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"We are on the threshold of immense new possibilities in understanding human beings.”

(Silvan Tomkins)

Silvan Tomkins’s theory of innate, biologically-based affects describes the internal reward system that powers human motivation and explains the systematic, incremental development of emotion, learning, personality and ideology. We at the Tomkins Institute are devoted to testing, advancing, and applying this powerful Human Being Theory.

PURPOSE OF AFFECT

NINE AFFECTS

FACE

SHAME

SCRIPTS & COGNITION

IDEOLOGY

MORE OF WHAT TOMKINS SAID

TOMKINS TOPICS

What members of the Institute are reading, writing and appreciating about Tomkins' ideas at play in the world.

Videos of Babies and Affects

Youtube videos are precious for more than just kittens and cuteness. These videos, fun and funny as they are to watch, are excellent examples of affects in action. Of particular note is the video on shame, an affect that is... Read More

The Neuroscience of Restorative Justice

by Vick Kelly (Excerpted and edited from the Tomkins Talk Forum) The following link provides information about an exciting potential interface between ASP, Neuroscience, and Restorative Justice: https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_reisel_the_neuroscience_of_restorative_justice I find it very interesting that neuroimaging has shown poorly developed amygdalas in so-called psychopaths. There... Read More

Teaching Affect to Teachers

Over the last few months, Graeme George has been teaching affect to teachers as part of the “Restorative Schools” movement in Australia. It is a movement that hopes to introduce schools to restorative practices, which are firmly rooted in a respect for... Read More

The Skin is Where It's At - Inverse Archaeology

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“A world experienced without any affect would be a pallid, meaningless world. We would know that things happened, but we could not care whether or not they did.”