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’ book, Pride: The Secret to Success, is now available in paperback!

New paper from the lab published in JPSP, showing that humility is comprised of two facets–one pro-social and “other-appreciating”, and the other anti-social and “self-abasing.” Read the paper here.

Zak and Jess’ paper reviewing the literature on bodily (or, extra-facial) nonverbal displays of emotion now in press at Emotion Review.

Upcoming Talks »

Zak Witkower, Two signals of social rank: Prestige and dominance are associated with distinct nonverbal displays.

Nonverbal Behavior Pre-Conference, SPSP

Atlanta, GA

March, 2018

Jess Tracy, Keynote Address

Positive Emotions Pre-conference, Society for Affective Science

April, 2018

Los Angeles, CA

Jess Tracy, Chair, 30 years of affective science in the Bay Area: A look at how far we’ve come, and where we should go next.

Invited symposium featuring talks from Bob Levenson, Ann Kring, Dacher Keltner, Barbara Fredrickson, James Gross, and Wendy Mendes

APS Annual Convention, May, 2018

San Francisco, CA

Jess Tracy, Hot shit/piece of shit: The directly opposing impact of pride displays on social judgments and decision-making. In the symposium, “The Self-Conscious Emotions: Theory, Data, and Open Questions.”

APS, May, 2018

San Francisco, CA


Books and Edited Volumes »

"Take Pride — now in paperback"

Buy your copy »

"The Psychology of Social Status"

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"The Self-Conscious Emotions"

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