The psychology of beauty and love: Rhett Diessner at TEDxLCSC

The psychology of beauty and love: Rhett Diessner at TEDxLCSC



Rhett Diessner is Professor of Psychology at Lewis-Clark State College; he has been elected “Outstanding Academic Instructor” by the ASB at LCSC sixteen times in the last 25 years; and was selected “2005 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Idaho Professor of the Year.” He earned his doctorate in human development from Harvard University under Lawrence Kohlberg. His masters in educational psychology, and bachelors in physiological psychology, are from the University of Oregon. His current research interest is engagement with natural, artistic and moral beauty. Rhett is very passionate about the importance of beauty in the good life. Engagement with natural beauty uplifts our spirit, and many studies show that is not only brings us peace, but increases our cognitive abilities — in other words — makes us smarter. When we feel the beauty of nature, we are much less likely to tolerate pollution and damage to our “mother.” Engagement with the beauty of the human made world, ranging from music, to painting, to architecture, is related to being a grateful and loving person. But most important is engagement with moral beauty, or what could be called inner beauty. When we notice the inner beauty of those around us it causes a cascade of changes in our brain, and elicits the prosocial emotion called “elevation.” When we feel elevated we are then more likely to make efforts to become a better person, and as several recently published studies show, we are more likely to serve and help others. In Rhett’s most recently published research paper he and his colleagues demonstrated that “beauty is the object of love,” that is, by being engaged with the inner beauty of others, we are more likely to be benevolent, empathic, caring, and express universal agapic love.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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December 19, 2013 / 4 Comments / by / in
  • Absolutely fantastic teacher!

  • I wish there were more lectures/presentation of Dr. Diessner accessible online

  • this popped up in my recommended section. good to see you again.

  • Get the speed 1.5 and he will talk normal. What he says its on top of the best answers anyways.

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