Social Psychophysiology Laboratory
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| Current projects

Emotional Labor in Customer Service Jobs

The goal is to develop an explicative model of psychological well-being of customer service employees and of staff retention. The model includes 1- emotional labor antecedents, 2- customer service employees’ motivation to regulate their emotions, 3- emotional regulation strategies and 4- emotional labor consequences on psychological well-being at work and job attitudes.

Real problems, virtual customers

This study aims at understanding an important topic in customer service relations: customers’ complaints. The goal is to understand employees’ reactions to different types of customers.

Authenticity of smiles

This program of research aims at understanding what are the variables that influence the perception of authenticity of smiles. Study 1 investigated the development of the perception of authenticity of different types of smiles (Duchenne, non-Duchenne, weak smile...) in children from 4 to 17 years old. Study 2 investigated the impact of culture of the decoders on the perception of authenticity of smiles, while Study 3 aimed at looking at cultural differences in the encoding of authentic and non-authentic smiles.


There is a popular perception that people behave more and more impolitely. Yet, little is known about reactions to impolite behavior. This project aims to better understand the factors that make a behavior appear impolite and that influence reactions to impolite behavior.

The positive effects of negative emotions

Only very few studies have considered the beneficial effects of negative emotions. Yet, such effects are to be expected. It is well known that humans often seek negative emotions on roller coasters in amusement parks, in films and books, and in music (see e.g., Levinson, 1990). Evolution based emotion theories (see Scherer, 2000) also maintain that emotions are essentially adaptive and functional; and hence generally improve fitness rather than reduce it, not only at the species level, but also at the individual level (e.g., Scherer, 1984). It is in fact evolutionary psychology that has made the most clearly elaborated efforts to outline positive effects of negative emotions. Thus, the social emotions shame and guilt have been posited to function as evolutionary solutions to the ‘cheater problem’ by reducing egoistic choices that harm the group and by motivating offending individuals to make restitution and reintegrate into the group (Frank, 1988). This project aims to study this issue

The recognition of facial expressions of contempt

The present study tested the hypothesis that the inability to label the contempt expression reflects a problem with its label or concept and not with the relationship between its expression and emotion. Part of this study have been conducted in Quebec while the study is currently replicated in Gabon.