- Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory: Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett has conducted a massive amount of research into psychological and neurological nature of emotions. The work is truly paradigm-shifting. Her lab's conceptual act model suggests emotions (such as anger or fear) are not discrete entities but, rather, arise or are constructed from more basic processes. As quoted from their page, "We identify four core systems (core affect, language, conceptualization, and executive control) that correspond to large-scale distributed networks in the brain. These systems continually shape one another as they combine - like ingredients - to make a variety of mental states... only some of which people call 'emotions.'" This will change the way you think about and study affect. Visit the lab to learn more.
- SPLAT Lab: The effects of different positive emotions (e.g., awe, elevation, pride, joy) have received little research attention. Dr. Shiota's SPLAT lab seeks to change this. Her lab takes an evolutionary approach to defining multiple positive emotion constructs, and uses the proposed adaptive functions of each emotion as a basis for predicting various aspects of emotional responding, including physiological profiles, facial expressions, information processing, and behavior. Based upon this work her lab has published PANACEAS, a working taxonomy of distinct positive emotions which motivate pursuit of different material, social, and informational rewards. She has extended this work to understand how people emotionally regulate themselves into good emotions and how emotions coordinate and regulate our social relationships.
- Temporal Interpersonal Emotion Systems: Most people think of emotions as a private, personal affair. Sad people sulk, nervous people jitter, and proud people gloat. In reality, emotions spread, signal, and regulate the actions of others. We help the sad, reassure the nervous, and reject or follow the proud. These acts, in turn, provide opportunities for both partners to experience new emotions (sadness turns to gratitude). Over time, couples become locked into patterns of emotional dynamics which are either mutually beneficial or harmful. Dr. Butler's lab is focused on advanced mathematical models of such effects, including dynamic systems theory and Bayesian techniques. These methods will enable researchers to model the dynamic interaction of emotion components (subjective experience, expressive behavior, physiology) within and between partners over time in social interactions and close relationships. Visit more to learn about the future of emotion research.