Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture
Principal Investigators: Steve Heine, Joseph Henrich, Ara Norenzayan

Our purpose in establishing the Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture (HECC) is to create a research and training hub that will simultaneously advance understanding of the human species within the framework of Darwinian evolutionary theory, and encourage evolutionary scientists to incorporate cultural learning and cultural evolution in explanations of human thought and behavior

Culture and Self Lab
Principal Investigator: Steve Heine

Our primary research focus is on cultural psychology, exploring the ways in which culture and self mutually constitute each other. We have a very active lab and many of our projects are conducted with collaborators around the world. Our on-going projects include research on the cultural underpinnings of motivation (e.g., self-improvement, face-maintenance, prevention), the self-concept (e.g., self-awareness, self-consistency, ingroup-boundaries), relationships (e.g., attraction, romantic love), psychopathology (e.g., depression), the pursuit of meaning (e.g., terror management theory), cognition (e.g., dialectical thinking). Many of these projects involve cross-cultural comparisons, especially involving Japanese, Canadian, Chilean, and American samples.

Emotion and Self Lab
Principal Investigator: Jessica Tracy

We study the process, structure, expression, and regulation of emotions and self. Much of our research is focused on self-conscious emotions (pride, shame, embarrassment, and guilt)—emotions that are intricately entwined with complex self-evaluative processes. We also study more “basic” level emotions, such as anger, fear, sadness, and happiness. We use a wide range of methods to study emotional processes, including behavioral observation and coding, social-cognitive techniques, cross-cultural comparisons, cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, factor analysis, cluster analysis, and content-coding.

Living Lab at Science World
Principal Investigator: Andrew Baron

The Living Lab is a partnership between Science World and UBC Psychology. In the Living Lab, Science World visitors get to work directly with UBC researchers who are studying cognitive development. Children from infancy through adolescence can participate in research projects that explore their social reasoning (e.g., empathy, perspective taking, moral reasoning, stereotyping and cooperation).

Principal Investigator: Kristin Laurin
The lab investigates how people’s goals and motivations interact with their beliefs and ideologies – about politics, about religion, or about the nature of the world. We are especially interested in how beliefs about societal, organizational and interpersonal structures can affect people’s ability to self-regulate in pursuit of their important goals. We also study how various motivations can shape people’s beliefs and ideologies.

Moral Psychology Lab
Principal Investigator: Larry Walker

Researchers in the Moral Development Lab focus on aspects of the psychology of moral development, especially moral personality and identity. We are fundamentally interested in exploring the factors that contribute to exemplary moral action.

Personality Lab
Principal Investigator: Del Paulhus

Although the personality constructs of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and subclinical psychopathy originated in different fields of research, there are striking similarities. To varying degrees, all three constructs entail a dark, socially destructive character with behavior tendencies such as grandiosity, emotional coldness, manipulation and aggressiveness. In the clinical literature, the link between narcissism and psychopathy has been noted for some time. The recent development of sub-clinical measures of narcissism and psychopathy has permitted direct comparison of the three dark traits in normal populations. Some researchers have argued that, in non-clinical populations, the three constructs may be one and the same.

Social Accuracy Lab
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Biesanz

Work in the Social Accuracy Lab examines the process of interpersonal impressions, exploring the impressions we form about the stable and global personality traits of others and the self. Utilizing the Social Accuracy Model (SAM) we are able to explore overall levels and variability in accuracy and bias in impressions, as well as examine various factors that impact these perceptual tendencies.

Social Cognitive Development Lab
Principal Investigator: Andrew Baron

The Social Cognitive Development lab explores how children (from infancy through early teenage years) establish preferences for and beliefs about other people. Research involves understanding how preferences for and stereotypes about people are acquired and change across development on both a conscious and an unconscious level of processing.

Social Cognition and Emotion Lab
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Dunn

This lab’s research focuses on happiness, money and spending decisions, self-knowledge, affective forecasting and implicit social cognition.

Social Cognition Lab
Principal Investigator: Mark Schaller

Our research addresses questions about how people think about other people, and the implications that these cognitions have for social behavior. In a lot of work, we draw on an evolutionary perspective to deduce – and then test – hypotheses about these social psychological processes. In some of our research, we examine additional cultural consequences of these psychological processes.

Social Identity Lab
Principal Investigator: Toni Schmader

Social groups profoundly define who we are and how we view others. What happens when those groups are thought to have negative qualities or characteristics? The research in our lab examines how people are affected by and cope with being negatively stereotyped. We examine social prejudice from the point of view both of perceivers and those who are targeted by stigmatization. We also study the role of emotion and cognition in self-regulation.

The Culture and Cognition Lab
Principal Investigator: Ara Norenzayan

We are interested in examining the mutual interactions between the functioning of individual minds and widely shared beliefs and their material effects, that is, cultures. Research in the lab spans a wide range of topics, including cultural variability and universality in cognition, the psychological foundations of culture, and religious cognition.