Lench, Heather individual record
Professor and Head

The underlying premise of my research is that emotional processes are the foundation of behavior and thought. In my laboratory, 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. This work falls broadly within the emerging interdisciplinary field of affective science, which focuses on understanding emotional and affective processes. This field involves research on emotion, emotion regulation, mood disorders, and affective neuroscience, using a variety of methods and approaches.

education and training
selected publications
Academic Articles61
  • Lench, H. C., & Reed, N. T. (2022). Comment: Can We Model What an Emotion Is? Comment on Suri & Gross (2022). Emotion Review. 14(2), 114-116.
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  • Kaiser, K. A., Lench, H. C., & Levine, L. J. (2022). Medical residency match applicants undervalue factors that predict stress and burnout.. Med Educ Online. 27(1), 2109243.
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  • Carlson, S. J., Levine, L. J., Lench, H. C., Flynn, E., Carpenter, Z. K., Perez, K. A., & Bench, S. W. (2021). You shall go forth with joy: Religion and aspirational judgments about emotion.. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.
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  • Lench, H. C., Levine, L. J., Dang, V., Kaiser, K. A., Carpenter, Z. K., Carlson, S. J., ... Winckler, B. (2021). Optimistic expectations have benefits for effort and emotion with little cost.. Emotion. (6), 1213-1223.
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  • Lench, H. C. (2018). The Function of Emotions. Springer International Publishing.
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  • Lench, H. C., Berry, C. M., & Schlegel, R. (2013). Guide to Elementary Statistics for Psychology.
  • Lench, H. C., & Carpenter, Z. K. (2018). What Do Emotions Do for Us?. The Function of Emotions. 1-7. Springer International Publishing.
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  • Perez, K. A. (2018). Benefits of awe in the workplace. Social Functions of Emotion and Talking About Emotion at Work. 46-67. Edward Elgar Publishing.
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  • Lench, H. C., Baldwin, C. L., An, D., & Garrison, K. E. (2018). The Emotional Toolkit: Lessons from the Science of Emotion. The Function of Emotions. 253-261. Springer International Publishing.
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  • Tibbett, T. P., & Lench, H. C. (2015). When do feelings help us? The interpersonal functions of emotions. Advances in Psychology Research. 1-10.
  • Darbor, K. E., & Lench, H. C. (2013). Anger and Aggression. Shally-Jensen, M. (Eds.), Mental Health Care Issues in America: An Encyclopedia [2 volumes]. 47-53. ABC-CLIO.
chaired theses and dissertations
First Name
Last Name
mailing address
Texas A&M University; Psychology; 4235 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4235