At the 2014 APS Annual Convention, APS Past President Robert W. Levenson, a 2014 APS William James Fellow recipient, described some of the enduring mysteries about emotion that have driven his research over the years.
Unraveling Emotional Mysteries: Insights From Studies of Couples, Cultures, Aging, and Patients
Friday, May 23, 2014
Robert W. Levenson - University of California, Berkeley
Emotions are the threads that make up the fabric of our lives. They protect us from danger, create and break bonds with others, help us navigate our way in the social world, and powerfully influence whether we are ultimately happy or unhappy, healthy or sick. In this William James award address, I will describe some of the enduring mysteries about emotion that have driven my research over the years (some of which trace back to James’ writings over a century ago). These include questions about what emotions are and what they do, the sources of emotional differences among individuals and their consequences, how emotions are organized in the nervous system, and how emotions are influenced by normal aging and disease. I will report on progress made toward unraveling some of these mysteries using laboratory methods for eliciting emotions, studies of dyadic interaction, cross-cultural comparisons, longitudinal designs, and work with neurological patients.
Robert W. Levenson is a recipient of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) William James Fellow Award for his lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.