Emotions : Invisibilia It feels like emotions just come at us, and there is nothing we can do. But we might have it backwards. We look at an unusual legal case and examine a provocative new theory about emotions.

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Marina Muun for NPR
Marina Muun for NPR

Marina Muun for NPR

Marina Muun for NPR

Emotions

It feels like emotions just come at us, and there is nothing we can do. But we might have it backwards. We look at an unusual legal case and examine a provocative new theory about emotions.

A thief knocks down your door and you are flooded with fear. Your baby smiles up at you and you are filled with love. It feels like this is how emotions work: something happens, and we instinctively respond. How could it be any other way? Well, the latest research in psychology and neuroscience shows that's not in fact how emotions work. We offer you a truly mind-blowing alternative explanation for how an emotion gets made. And we do it through a bizarre lawsuit, in which a child dies, and the child's parents are the ones who get sued by an uninjured bystander. In part two we track an anthropologist's discovery of a new emotion, and the personal tragedy which allows him to finally feel it. And we talk to a woman whose overwhelming emotions cause her to do one of the worst things you can do on a date - something that virtually guarantees date failure.

Marina Muun for NPR Marina Muun for NPR hide caption

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Marina Muun for NPR

Marina Muun for NPR Marina Muun for NPR hide caption

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Marina Muun for NPR