Paula Niedenthal

Position title: Professor


Phone: (608) 890-4379

319 Psychology

Research Area(s)
Social and Personality

Lab Website
Niedenthal Emotions Lab

Research Interests
Because it focuses on the ways by which individuals represent and process emotional information, my research is best described as crossing the areas of the Social Psychology of Emotion and the Affective Neurosciences. Of current interest in my laboratory are the twin problems of the function of and the processing of facial expression of emotion. To address these problems scientifically, our research examines neural, cognitive, social and cultural/societal influences on two important information processing mechanisms, namely facial mimicry and eye gaze. Most recently our particular focus is on the human smile. You can read about the model that guides some of this work in a New York Times article by Carl Zimmer, here (

Representative Publications
Korb, S., With, S., Niedenthal, P.M., Kaiser, S., & Grandjean, D. (2014). The perception and mimicry of facial movements predict judgments of smile authenticity. PLOS ONE, in press.

Carr, E., Korb, S., Niedenthal, P.M. & Winkielman, P. (2014). The two sides of spontaneity: Movement onset asymmetries in facial expressions influence social judgments. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, in press.

Rychlowska, M., Korb, S., Brauer, M., Droit-Volet, S., Augustinova, M., & Zinner, L., Niedenthal, P.M., (2014). Pacifiers disrupt adults’ responses to infants’ emotions. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, in press.

Rychlowska, M., Canadas, E., Wood, A., Krumhuber, E. G., Fischer, A., & Niedenthal, P. M. (2014). Blocking mimicry makes true and false smiles look the same. PLOS ONE, 26;9(3)e90876.

Niedenthal, P.M., Augustinova, M., Rychlowska, M., Droit-Volet, S., Zinner, L., & Brauer, M. (2012). Negative relations between pacifier use and emotional competence. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 34, 387–394.

Niedenthal, P.M., & Brauer, M. (2012). Social functionality of human emotions. In S.T. Fiske (Ed.), Annual Review of Psychology, Vol 62, 259-285.

Niedenthal, P.M., Mermillod, M., Maringer, M. & Hess, U. (2010). The Simulation of Smiles (SIMS) model: Embodied simulation and the meaning of facial expression. Target article for Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 417–480