Lara Aknin, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, psychology
What inspires and sustains human prosociality? Professor Aknin’s research addresses this question by investigating whether positive emotions—such as happiness—offer one explanation for human generosity. Her work draws upon multiple populations (adults, toddlers, ex-offenders, across cultures) and methods (surveys, lab and field experiments, implicit measures, facial coding) to investigate if, when, why and how prosocial behaviour leads to well-being benefits for the helper. Aknin is the director of SFU’s Helping and Happiness Lab and newly appointed co-editor of the United Nation’s World Happiness Report.