Jennifer StellarAssistant Professor Psychology
Area of Research:
Emotions, Psychophysiology, Health, Altruism, Morality, Positive Psychology
Understanding how individuals and social groups thrive is a central goal of my research. To that end, I focus on how positive emotions promote prosociality, health, and well-being, which lie at the heart of human flourishing. How do our emotions drive us to help others in need or sacrifice our own goals for the good of the group? As an affective scientist I explore the antecedents, appraisals, and physiological correlates that define key prosocial emotions such as compassion, awe, gratitude, elevation, love and inspiration. In a related line of research I investigate morality, a foundation of successful group living, examining its powerful influence on interpersonal judgment. I try to understand how we judge others who have behaved unethically and why arguments about moral issues can be so intractable.