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’s research investigates the roles of mindsets and self-regulatory strategies on cognitive and affective malleability. Another focus of her research explores the fidelity and efficacy of mindfulness-based training programs

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.