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 »

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

Alec and Jess’ model of “Emotivational Psychology” accepted for publication in Social-Personality Compass.

Upcoming Talks »

Jess Tracy, “Pride, Status Signalling, and the Emotional Underpinnings of Hierarchy”

Sauder School of Business, Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Division, UBC

January 12, 2018

Joey Cheng, Dominance and prestige: Debates, misunderstandings, and new evidence. In the symposium, “An Integrative Perspective on Social Rank,” SPSP, March, 2018

Atlanta, GA

Zak Witkower, “The Illusion of a Facial Action Unit: How Head Pitch Rotation Influences Perceptions of Dominance from an Inactive Face.” In the symposium, “Faces in Social and Personality Psychology,” SPSP, March 2018.

Atlanta, GA.

Jess Tracy, “From Pride to Social Rank”

Invited Talk, Social/Personality Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto.

March 27, 2018

Toronto, ON

Jess Tracy, Keynote Address

Positive Emotions Pre-conference, Society for Affective Science

April, 2018

Los Angeles, CA

Books and Edited Volumes »

"Take Pride"

Buy your copy »

"The Psychology of Social Status"

Buy your copy »

"The Self-Conscious Emotions"

Buy your copy »