Understanding how individuals and social groups thrive is a central goal of the Health, Emotions, & Altruism Laboratory (HEAL). In our lab we focus on how emotions such as compassion, awe, and gratitude (to name a few) promote: (1) group functioning by encouraging prosociality and morality and (2) individual functioning by improving well-being and physical health. To explore these research questions we often employ biological measures such as psychophysiology and saliva sample collection of cortisol and inflammatory markers in conjunction with observational coding in our experiments. We conduct our studies in the lab and in the field to ensure our results are generalizable.
Specifically, our work tackles foundational questions like:
- How do our emotions facilitate empathy, cooperation, and altruism?
- How do we make moral judgments about others and ourselves?
- What are the benefits of feeling prosocial emotions for physical health and well-being?