Emotional Rollercoaster: A Journey Through the Science of Feelings

Claudia Hammond

We cannot help but be fascinated by the emotions that we see in ourselves and others: an absorbing book exploring the extraordinary feelings which make us human from a rising star of science on popularization on radio and in print.

Why do we feel better after a good cry? What might the length of your earlobes have to do with jealousy? In the last decade there has been an explosion of research on the emotions in an attempt to answer exactly these sorts of questions. Claudia Hammond takes nine universal emotions in turn and looks at the science behind them, combining the latest theories and discoveries from neuroscientists and psychologists with everyday human experience.

In a highly entertaining and thought-provoking journey through the science of feelings, Emotional Rollercoaster asks how the brain and body interact to produce emotions, and what, if anything, we can do to harness them. The possibilities are far-reaching, from finding the perfume that make lovers fall at your feet to learning to cheat a lie detector. With the help of scientists, artists, therapists, philosophers and even the faithful prairie vole, Claudia Hammond examines the physiological and sociological origins of emotions. The journey, via airport departures, a laboratory in Philadelphia dedicated to inducing disgust and a hair-raising bungee jump in New Zealand, offers answers to the questions affecting all of us who ride the emotional rollercoaster every day.

Reviews of Emotional Rollercoaster: A Journey Through the Science of Feelings

    • The R4 series Emotional Rollercoaster was described as “a wonderful series” by the Observer, “spellbinding” by the Irish Times and “a fascinating kaleidoscope of voices, observations and ideas” by the Sunday Express.
    • ‘Leaving the mushy metaphysical stuff to the poets, the book treats emotions as rational, material processes. Hammond’s style is accessible and anecdotal, and her refusal to romanticise emotions is bracing.’ Financial Times