Marc Brackett, senior research scientist in psychology at Yale University, shared a story at his 2011 San Francisco TED Talk. His story recalls the anguish Brackett experienced as he attempted to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), after finding out his mother had passed away. Emotionally distraught, Brackett had nowhere to turn. He looked around but couldn’t find advice on where to go for help, or how to manage his emotions in such a busy period of his life.
Many years later, he is not only a senior research scientist at Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development & Social Policy, he’s director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. He’s won numerous awards and written more than 100 scholarly papers, and is now dedicating his time to developing the emotional support systems that were absent in his time of need.
He will be a keynote speaker at the Young Child Expo & Conference, to be held in Spokane Sept. 30-Oct. 2. It is presented by the Gonzaga University School of Education and Los Niños Services. Brackett will deliver his keynote speech, titled “Emotional Intelligence: Our Best Hope for Safe, Caring, and Effective Schools,” at 1 p.m. on Oct. 1.
He was initially listed in the conference program as the leader of an all-day workshop on Sept. 30 titled “Emotional Intelligence for Educators: A Skill-based, Sustainable Approach,” but schedule conflicts forced a change. One of his Yale Center colleagues, Miriam Miller, will lead the workshop instead.
You may recognize Brackett’s name from his connections with the Emotion Revolution, the online survey of high-school age kids that will culminate in a national “summit” to be held Oct. 24 at Yale University.
The Emotion Revolution evolved out of a partnership between Brackett’s Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and the Born This Way Foundation, founded by performing artist Lady Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta) and her mother Cynthia Germanotta. The Yale summit will feature appearances by Lady Gaga, Germanotta and Yale University President Peter Salovey.
In his TED talk, Brackett elaborated on what the research at the Yale Center is uncovering. “Emotions matter,” he said, for four primary reasons:
1. “They affect your attention and learning.”
2. “We know emotions affect our decision making.”
3. “We know that emotions drive our relationships. Our facial expressions … dictate how people respond to us.”
4. They affect mental and emotional health.
“The work that I do,” Brackett said, “is not only thinking about how emotions impact these things but really what do we do with these emotions?”