Karen Kilbane
Aug 20 · 1 min read

Before Lisa Feldman Barrett put forth her Theory of Constructed Emotions in 2017, psychologists led us to believe our emotions were responsible for our thoughts. Barrett could not get a single traditional psychological study about emotions to replicate and did her own research. She has shown neurologically we actually produce our emotions cognitively. Everything we do has a cognitive basis. Traditional psychologists use to think we had an emotion and the emotion produced the thought. Barrett has shown we first have the thought and the thought actually cues for the emotion associated with the thought. Barrett has given us a whole new way to understand how our thoughts and emotions integrate. You can’t really disentangle them because they always work together, but our thoughts are the drivers of everything we do. Emotions are simply internal sensations that assist our brain in its main task of assimilating internal and external information in order to produce a prediction, or a decision, for what to do next. Traditional psychologists have perpetuated many inaccuracies about how our brain integrates with out body and for this reason we have been vulnerable to people who make claims about our emotions that just are not true.

Karen Kilbane

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My students with special needs have led me to develop a hypothesis for a brain-compatible theory of personality. Reach me at karenkilbane1234@gmail.com