Rational Emotions

Event details


Oct 21, 2014
from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM


Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1

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Contact Phone

0116 252 2320

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Professor Eyal Winter

Department of Economics

Lecture Summary

Rational Emotions is the title of a Eyal Winter's best-selling book published in Israel in 2012. The book will appear in English and German around the world in early 2015. The book deals with the relationship between our emotional brain and our rational brain in various fields of our decision making including : economic and financial decisions, the workplace, our social interactions and our sexual behavior. We shall ask question such as: why do we have emotions? Is anger always bad for us? We will discuss the role of empathy trust and altruism in social interactions. We will study the difference between material and mental benefits in motivating employees in the workplace.  Finally I will mention recent research findings on the "love hormone" Oxytocin, and will discuss their implications for economic and social interactions.

Professor Eyal WinterThe book was recently endorsed by seven Nobel Laureates in Economics, by Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational) and by Sylvia Nasar (Beautiful Mind).


Blurbs for "Feeling Smart" by Eyal Winter

"In "Feeling Smart" Eyal Winter shows us how the emotions that we sometimes wish we didn’t have, such as anger and envy, can be surprisingly useful.  You will certainly not be less angry after reading this book, but you will better understand the focus that shape your emotions." —Dan Ariely,  James B. Duke Professor of Economics, Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.

"Eyal Winter's book admirably draws together the important recent work on social and individual behavior and its implications for economic behavior. He shows clearly how the more traditional rational analysis remains an important part of explanation but is by no means adequate. His exposition is breezily informal, yet rigorous; accounts from his family join seamlessly with citations on the literature, to which he himself has made significant contributions."— Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate in Economics. 

"We are used to thinking that emotions such as anger, love, insult and so forth are irrational. In his new book, Eyal Winter explains why these emotions are actually very rational, fulfilling important functions that usually advance the most vital interests of each of us. This is an important, enjoyable and convincing book." —Robert Aumann, Nobel Laureate in Economics.

“Much like Sigmund Freud, Eyal Winter knows that understanding human behavior demands listening and observing and rather than labeling and categorizing. But here’s what Freud didn’t know: that framing his  findings in the rigorous language of economic theory would be so illuminating, so surprising, and so exciting.”—Robert Lucas, Nobel Laureate in Economics.

"It is a pleasure to follow Eyal Winter as he explores the deep logic of illogical emotions and helps us to see the rationality of irrational behavior." —Roger Myerson, Nobel Laureate in Economics.

“Emotions and rationality are often thought of as polar opposites. But Eyal Winter—a leading game theorist and economist—shows compellingly that emotions can actually promote rational behavior. His book makes fascinating reading.”—Eric Maskin, Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Feeling Smart puts the social back into social science. The truth is that there’s a touchy feely aspect of Game Theory, and Winter shows how expressing and understanding your feelings (and those around you) will help you become a far better strategist. Be smarter or be smarting, your call." — Barry Nalebuff, Milton Steinbach Professor, Yale School of Management and coauthor of The Art of Strategy.
"Eyal Winter’s breezy guide to when and why it is sometimes perfectly rational to let the heart rule the head is as fresh as it is clever. In his brisk tour of the burgeoning field of experimental economics, Professor Winter shows that sense and sensibility are complements rather than polar opposites, and proves his point with intriguing insights into hot-button issues like affirmative action and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Feeling Smart will leave you feeling not only smarter, but more optimistic as well."    — Sylvia Nasar, author, A Beautiful Mind

"Eyal Winter a distinguished game theorist and behavioral economist writes about rationality and emotion with compassion and empathy." —Alvin Roth, Nobel Laureate in Economics.

"Eyal Winter has written engagingly on the science of action and emotion; on why and how feelings make us smarter and are central to understanding rational action and interaction in processes of human betterment that are subtly inaccessible to our self-aware consciousness." —Vernon Smith, Nobel Laureate in Economics.

“Many suppose that the domains of emotion and rational thought are always separate. But as this intriguing book demonstrates they are wrong: emotional sensibility makes an important contribution to rational decision making.  Feeling Smart shows us how.”—Lawrence Summers, former President of Harvard University and former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.


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