"The heart has its reasons, which reason knows not"

- Blaise Pascal

Emotions are a cornerstone of the human condition.  They are woven throughout our every experience, guiding our actions and bringing meaning to our lives. Sometimes emotions can overwhelm us, bringing immense pain and suffering.

It can be tempting to see emotions as "reasonless," as Pascal once did. But in the Logic of Emotion Lab, we strive to understand the underlying reason, the logic, that shapes why people feel what they feel. Clarifying the fundamental ingredients of emotional experiences can help us identify the strategies that help people manage their emotions to live psychologically healthy lives. In particular, we study how language and emotion interact (in fact our lab name has a subtle nod to the Greek logos meaning both "reason" and "word"). We study language because it is a ubiquitous tool for both understanding and shaping emotions.

In this lab, we study questions like:

  • "Why do people use certain words to label what they feel, and why do we sometimes feel like we have no words at all to describe our emotions?"
  • "What psychological and neural processes shapes the emotions we feel and how intensely we feel them?"
  • "How can we use words to make ourselves feel better and best manage our emotions?"

We approach these questions by integrating three primary approaches: A developmental approach to understand how children and adolescents learn to identify what they are feeling, a neuroscientific approach to understand how brain systems allow us to represent and regulate our emotions, and a translational approach, to understand how emotional processes relate to clinical phenomena like anxiety and depression.

Learn More

Click the links below for more details on the wonderful team doing this work, our current projects, lab news, and how to get involved.

Recent Lab News

Razia Sahi wins poster award at SPSP Emotion Pre-Conference
Feb. 19, 2024

Congratulations to our fabulous postdoctoral scholar, Dr. Razia Sahi, who won a poster award at SPSP's Emotion Pre-Conference for her work on the immediate and enduring impacts of social emotion regulation in friendships. 

LEmo Lab Presents at SPSP
Feb. 14, 2024

Congratulations to Henna, Claire, Dan, and Razia for presenting their research at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology!

Erik Nook named APS Rising Star in 2024
Feb. 5, 2024

As per the APS, the Rising Star designation is presented to outstanding APS Members in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD. This designation recognizes researchers whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.