Social Perception Action & Motivation

Emily Balcetis, PhD

Laboratory Director

The SPAM Lab focuses on the conscious and nonconscious ways people fundamentally orient to the world. In particular, the lab focuses on how the motivations, emotions, needs, and goals people hold impact the basic ways people perceive, interpret, and ultimately react to the information around them. The lab advocates for an interactive cognitive system where psychological states constrain the basic manner in which we perceive and react to our worlds. The lab's work, then, explores motivational biases in visual and social perception and the consequential effects for behavior and navigation of the social world. In doing so, the lab's research represents an intersection among social psychology, judgment and decision-making, social cognition, and perception.