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  • Emotions are responsible for our best moments and our worst moments.

  • They're what makes love so good and heartbreak so bad.

  • Have a few too many drinks, and reason seems to take the backseat while emotion grabs the

  • wheel.

  • This often leads to some of our worst and most impulsive decisions.

  • At times, we've all wished that we could be less emotional, or we've told someone

  • else to keep their emotions under control.

  • We admire people who are cool, calm, and rational; we look down on people who are too emotional.

  • Do emotions hold us back?

  • What if we could get rid of them?

  • Would we be smarter and more calculated?

  • It's time to go down the rabbit hole and answer the question: what if we had no emotions?

  • In his book Descartes' Error, Antonio Damasio tells us of a patient he had named Elliot

  • who had a brain tumour removed.

  • As is typical in this sort of case, the damaged part of Elliot's frontal lobe also had to

  • be removed.

  • After the surgery, Elliot's abilities to make decisions effectively and plan for the

  • future were weakened.

  • Lots of tests were performed, and Elliot was found to be mentally average or even superior

  • in many ways.

  • In Damasio's words,

  • “…Elliot emerged as a man with a normal intellect who was unable to decide properly,

  • especially when the decision involved personal or social matters.”

  • In terms of language, learning, memory, and attention, Elliot seemed fine [1].

  • There was, however, one thing that struck Damasio as odd.

  • In all his time with Elliot, he never noticed a single emotion arise out of the man [1].

  • Could this play a role in his impaired decision-making?

  • Elliot confirmed that things that had once made him emotional ceased to do so [1].

  • He could reason just fine, and, in fact, he could reason for hours.

  • Elliot's problem was that he could not, and would not, make a final decision [1].

  • As Damasio put it,

  • “…the cold-bloodedness of Elliot's reasoning prevented him from assigning different values

  • to different options, and made his decision-making landscape hopelessly flat.”

  • The landscape was flat: I think that's a brilliant way to put it.

  • Without emotion, it's hard to act [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

  • Emotions make some actions more salient or favourable than others.

  • Without them, we would do nothing.

  • They help prescribe the action that is the most meaningful or useful at the time [2,

  • 4, 5, 6].

  • Without emotion, we can deliberate for hours, weighing the pros and cons, but we'd be

  • unable to come to a decision [1].

  • Anger may be a prescription to act aggressively; sadness may be a prescription to seek comfort

  • or reassurance from others.

  • You don't think randomly; we're always thinking towards some end.

  • Thinking is goal-directed.

  • Because of this, goals often need some value or weight attached to them so we know how

  • to act.

  • Some goals have to be more important than others.

  • Otherwise, we'd do everything and nothing.

  • Depending on the scientist, the value of a goal comes from affect or emotion (a distinction

  • we'll touch upon in future videos).

  • It's important to realize the false divide between thinking and emotion for several reasons.

  • First, all of your actions are affected by emotion.

  • Emotions need to be respected and understood: they often indicate what an individual values

  • or needs.

  • Second, if emotion prescribes action, we can change our actions by understanding and altering

  • our emotions.

  • Third, if we can change the emotions another individual feels, we can change their behaviour

  • for better or worse.

  • And, lastly, if they are linked, we can probably change emotions through changed thinking,

  • or we can change thinking through changed emotions.

  • I've went over what most scientists agree upon: emotion is important for action and

  • can't be separated from thinking [1, 2, 4, 5, 6].

  • What I didn't go over is how emotions are made and whether we can control them.

  • This is because there are many competing theories of emotion.

  • Some scientists believe that emotions are things that happen to us while others believe

  • we construct them ourselves.

  • The theory you adopt will decide how you understand and learn to manage your emotions.

  • The different theories are something that we'll have to explore in a future video.

Emotions are responsible for our best moments and our worst moments.

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A2 初級

だからこそ、感情が大切 (This is why emotions are important)

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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