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Heather Lench

Heather Lench
Senior Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs
Areas of Speciality
  • Affective Science
  • Personality Processes
  • Social & Personality Psychology
Professional Links
Office Hours, Spring 2024
By appointment
Accepting Students for 2024-2025?

Research Interests

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., Stark, C. E. L., GCarlson, S. J., GCarpenter, Z. K., GPerez, K. A., Stark, S. M., & GFrithsen, A. (2020). Predicted and remembered emotion: Tomorrow’s vividness trumps yesterday’s accuracy. Memory, 28, 128-140.

GColes, N. A., Larsen, J. T., & Lench, H. C. (2019). A meta-analysis of the facial feedback literature: Effects of facial feedback on emotional experience are small and variable. Psychological Bulletin, 145, 610-651. (5-yr IF: 21.99).

Media coverage: KBTX (May 2019); ScienceDaily, today.tamu, USNews, Sciencealert,, Yahoo News, The Independent, Happiness Podcst, Business Standard

Lench, H. C., Levine, L. J., GPerez, K. A., UCarpenter, Z. K., GCarlson, S. J., PBench, S. W., & GYidou, W. (2019). When and why people misestimate future feelings: Identifying strengths and weaknesses in affective forecasting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116, 724-742. (5-yr IF: 7.39).

Bench, S. W., & Lench, H. C. (2019). Boredom as a seeking state: Boredom prompts the pursuit of novel (even negative) experiences. Emotion, 19, 242-254

Lench, H. C., Levine, L. J., Perez, K., Haggenmiller, Z. K., Carlson, S. J., & Tibbett, T. (2019). Changes in subjective well-being following the U.S. Presidential Election of 2016. Emotion, 19, 1-9.

Lange, K., Fields, S., Lench, H. C., & Lazerus, T. (2018). Prompts to regulate emotions improve the impact of health messages on eating intentions and behavior. Motivation Science, 42, 267-275.

Lench, H. C. (2018). Functions of emotion: When and why emotions help us. Springer Nature: Switzerland.

Lench, H. C., & Carpenter, Z. K. (2018). What do emotions do for us? In H. C. Lench (Ed.), Functions of emotion: When and why emotions help us. Springer Nature: Switzerland.

Lench, H. C., Baldwin, C. L., Garrison, K. E., & An, D. (2018). The emotional toolkit: Lessons from the science of emotion. In H. C. Lench (Ed.), Functions of emotion: When and why emotions help us. Springer Nature: Switzerland.

Alexander, J., Houghton, D. C., Bauer, C. C., Lench, H. C., & Woods, D. W. (2018). Emotion regulation deficits in persons with body-focused repetitive behaviors. Journal of Affective Disorders, 227, 463-470.

Perez, K. A., & Lench, H. C. (2018). Benefits of awe in the workplace. In D.Lindebaum, Geddes, D., & Jordan, P. J. (Eds.), Emotion in management: The functions of emotion at work and how we talk about it.

Levine, L. J., Lench, H. C., Karnaze, M., & Carlson, S. (2018). Bias in predicted and remembered emotion. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 19, 73-77.

Lench, H. C., Bench, S. W., & Perez, K. A. (2017). Building a house of sentiment on sand: Epistemological issues with contempt. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, 33-34.

Perez, K., & Lench, H. C. (2017). Wonder. In M. Wrobel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences, 1-3.

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.

Affiliated Research Cluster

Personality Processes. Emotion and cognition; forecasting; optimism.
Affective Science. Affective reactions and emotions when thinking about the future; decision making.