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 »

Eric Mercadante, Jess Tracy, and Fritz Gotz’s paper showing that greed language in senatorial tweets predicts retweets and likes now published in PNAS.

Now in press at Journal of Personality: Eric Mercadante and Jess Tracy’s paper demonstrating that greedy acquisition may be motivated by a desire for pride.

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

Recent meta-analysis demonstrates a significant association between facial expressions and experience of distinct emotions. Check out our commentary, led by Zak Witkower, now in press at Emotion.

Upcoming Talks »

Eric Mercadante, “When Do Narcissists Feel Shame? Not When You Might Expect.

In the symposium, “Antisocial Personality in Context: Dispositional and Situational Factors Influence How “Dark” Traits Predict Behavior,” APS Annual Convention.

May 25-26, 2023

Washington D.C.


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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