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 linked to moral behavior, like disgust, as well as other complex social emotions, like humility and schadenfreude. 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 »

Major review of over a decade of work from the lab on pride and social hierarchy, now in press at Advances in Experimental Social Psychology.

Now published at Psychological Science: Zak and Jess’ paper demonstrating that head tilt functions as an action-unit imposter, dramatically changing the way that a neutral face is perceived

Lab Alumnus Aaron Weidman received the Best Dissertation Award from the Association for Research in Personality and the International Society for Research on Emotions! To read some of the award-winning work that went into the dissertation, see here and here.

Our new paper – led by Zak Witkower- providing the first evidence for distinct nonverbal displays of dominance and prestige now in press at JPSP!

Upcoming Talks »

Jess Tracy, “Reciprocal relations between emotions and moral thought.”

Workshop on emotions and morality, University of Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel. May 4-8, 2020.

Books and Edited Volumes »

"Take Pride — now in paperback"

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"The Psychology of Social Status"

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"The Self-Conscious Emotions"

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