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Why facial expressions aren’t a true reflection of our emotions.

As we enter 2022, we face a new world of work. Virtual teams and flexible arrangements are here to stay, and the lines between our professional and personal lives are more blurred than ever.

With all this change and uncertainty about what’s next, being in touch with the emotions of ourselves and others is critical. The issue? Some of society’s core ideas about managing, perceiving, and understanding emotions are wrong.

One of the most common ways we’ve learnt to read emotions is by decoding facial expressions. We know that a smile signals happiness or a frown sadness – right? Ground-breaking research on facial expressions and emotions has revealed otherwise. Emotions are not universal, we cannot read them from faces, and they are not hardwired deep within us.

Whether you’re interested in how to master your own emotions or better understand those of others – this episode of EI at Work will change your perception of how emotions work. You will gain insight into:


How emotions are made and why they’re a lot more complex than we realise.

In this episode of EI at Work, we’re joined by Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett. She is among the top 1% most-cited scientists for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience. Dr Barrett joins co-hosts Marie El Daghl and Genos International CEO, Dr Ben Palmer to discuss:

  • The top 3 insights she has uncovered through her revolutionary research on emotions.
  • How emotions are made and why some of our society’s core ideas about them are wrong.
  • The role of prediction and patterns in how our emotions work.
  • Facial expressions and why they’re not accurate signals of emotion.
  • Why the use of AI to predict human emotions is misguided.
  • The implications of her research for both the workplace and our personal lives.

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About Campbell McGlynn

About Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett

Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University with appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School. She is among the top 1% most-cited scientists for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience.

She is the recipient of a NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for transformative research, the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association (APA).

She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, and several other honorific societies. She is also a former president of the APS. She has testified before the US Congress, is the Chief Science Officer for the Center for Law, Brain and Behaviour at MGH, and actively engages in informal science education for the public via popular books, articles and public lectures.
She has authored two popular science books for the public: How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, and more recently, Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain.

Taking the hard line with Emotional Intelligence.
Learn the emotionally intelligent behaviours of strong leaders in this free virtual event.
14 October | 11 am AEST
Taking the hard line with Emotional Intelligence.
Learn the emotionally intelligent behaviours of strong leaders in this free virtual event.
14 October | 11 am AEST
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