Western Psychological Association Convention | Vancouver, BC, Canada | May 2007


CERL conducts many cutting-edge studies in several research areas. At any one time, there are as many as 20 or 30 active studies ongoing at the CERL, making it one of the most active and productive research labs in the university. Despite the great apparent diversity in the studies, they generally fall into one of three major research program areas of the CERL.

One of CERLĄ¯s primary research areas involves studies on the expression and perception of emotion, most notably in the face, across cultures. Over the years, for instance, CERL has conducted some of the research on emotion judgments that are among some of the most substantiated and well-accepted areas of emotion research. CERL continues to conduct research on emotion judgments, examining the judgments of emotions expressed by people of many different cultures, judged by people of different cultures. A current focus of emotion judgment research at CERL is also on judgments of the meaning of facial expressions of emotion, not only to the expressor but also to the perceiver. These studies elucidate on the social meaning of emotion.

CERL is also a world leader in studies of spontaneous expressions of emotion. These studies involve capturing on video the expressive behavior of individuals, sometimes from different cultures, and analyzing those behaviors using fine-grained analytic techniques. These studies are time-consuming and difficult, but for that reason CERL studies in this area are among some of the most well-known in emotion research. A current research interest in this area is the dynamics and interplay of universal facial expressions of emotion and cultural display rules, and expressions in blind individuals and individuals afflicted with disorders and/or disabilities.

Another major research thrust in CERL concerns studies on the meaning of culture, and its influences on behavior. Some CERL studies focus on identifying the cultural meanings of situational contexts; others focus on the relationship between culture, personality, and response biases. Within this line of research, one major area of study in CERL is on cultural adjustment and cultural adaptability. Previous CERL studies have identified some of the major predictors of adjustment and adaptability, and these findings inform CERL current research on topics such as cultural intelligence and intercultural competence.

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