On July 21, Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership fellow Yinnan Shen guest-lectured in an advanced elective crisis communication taught by Logos Institute executive director Helio Fred Garcia, in NYU’s master of science program Public Relations and Corporate Communication.

Yinnan spent 50 minutes sharing with students her research on the neuroscience of emotion and decision-making. She began the discussion by introducing how learning about the people’s emotional forces can be significant in communication and public relations, in terms of changing the public’s feelings, thoughts, and actions.

The lecture covered three parts, first clinical studies conducted by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, second the Somatic Marker Hypothesis proposed by Damasio as a result of the clinical studies, and finally the neuroscience of emotion and how emotion and reasoning work together as an integral system in the decision-making process. Yinnan closed the session by discussing Cola-Cola’s failure of launching New Coke in 1985, and other otherwise successful Coca-Cola campaigns. The case studies served as real-life examples of how neglecting the emotional forces in stakeholder’s decision-making process can cause businesses self-inflicted harm, and at the same time, lose the competitive advantage of harnessing the power of emotion.

Yinnan was one of Helio Fred Garcia’s students in this elective course two years ago. She graduated from the NYU program in May 2017 with her capstone (thesis) exploring How Presidential Candidates’ Charisma and Humility Can Influence the Election Results in America, advised by Helio Fred Garcia.

How humility can work as a competitive advantage for leaders and how neuroscience can be applied to the art of leading and communicating are Yinnan’s top research interests at Logos Institute.

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