My work examines emotion with a particular focus on the communication of emotions via non-verbal expressions. I study vocalisations like laughter, cries and sighs, and also facial expressions of emotions. I am interested in how factors such as preparedness, culture, and learning shape our emotions and the ways that they are communicated. My research makes use of a wide range of psychological methods, including cross-cultural comparisons. I have a particular interest in positive emotions and distinctions between different positive affective states. You can find out more about my lab, the Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Centre for Emotion here.
I did my BSc in Psychology and Cognitive Science at University College London (2002), followed by a PhD in the same department (2006). Then I worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, after which I received an ESRC fellowship, which I took up at Birkbeck College London. In 2008 I moved to the Netherlands to work as a staff researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, where I stayed until 2011. I then moved to the University of Amsterdam, where I held a Veni grant (2011-2016) from the Dutch Science Foundation. My current funding includes an ERC Starting Grant and several grants from the Dutch Science Foundation. I am Associate Professor in the Department of Social Psychology at UvA and associate editor of the journal Emotion Review.
I currently give courses at undergraduate and post-graduate level at the University of Amsterdam, including Introduction to Emotion Science for undergraduate Psychology students, and at the Research Master level, Current Debates in Emotion Science. I currently supervise PhD students YongQi Cong, Tiarah Engels, Roza Kamilogu, Kunalan Manokara, and Nila Fadhila, and post-docs Rui Sun, Kobi Israelashvili, Milica Nikolic, and Shahira Sharaf, as well as MSc students from the Social Psychology and Research Master programs.
Sauter, D. A., Crasborn, O., Engels, T. F. S., Kamiloglu, R. G., Sun, R., Eisner, F., & Haun, D. B. M. (2019). Human emotional vocalisations can develop in the absence of auditory learning. Emotion. Advance online publication.
Cowen, A., Sauter, D. A., Tracy, J., & Keltner, D. (2019). Mapping the passions: Toward a high-dimensional taxonomy of emotional experience and expression. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 20, 69–90.
Fang, X., van Kleef, G. A., & Sauter, D. A. (2019). Revisiting cultural differences in emotion perception between Easterners and Westerners: Chinese perceivers are accurate, but see additional non-intended emotions in negative facial expressions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 82, 152-159.
Sauter, D.A. (2017). The nonverbal communication of positive emotions: An emotion family approach. Emotion Review, 9(3), 222-234.
Sauter, D., Eisner, F., Ekman, P., & Scott, S. K. (2010). Cross-cultural recognition of basic emotions through nonverbal emotional vocalizations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(6), 2408-2412.
I am leading an international team of researchers collecting survey data on how people experience various emotions, cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and adhere to social distancing measures in different countries.
The survey takes about 6 minutes to complete. Everyone who is at least 16 years old is welcome to take part in the study.