Emotions play a role in all aspects of our life.

They influence our memory, can impact on how we learn, what decisions we make, can affect our interactions with others, and even determine our behaviour.

Accordingly, we try to answer a range of questions from how we communicate emotions through voices, faces, or language, to how we cope with stress.

Other questions that we address as part of our endeavour to advance understanding around emotions include:

  • What are the mechanisms underlying test anxiety?
  • How do emotions impact on learning?
  • How do emotions affect our internal body perception?
  • Is mind-wandering beneficial to us?
  • What are the neural dynamics underpinning embodiment of emotion?
  • What happens in our brain when we experience pain?
  • How do we cope with boredom?

Our internationally renowned staff use a number of techniques including behavioural studies, electrophysiological studies, brain-lesion studies, and physiological measurements to address these question. We also research related areas including relationships, sex, and attraction, risk, judgement and decision making, and well-being.

Publications

Selected papers

Academics

Dr Katie Daughters

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Health behaviour; well-being; relationships, sex and attraction.

Dr Helge Gillmeister

Senior Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Health behaviours; motivation; interoception.

Dr Megan Klabunde

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Relationships, sex and attraction; development; interoception.

Dr Sebastian Korb

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Interoception; action understanding.

Dr Nikhila Mahadevan

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Well-being; relationships, sex and attraction; justice, fairness and equality.

Professor Silke Paulmann

Professor

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Communication and language; motivation; neuro-cognitive disorders; cross-cultural studies; well-being.

Professor Reinhard Pekrun

Professor

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Educational psychology.

Dr Giulia Poerio

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Development; well-being; relationships, sex and attraction.

Dr Tracy Robinson

Senior Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Dr Alex Sel

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Action understanding; interoception.

Dr Elia Valentini

Senior Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Interoception; health behaviour.

Dr Wijnand Van Tilburg

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Risk, judgement and decision making; relationships, sex and attraction; meaning in life, trust, and interdependence.

Dr Motonori Yamaguchi

Senior Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Risk, judgement and decision making; memory; motivation; relationships, sex and attraction; justice, fairness and equality; vision.

Dr Bettina Zengel

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Memory; motivation; well-being; relationships, sex and attraction.

Two people wearing face mask walking towards the camera, with people walking past them in the opposite direction.
Podcast: Crowd Fears and Masked Faces: The Psychological Effects of Social Distancing and Facial Coverings

Join Dr Sebastian Korb as he discusses his research into social psychological consequences of social distancing measures, and the effects of face masks on facial recognition and social interactions.

Listen to the podcast