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Passion and Reason Making Sense of Our Emotions

by Richard S. Lazarus

  • ISBN: 9780195087574
  • ISBN10: 0195087577

Passion and Reason Making Sense of Our Emotions

by Richard S. Lazarus

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 10/01/1994
  • ISBN: 9780195087574
  • ISBN10: 0195087577
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Description: When Oxford published Emotion and Adaptation, the landmark 1991 book on the psychology of emotion by internationally acclaimed stress and coping expert Richard Lazarus, Contemporary Psychology welcomed it as "a brightly shining star in the galaxy of such volumes". Psychologists, psychiatrists, and researchers hailed it as a masterpiece, a major breakthrough in our understanding of the emotional process and its central role in the adaptation of individuals and our species. What was still needed, however, was a book for general readers and health care practitioners that would dispel the myths still surrounding cultural beliefs about emotion and systematically explain the relevance of the newest research to the emotional dramas of our everyday lives. Now, in Passion and Reason, Dr. Lazarus and his co-author and wife, Bernice Lazarus, move beyond overly technical treatments of the subject, clinical jargon, and "feel-good" popular psychology to really explain, in plain, accessible language, how emotions are aroused, how they are managed, and how they critically shape our views of ourselves and the world around us. The Lazaruses explore the short- and long-term causes and effects of many emotions, evaluating research on stress and health, and the links between negative emotions and heart disease, cancer, and other physical and mental diseases. They make a strong case that, contrary to common assumption, emotions are not irrational - our emotions, motives, and thoughts are inextricably linked. This linkage makes it possible to understand each emotion with precision. Passion and Reason describes how readers can interpret what lies behind their own emotions and those of their families, friends,and co-workers. While not intended as a how-to book, its treatment of the emotions, the situations that arouse them, and how people deal with them still provides useful ideas about how to manage our emotions more effectively. Exploring fifteen emotions in depth, from love to jealousy, the authors show how the personal meaning we give to the events and conditions of our lives trigger such emotions as anger, anxiety, guilt, and pride. Basic to these accounts are a set of fascinating vignettes, stories of actual emotions as they were experienced by real people, which frame a "biography" of each emotion. Some are composite case histories drawn from Dr. Lazarus's long career, but most are accounts of people the Lazaruses have known over the years - people whose emotional fears, conflicts, and desires mirror the reader's own. The Lazaruses also offer a special chapter on the diverse strategies of coping people use in managing their emotions. Another chapter on psychotherapy, "When Coping Fails", which is also informed by a case history, details the therapeutic approaches to emotional distress and dysfunction currently available. These range from traditional Freudian psychoanalysis to continuing research into relaxation techniques, meditation, hypnosis, and biofeedback. Packed with insight and compellingly readable, Passion and Reason will enrich all readers fascinated by our emotional lives.
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