Psychologist and author of Emotions Revealed
, Paul Ekman has been studying emotion for over 40 years specialising in the expression, and more recently on the physiology, of emotion. It shows. Emotions Revealed
focuses on the universal emotions--the ones experienced by all human beings and for which there are clear universal expressions (sadness, anger, surprise, fear, disgust, contempt and enjoyment). The goal of the book is to help the reader better understand and improve their emotional lives in practical ways.
The fascinating opening chapter describes the history and development of Ekman's research and things just get more and more interesting as we get closer to the emotions themselves. He leads us to the big questions: Why do we become emotional when we do? What triggers each of our emotions and how and when we can change what we become emotional? Will emotion always, somehow (in a "micro-expression" perhaps) reveal itself? Ekman also explains how we can become more attentive to our emotions as we have them and so increase the possibility of behaving in emotionally more constructive ways.
Having prepared the territory Ekman then moves to physiological ground explaining that each emotion has unique signals, most readily identified in the face and voice, that generate a unique pattern of sensations in our body. By becoming better acquainted with those sensations we may become aware early enough in our emotional response that we have some chance to choose, if we like, whether to go along or interfere with the emotion. We are also made aware of the connection this process has to the Buddhist practice and ideal of "mindfulness" through Ekman's discussions with the Dalai Lama. The appendix contains a set of photographs designed to test our skill at spotting the subtlest signs of the various emotions which the reader is advised to take before beginning the book. --Larry Brown
There has been huge interest from the media in this fascinating book and Paul is over here at the moment doing publicity. He has done an interview for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH where the journalist and Paul went round the National Gallery looking at the paintings with Paul reading the emotions on the portraits. He has also been interviewed for the GUARDIAN, which will run in their LIFE SECTION on 19 June. Paul wrote a big piece for THE OBSERVER which ran in theircrime supplmenent on Sunday 27 April. While he was here Paul was interviewedon THIS MORNING (ITV) 3 June, THE FI GLOVER SHOW (BBC Radio 5 Live) 2 June, JOHNNIE WALKER SHOW (BBC Radio 2), 2 June, EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER (BBC Radio4), BBC RADIO SHROPSHIRE and NEWSTALK 106 for Ireland. Reviews are just starting to come in: 'Here Paul Ekman doyen of contemporary emotion researchers, turns to the practical management of emotion in everyday life. The result is an outstanding example of popular scientific writing.'NEW SCIENTIST 'There are some fascinating titbits along the way. I was struck by his suggestion thatwhile emotions are vital tools for dealing with the outside world, moods area destructive by-product and that we'd be better off without them. Ekman canbe riveting on the minutae of facial expressions, especially the way that anexpression can be observed even when an emotion is being half-felt or suppressed.'Robert Hanks, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'A brilliant and gripping read'THE GOO