Research projects


Affect and Phenomenal Consciousness


This project aims to understand the ways in which conscious events (e.g., cognitive and non-cognitive representations, perceptual states of the body and world, mental images) are influenced or triggered by affective processes and states. This interdisciplinary project draws theories and data from philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and biology.


  1. Solipsistic Sentience and Affective Perception”. Manuscript under review.

  2. Actually Embodied Emotions” (2018). Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. 3192.


A History of
Emotion Research


This project is a wide-ranging attempt to understand and compare perspectives on emotions—what they are, how they relate to the body, how they can be researched, how they function alongside other psychological phenomena—since the seventeenth century. Prominent theorists examined include René Descartes, Nicolas Malebranche, Charles Darwin, William James, and Margaret Floy Washburn.


  1. “What is a Jamesian emotion?” Manuscript in preparation.

  2. Emotional Sensations and the Moral Imagination in Malebranche” (2013). In The Discourse of Sensibility: The Knowing Body in the Enlightenment, ed. H. M. Lloyd. Cham: Springer.

Please see the project page for other related works.


Understanding Explanations


This project investigates how people with varying levels of education (from novices to experts), and from various disciplines (including philosophy and the sciences) understand scientific explanations. We examine the "seductive allure" of reductive explanations—whereby satisfaction ratings of explanations are impacted by the presence of logically superfluous reductive information.


Please see a list of publications and conference presentations on the project page.