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#1070 Why We Can't 'Read' People - Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett

When it comes to the science of ‘reading physiology’ (like body language and facial expressions), a scowling face would typically be classified (by an observer or computer program) as representing a person who is either sad, mad, or angry. Well, it might surprise to know that seventy percent of the time, when someone is scowling, they are neither sad, mad, or angry. They could be confused. Or scared. Deep in thought. Focused on a task. In pain. Or something else. Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett is an academic feather-ruffler, and in this chat, she shares with us that, for the most part, none of us can truly predict (with consistency and accuracy) the emotional and/or psychological states of others based on some physical observation we make. We can’t (reliably) read people because the exact same expression can represent a myriad of different internal states for different people across different ages, personality types, groups, cultures, and backgrounds. In this episode, Lisa and I go deep on the brain, emotions, flawed science, cognitive function, and lots more. *Bio: Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, is among the top 1% of most-cited scientists in the world for her research in psychology and neuroscience. She is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also Chief Scientific Officer for the Centre for Law, Brain, & Behaviour at Harvard University.