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, Ph.D. develops research-based interventions that enhance self-regulation—the ability to direct one's attention, thoughts, emotions, and behavior in line with one's personal goals. In addition to designing self-regulation interventions, she evaluates their efficacy and underlying mechanisms.  Her research extends across lab studies and intervention contexts with a key focus on examining the fidelity and efficacy of school-based interventions.

Medina Bashardost

Medina is a third year Biopsychology major assisting Elliot Ihm with research regarding emotional experiences. Medina is especially interested in the influences of biological processes on emotions, conditions, and other mental processes.