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Heather Lench

Heather Lench
Department Head
Areas of Speciality
  • Affective Science
  • Personality Processes
  • Social & Personality Psychology
  • (979) 845-0377
  • Psychology 232A
Professional Links
Office Hours
By Appointment Only
Associate Professor and Department Head

Research Interests

Emotion and cognition, forecasting, optimism.

The underlying premise of our research is that emotional processes are the foundation of behavior and thought. We examine the role of affective reactions and emotions in how people think about the future and what they think will happen to them in the future. We are also investigating when and why particular emotions might improve functioning and decision making.

Recent Publications

Levine, L. J., Lench, H. C., Karnaze, M., & Carlson, S. (2018). Bias in predicted and remembered emotion. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.

5. Lench, H. C., PBench, S. W., & GPerez, K. A. (in press). Building a house of sentiment on sand: Epistemological issues with contempt. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33-34. (5-yr IF: 23.84)

Perez, K., & Lench, H. C. (2017). Self-transcendent positive emotions: Wonder & awe. In Monika Wrobel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences.

Bench, S. W., Rivera, G. N., Schlegel, R. J., Hicks, J. A., & Lench, H. C. (2017). Does expertise matter in replication? An examination of the Reproducibility Project: Psychology. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 68, 181-184.

Lench, H. C., Smallman, R., & Berg, L. A. (2016). Moving toward a brighter future: The effects of desire on judgments about the likelihood of future events. Motivation Science, 2, 33-48.

Darbor, K. E., Lench, H. C., & Carter-Sowell, A. (2016). Do people eat the pain away? The effects of acute physical pain on subsequent consumption of sweet-tasting food. PlosOne, 11, e0166931.

Lench, H. C., Tibbett, T. P., Bench, S. W. (2016). Exploring the toolkit of emotion: What do sadness and anger do for us? Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 10, 11-25.

Kaplan, R. L., Levine, L. J., Lench, H. C., & Safer, M. A. (2016). Forgetting feelings: Opposite biases in memory for emotion and mood. Emotion, 16, 309-319.

Darbor, K. E., Lench, H. C., Davis, W. E., & Hicks, J. A. (2016). Experiencing versus contemplating: Language use during descriptions of awe and wonder. Cognition and Emotion, 30, 1118-1196.

Lench, H. C., Bench, S. W., & Davis, E. (2016). Distraction from emotional information reduces biased judgments. Cognition and Emotion, 30, 638-653.