Bringing the Text to Life
Consider the case of David Vitter, a father of four and a senator from Louisiana, who gets himself involved with a sleazy escort service.
Or Michael Vick, a talented quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, arrested for running a dog-fighting operation in rural Virginia.
Or Lisa Nowak, the married NASA astronaut who makes a marathon drive from Houston to Orlando to confront her romantic rival.
Or Bill Clinton — Rhodes scholar, six-time governor of Arkansas, and president of the United States — who has an affair with an intern in the Oval Office.
What were they thinking?
Were they out of their minds?
Taking crazy pills?
Well, yes — in fact, they probably were temporarily insane.
They went nuts because they were hot.
According to The Washington Post (August 6, 2007), an enormous mental gulf separates “cold” emotional states from “hot” emotional states. When we’re in cold emotional states — cool, calm and collected — we find it difficult to empathize with people who are taking actions based on hot...