Although we experience emotions all day long, we only periodically stop and take stock of what emotion we are experiencing. This leads to interesting temporal dissociations between the experience of emotions and our meta-awareness of them (Schooler, 2001; Schooler, 2002; Schooler & Schreiber, 2004).  Not only can people fail to notice emotions, even when they attend to their emotions they may get it wrong (Schooler, Ariely, & Loewenstein, 2003).  As when an individual shouts "Im not angry".  Such translation dissociations are illuminated by examining the relationship between people’s self-reported emotions and various indirect psychophysiological measures (Schooler & Mauss, 2010; Handy, Smilek, Gieger, Liu, & Schooler, 2009.)  Finally the distinction between experience and meta-awareness leads to alternative interpretations of unconscious emotions. One possibility is that people have emotions that simply go below the threshold of experience, but another possibility is that they experience the emotions but fail to explicitly notice them (Schooler, Mrazek, Baird, & Winkielman, in press; Winkielman & Schooler, 2009, 2011).

Selected Publications


Jonathan Schooler

My lab’s research takes a “big picture” perspective in attempting to understand the nature of mental life, and in particular consciousness. Combining empirical, philosophical, and contemplative traditions, we address broad questions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Alissa Mrazek

Alissa Mrazek is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at UT Austin as well as a long-time collaborator with the META Lab. Alissa conducted a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Mindfulness and Human Potential with Dr. Jonathan Schooler from 2016-2020. Before working at UCSB, Alissa completed her Ph.D. in 2016 at Northwestern University where she began appreciating the synergistic benefits of integrative interventions—particularly when combining mindset training with strategy training. 

Dharma Lewis

Dharma is a Mexico City native who is passionate about education and outreach. She earned her Biopsychology B.S. at UCSB where she studied the link between mindfulness, growth mindset, and mind-wandering as META Lab Manager. Her work currently focuses on pedagogical implications of meta-cognition, and the role of culture and mindsets in mindfulness.