, or wildly oscillate between two. Mathematically this resembles a stange attractor in a chaotic system. In this context the word "responsibility" seems contrived.

    So I strongly contest the conclusion of "responsibility" for the individual as an absolute from the evidence of emotions NOT being built in. Scientific as this talk may sound, that conclusion from the given data is only an opinion…

    This being said, there is a good chance that taking into account you don´t have to value your emotions the way you normally do might improve your life beyond belief, if you suffer from depression.

    So if you don´t like the "responsibility" part at the end or her leading with a "lawfull" execution, just ignore it, or even better yet, see it as an opportunity to practice not being lead by emotion in your thoughts. (Which is fully justified, but will only serve to make you feel worse about something you cannot do anything about) Self medicate by making these things neutral. It´s just a TED talk. People, even scientists, have opinions and that doesn´t mean anything. It´s a good thing that interesting ideas get out there and you can learn a lot from somebody you don´t agree with.

  48. Oh man! Why didn’t I see this video back when I was 5 years old? That would have saved me from so many emotional struggle in life! I loved it, and will indeed embrace the teachings she shared. Thank you 🙏

  49. Throws a wrench in the whole "words are violence" narrative, doesn't it? If we construct our own emotions then we are not merely victims of other people's words.

  50. About emotions; " …they are not hardwired brain reactions that are uncontrollable…" what about psychopaths…aren't their emotions stemming from chemical reactions in the brain that are uncontrollable????

  51. This is interesting… Actually it speaks to spirituality more than intellectualism. If I think someone does not like me or is trying to hurt me, I will make myself sick by anxiety or desperation. Our brains dictate our true nature within us. If we CHOOSE negative thoughts or anxiety or varied negative input in the brain it is ourselves that create our "EMOTIONAL" response. This speaks in an indirect way to "the Secret," too.

  52. If we apply this to society and how our justice system works we would learn a better way to address many of the issues that plague and have a huge impact on the success of our country today. For example, there is objective proof that minorities receive harsher sentencing than their counterparts. Due to how our justice system is structured people's perception, not the law determines the outcome of the sentencing. So fear of a certain group would justify the unjust treatment of these people. That's why we have a huge disproportion of unarmed minorities being shot and killed due to the assumption they are a threat. Without determent, punishment or reprimand for the officers when misjudgment occurs. If we admit it or not, ignoring these issues causes us to continue to make the worst decisions for our country as a whole.

  53. I had crippling test anxiety and got just enough grades to not be classed as a failure. It was such battle. I wish I found this during my exams.

  54. "There are no emotion circuits" Oh! "you can train your mind" – make up your mind. And, she knows for a fact. Right. If there was any way to know "for a fact" something about the brain….ha! Open it up & look inside it & analyze it. You cannot. We only know what we know. That does not mean we know everything. She makes an awfully absolute statement. Sorry, but that is folly.

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