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Janet Maslin[Keltner] uses a broad range of jokey, playful examples to illustrate an intriguing central thesis: that laughing, blushing, touching, teasing, loving, empathizing and other not-very-scientific-seeming subjects can be methodically analyzed in terms of their importance to our survival…a bright, entertaining book that need not strain for liveliness or charm. In ways that suggest Mr. Keltner must be a highly amusing teacher (and a generous one, since he so freely credits students and colleagues who played roles in laboratory experiments), this book identifies the adaptive benefits of each emotion, thumbs its nose at the hardhearted (Ayn Rand, Machiavelli) and makes its case for the biological functions served by physical expressiveness. There are elements of social science, neuroscience, clinical psychology and cheerleading to Mr. Keltner's methods.
—The New York Times