- Craig A. Smith, Ph.D.
Leslie D. Kirby, Ph.D.
Welcome to our lab! Our research focuses on the study of human
emotions. We are interested in the varieties of emotional experience as
well as the motivational and adaptational functions that emotions
serve. In our study of emotions, we use a theoretical perspective
called appraisal theory. Appraisal theory focuses on antecedents to
emotional states, or what causes us to become emotional, and under what
We currently have several lines of investigation in our research program:
- positive emotions, focusing on the unique motivational and behavioral aspects of positive emotions in contrast to negative emotions
- the interaction between personality, situations, and emotion – the extent to which personality traits determine our emotional responses, aspects of situations that allow for more or less personality influence, etc.
- the role of non-conscious processing on emotional states, with a particular focus on priming of emotional states (so activating an emotion outside of a person’s awareness)