Summary of The Emotional Brain
The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life
Copyright © 1996 by Joseph LeDoux
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., N.Y.
Humans since the ancient Greeks have been trying to understand their emotions. This book presents the current theories.
Joseph LeDoux works very hard in this book, but in many ways, his fairness and ambition get in his way. He sets out not only to explain how emotions work in the brain but also to review the neurological, philosophical, evolutionary and psychological theories that explain the emotions. LeDoux makes sure he is fair to each theory, but that means that he takes entire chapters to discuss ideas that he ultimately dismisses as stepping stones. This tactic is informative if you're interested in history, but it will only slow you down if you're looking for a practical discussion of how emotions work. In addition, despite LeDoux's careful explanations, analogies and diagrams, the theories are complex and therefore challenging. getAbstract recommends this book to patient readers seeking a strong overall background on the emotional functioning of the brain. Human resource managers and others seeking insight into people's feelings and responses will find it especially useful.
In this summary, you will learn
- How emotions function
- What the history of theories about emotions tells us
- Why understanding emotions is so challenging
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