cognition and emotion (and other serious stuff)
A new strand of our work concerns the interaction of cognition and emotion. The empirical work currently focuses on the effect that mirth and other positive emotions have on cognition. This includes the first demonstration of the opposing effects of two distinct positive emotions (mirth and elevation) on cognition (specifically, moral judgements) that are independent of positive valence per se.
We are also exploring how emotions and other automatic processes influence evaluative judgments (moral, humor, aesthetic). For instance, we have done work examining how eye-movements and pupil dilation predict the appreciation of humor in cartoons from The New Yorker.
(Humor is an amazingly under-studied phenomenon in psychology, but there is enough known that Rod Martin recently wrote a textbook called The Psychology of Humor).
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