The Emotion & Self Lab

In the Emotion and Self Lab at the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, we study the evolutionary function, nonverbal expression, and psychological structure of emotions and self. Much of our research is focused on the place that self and emotions meet: the self-conscious emotions of pride, shame, embarrassment, and guilt.   But we also study more basic level emotions, such as anger, fear, sadness, and happiness. We use a wide range of methods to study emotional processes, including behavioral observation and coding, social-cognitive techniques (e.g., reaction time assessment, eye-tracking), cross-cultural and cross-species comparisons, narrative assessment, and physiological (e.g., hormone) assessment; and we use experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal designs. In an effort to improve the study of self-conscious emotions, we have developed several measurement tools that are available to other researchers. These tools can be downloaded from this website. In all of our research, we tend to take a functionalist perspective, asking why questions about emotions and self, and seeking both ultimate and proximate answers.

Latest News »

Jess’ new book Take Pride is out now. Order Your Copy Now »


Published in USA Today: Jess’ Op-Ed explaining how Trump has used arrogance and aggression to get where he is today.

Now in press: Aaron, Conor, and Jess’ paper documenting problematic measurement practices in research on distinct momentary emotional states. Read the paper at Emotion.

New paper by Aaron, Joey, and Jess provides strong evidence that humility is comprised of two facets–one pro-social and “other-appreciating”, and the other anti-social and “self-abasing.” See the paper, now in press at JPSP, here.

Upcoming Talks »

Aaron Weidman, Title TBD

University of Toronto, Mississauga

Toronto, ON

November 14, 2016

Jess Tracy, “The Nature of Pride: Emotional Origins of Social Rank”

Science Ethics Seminar, University of Houston

January 23, 2017

Houston, Tx

Edited Volumes »

"The Psychology of Social Status"

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"The Self-Conscious Emotions"

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