The middle level of processing is the behavioral level and that’s actually where most of our stuff gets done. Visceral is subconscious, you’re unaware of it. Behavioral is subconscious, you’re unaware of it. Almost everything we do is subconscious. I’m walking around the stage – I’m not attending to the control of my legs. I’m doing a lot; most of my talk is subconscious; it has been rehearsed and thought about a lot. Most of what we do is subconscious. Automatic behavior – skilled behavior – is subconscious, controlled by the behavioral side. And behavioral design is all about feeling in control, which includes usability, understanding – but also the feel and heft.

Emotion is all about acting; emotion is really about acting. It’s being safe in the world. Cognition is about understanding the world, emotion is about interpreting it – saying good, bad, safe, dangerous, and getting us ready to act, which is why the muscles tense or relax. And that’s why we can tell the emotion of somebody else – because their muscles are acting, subconsciously, except that we’ve evolved to make the facial muscles really rich with emotion.

And the third level is reflective, which is, if you like the superego, it’s a little part of the brain that has no control over what you do, no control over the – doesn’t see the senses, doesn’t control the muscles. It looks over what’s going on. It’s that little voice in your head that’s watching and saying, “That’s good. That’s bad.” Or, “Why are you doing that? I don’t understand.” It’s that little voice in your head that’s the seat of consciousness.