Helping and Happiness Lab

Contact Information

Lab Director, Dr. Lara Aknin (

Lab Manager, Janaki Patel (

The Helping and Happiness Social Psychology Lab is located at AQ 3135, Simon Fraser University

8888 University Dr, Burnaby,
BC V5A 1S6


In the Helping and Happiness Lab, we are interested in the study of what makes people happy, the emotional consequences of kind or generous behavior, and the well-being outcomes of specific spending choices.

Recent Publications

Aknin, L. B., Dunn, E. W., & Whillans, A. V. (2022). The Emotional Rewards of Prosocial Spending Are Robust and Replicable in Large Samples. Current Directions in Psychological Science0(0).

Cash, T. A., Aknin, L. B., & Proulx, J. D. E. (2022). Which Features of Prosocial Spending Recollections Predict Post-Recall Happiness? A Pre-registered Investigation. Collabra: Psychology, 8(1), 33958.

Proulx, J. D. E., Aknin, L. B., & Barasch, A. (2022). Let’s Give Together: Can Collaborative Giving Boost Generosity? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

Sachs, J. D., Karim, S. A., Aknin, L. B., Allen, J., Brosbøl, K., Barron, G. C., ... & Bartels, J. (2021). Priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of 2021: Statement of the Lancet COVID-19 CommissionThe Lancet.

Croft, A., Atkinson, C., Sandstrom, G., Orbell, S., & Aknin, L. B. (Accepted). Loosening the GRIP (Gender Roles Inhibiting Prosociality) to promote gender quality. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 1088868320964615

Sachs, J. D., Karim, S. A., Aknin, L. B., Allen, J., Brosbøl, K., Barron, G. C., ... & Bartels, J. G. (2020). Lancet COVID-19 Commission Statement on the occasion of the 75th session of the UN General AssemblyThe Lancet396(10257), 1102-1124.

Wiwad, D., Mercier, B., Piff, P. K., Shariff, A., & Aknin, L. (2020). Recognizing the impact of COVID-19 on the poor alters attitudes towards poverty and inequality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology93. 104083. (OSF Page)

Thornton, E., & Aknin, L. B. (2020). Assessing the validity of the Self versus Other Interest Implicit Association TestPLoS ONE. 15(6): e0234032. (OSF Pages: Study 1Study 2)

Mercier, B., Wiwad, D., Robinson, A., Aknin, L. B.Piff, P. K., Shariff, A. F. (2020). Free will and inequality. CollabraPsychology6(1), 25(OSF Page)

Wiwad, D., Piff, P. K., Robinson, A. R. Aknin, L. B., Mercier, B., Shariff, A. (2020). Shifting attributions for poverty motivates opposition to inequality and enhances egalitarianism. Nature Human Behaviour. (OSF Page


Lab Members


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