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 »

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

Jess uses evolutionary psychology to explain Trump’s surprising victory in an article published in Quartz.

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


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

Upcoming Talks »

Aaron Weidman, “The jingle and jangle of emotion assessment: Imprecise measurement, casual scale usage, and conceptual fuzziness in emotion research.”

SPSP Emotion Pre-Conference, San Antonio, Tx.

January 19th, 2017

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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