Leonard MlodinowFeb 3, 2022
How Feelings Shape Our Thinking
Today I talked to Leonard Mdlodinow about his new book Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking (Pantheon, 2022).
"On or around December 1910, human character changed,” Virginia Woolf memorably wrote, citing the rise of Modernism. Take things ahead a century, and Leonard Mdlodinow is making a similarly striking statement that advances in how neuroscientists can trace the connectivity of neurons has led to another striking advancement in intellectual life since approximately 2010. From the 1980s until that date, psychologists and neuroscientists were both appreciating and refining the concept of emotions as inherited from Charles Darwin. Since then, what emotions are and how they operate has undergone a conceptual revolution. This episode follows Mlodinow’s guidance as he outlines how scientists today focus on emotions as functional agents, thoroughly emmeshed in how we selectively perceive and adapt to the circumstances we find ourselves in. One tangible example of the revolution: now we know that childhood can literally change our DNA as we react and adjust to emotionally-laden experiences that leave their emotional fingerprint on us all.
Leonard Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, was a fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and has been on the faculty at CalTech. His previous, award-winning books include two written with Stephen Hawking, and another written with Deepak Chopra.
Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of nine books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). His new book is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.