"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

Welcoming Razia Sahi, Postdoc!
Sept. 13, 2023

We are so excited to welcome Dr. Razia Sahi to the LEmo Lab as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Razia brings expertise in interpersonal emotion regulation and outstanding advising skills. Welcome!

Welcoming Iván Carbajal, Microsabbatical Guest
Sept. 1, 2023

We are so excited to welcome Dr. Iván Carbajal, Assistant Professor at Oregon State University for a microsabbatical in the lab. We can't wait to learn more about his research on Latine psychophysiology!

Editor's Choice Paper
Aug. 31, 2023

A recent lab paper has been selected as the Editor's Choice Paper for the journal Emotion. The paper analyzed language used by children and their mothers while they were trying to complete difficult puzzles. Interestingly, aspects of affective language (e.g., use of…