Expressly Human

Decoding the Language of Emotion

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Pub Date 26 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 09 Sep 2022

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Description

Good communication, conventional wisdom suggests, is calm, logical, rational. Emotions, we’re told, just get in the way.
But what if this is backwards? What if those emotional overtones are the main messages we’re sending to one another, and all that logical language is just window dressing?

Over billions of years of evolution, animals have become increasingly sophisticated and increasingly sentient. In the process, they evolved emotions, which helped improve their odds of survival in complex situations.
 
These emotions were, at first, purely internal. But at some point, social animals began expressing their emotions, in increasingly dramatic ways. These emotional expressions could accurately reflect internal emotions (smiling to express happiness)—or they could be quite different (smiling to cover up that you’re actually furious, but can’t tell your boss that).
 
Why did once-stone-faced animals evolve to be so emotionally expressive—to be us?
 
The answer, as evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi and mathematician Tim Barber reveal, is that emotional expressions are our first and most important language—one that allows us, as social animals, to engage in highly sophisticated communications and negotiations.
 
Expressly Human introduces an original theory that explains, from first principles, how the broad range of emotional expressions evolved, and provides a Rosetta Stone for human communication. It will revolutionize the way you see every social interaction, from deciding who gets the last slice of pizza to multimillion-dollar business negotiations, and change your definition of what makes us human.
 
Good communication, conventional wisdom suggests, is calm, logical, rational. Emotions, we’re told, just get in the way.
But what if this is backwards? What if those emotional overtones are the main...

Advance Praise

“Changizi and Barber manage to say some intriguing and provocative new things about a very familiar topic—human emotion. The connections they draw between emotion, negotiation, reputation, and social network dynamics are original and important . . . A singular contribution to the literature on the cognitive and social aspects of emotion.”

—Dr. Ben Goertzel, Chief Science Advisor of Hanson Robotics and leader of the software team behind the Sophia robot

 

“Just as the periodic table helped turn alchemy into chemistry, this work on emotional expressions points the way to a more systematic and scientific understanding of the human mind.”

—Nick Cassimatis, former head of Samsung North American AI Research and professor of cognitive and computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

 

“Arguably, this book is the first attempt to systematically analyze human emotional expressions (the ‘first language’ in human evolution) in the context of exchange and negotiation . . . It’s catchy, eye-opening, amusing, and profound reading.”

—Shinsuke Shimojo, professor of experimental psychology at Caltech


“A deep examination of the power of emotional expressions.”

—Naomi Wolf, American feminist and author of The Beauty Myth


Expressly Human is an insightful journey into the primal language that drives human interactions: our emotional expressions . . . The authors combine their collective intelligence to open your mind to show you an intriguing perspective on how this primal language is the fundamental signaling network that drives how we socially interact with each other.”

—Michael Mantz, board certified psychiatrist at Santa Barbara Integrative Psychiatry

“Changizi and Barber manage to say some intriguing and provocative new things about a very familiar topic—human emotion. The connections they draw between emotion, negotiation, reputation, and social...


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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781637740484
PRICE $17.95 (USD)
PAGES 248

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