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 »

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

Now in press 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

Pharmacologically inhibiting physiological disgust (i.e., nausea) reduces the severity of moral judgments in the purity domain. Check out our paper, now published at JPSP.

Upcoming Talks »

Jess Tracy, Panel on “Harnessing the Power of Emotions”

Aspen Ideas Festival, Aspen, CO

June 24, 2019

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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