Change Your Mind, Change the World

Center for Healthy Minds

University of Wisconsin–Madison
625 W. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703-2637
608-263-6321
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What's Your Emotional Style?

Image by Prochkailo via iStockPhoto

Based upon decades of research and observation about emotion and well-being, Center Founder Richard Davidson has put forth a new model for understanding our emotions – their origins, their power and their malleability.

He outlines these "emotional styles" along with co-author Sharon Begley in his 2012 book The Emotional Life of Your Brain.

His work suggests there are six emotional styles, each based on neuroscientific evidence, that define our personality:

  • Resilience
  • Outlook
  • Social intuition
  • Self-awareness
  • Sensitivity to context
  • Attention

Whatever your emotional style, knowing it is the first step toward understanding how it affects your health and your relationships, and the first step toward deciding if you would like to change it.

Assistant Scientist Pelin Kesebir conducts research on happiness and virtue, and is actively refining the Center's work on emotional styles. Kesebir and Davidson say we have good evidence to believe that people can change their emotional styles through effortful training.

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