Welcome to the Mind and Body Lab!
We live in a time where political polarization, class differences, moral debates, antiscience attitudes, and technological advances pervade our daily lives. These days, our lab is committed to disentangling the psychological roots of ideology, partisanship, moral intuitions, science denialism, and social class. We are also trying to unpack the impact of digital technology, such as easy access to smart devices and artificial intelligence, on our desire and ability to think. All of these topical interests highlight the “Mind” part of our lab’s name.
The “and Body” part comes in because of its relevance to some of our theoretical interests. First, the human mind is intricately tied to processes in the body. Much of our psychological understanding about social reality is supported by our sensorimotor experience with physical reality (e.g., the link between moral intuitions and physical purity), through multiple mechanisms. Second, mental processes have the power to shape bodily states. It sounds obvious, but when you take a step back to think about it, it’s pretty amazing that mere thoughts can actually produce physiological changes. When you feel like others are evaluating you and it’s psychologically stressful, your cardiovascular processes change. Various projects of ours have been exploring how the mind influences the body and how the body influences the mind.
Overall, our work uses multiple methods (e.g., meta-analysis, computational analysis, experimental and correlational designs, psychophysiology) to provide scientific answers to an overarching question in the philosophy of mind: How do human beings accomplish abstract thinking? We are especially eager to understand how people process various abstract thoughts that matter in sociopolitical conflicts (e.g., antiscience attitudes, morality), that are common in daily life (e.g., stress, love), that are culturally enshrined (e.g., independence), that emerge early in human development (e.g., gender), or that have significant consequences in real-world contexts (e.g., decision making, economic behaviour). For a sample of the research questions we're tackling these days, check out the Research tab.
We have been publishing our theoretical and empirical work in high-impact journals such as Science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Nature Human Behaviour, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Our graduate and undergraduate students have been winning awards and scholarships, and getting accepted at top-notch graduate programs around the world. See examples in our Latest News below.
Want to get involved? Let us know!
A lab is a community of human beings, each with their unique views, interests, values, feelings, personality, and background.
I've given a lot of thought to what I want in a lab. Here's my vision for our lab.
Be intellectually humble. Embrace diverse viewpoints.
Be curious. Be bold in theorizing.
Tackle big problems. Use rigorous methods.
We don't compete with each other. We help each other out.
I want to create a lab where I want to work.
Always, always be kind.
2023-2024 Lab Members
Welcome to our new students, and welcome back to our returning ones. Looking forward to a productive school year together.
Congrats to Akil Huang
Akil won the Best Oral Presentation Award among 40 oral and poster presentations at the Summer Undergraduate Data Science (SUDS) Opportunities Program’s 2023 Showcase
Congrast to Spike Lee
Spike won the Applied Research on Intellectual Humility grant from the John Templeton Foundation to support his work on intellectual humility in the political domain
Congrats to Joy Wang
Joy won the 2023 Climate Positive Energy Undergraduate Summer Research Program Award
Congrats to Joe Hoang
Joe won the Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) Doctoral Award from the SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) to support his PhD studies in 2023-2025
Congrats to Noah Laskey
Noah won the Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) Master's Award from the SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) to start his PhD program in Social/Personality Psychology at the University of Toronto in Fall 2023
Congrats to Norman Zeng
Norman won the Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) Master's Award from the SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) to start his PhD program in Developmental Psychology at the University of Toronto in Fall 2023
Congrats to Grace Yang
Grace has been admitted to the MD program at the School of Medicine, University of British Columbia starting Fall 2023
Congrats to Jules Convertini
Jules has been admitted to the Master's program in Applied Cognitive Psychology at Utrecht University starting Fall 2023
Congrats to Joy Wang
Joy won the 2023 University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA-SSH)
Congrats to Serena Honekin
Serena won the 2023 University of Toronto Excellence Award (UTEA-SSH)
Congrats to Joy Wang
Joy won the Jackman Scholarship to conduct research on higher education for sustainable development as a Jackman Scholar-in-Residence in summer 2023
Congrats to Jianing Lv
Jianing has been admitted to the PhD program in Education at Queen's University starting Fall 2023
Congrats to Spike Lee
Spike won the DSI (Data Sciences Institute) Computational & Quantitative Social Sciences Grant