Jason A. Clark

Department of Anthropology

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Research Interests

The central focus of my research in recent years has been the theory of emotion and the role of emotions in various biological, cognitive, social, moral and clinical contexts. I am particularly interested in the evolutionary relationships between 'basic emotions' and 'higher-cognitive emotions'. Contrary to the widespread view that emotions like shame and pride depend on exclusively human higher-cognitive capacities, and lack any biological parallels with the emotions of other species, I have argued that these emotions have simpler, basic forms that can be found in other animals and early stages of human development, and that the more complex forms that we see in adult humans are homologous to these more basic forms. This provides the basis for a more unified theory of emotion.