Research and/or Creative Works

I conduct research on the self, paying special attention to the importance of feeling understood by others. This focus showed up in my earlier work on stigma consciousness and affective forecasting, but it emerges most vividly in my current work on existential isolation and connection.  People who feel existentially isolated feel alone in their experience of reality and this has implications for their well-being and their interpersonal life.  My collaborators and I study ways of addressing existential isolation as well as what happens when people feel existentially connected.  For instance, our work on I-sharing – moments when we feel we have an identical, in-the-moment experience to one or more people – demonstrates the pivotal role it plays in liking for others, as well as its effects on prosocial outcomes such as giving and helping.  I-sharing is an especially potent way of addressing intergroup issues, such as the tendency to prefer ingroup members over outgroup members and the tendency to dehumanize outgroup members.     

I also study the effects of meditation, diet, and nutrition on overall well-being and interpersonal functioning.  Coming mostly from an Ayurvedic perspective, my collaborators and I ask questions such as whether the food people eat affects their physical and psychological well-being as well as their ability to interact with others effectively, meaningfully, and productively.


Members of the Seeing I Laboratory pursue research on I-sharing, existential isolation, meditation, existential connection, and dietary factors influencing overall well-being an interpersonal functioning.  We strive to collect data from nationally representative samples, underrepresented populations, and countries other than the United States.  We consider the far-reaching implications of existential isolation, including its impact on members of non-normative groups and its clinical significance.


  • Park, Y. C., & Pinel, E. C. (2020).  Existential isolation and cultural orientation.  Personality and Individual Differences, 159, 109891.
  • Pinel, E. C., Bronson, C. A., Zapata, J., & Bosson, J. (2019).  I-sharing after a gender status threat increases liking for a gay man and decreases defensiveness.  Psychology of Men and Masculinity.
  • Constantino, M. J., Sommer, R. K, Goodwin, B. J., Coyne, A. E., & Pinel, E. C. (2019).  Existential isolation as a risk factor for clinical distress, negative beliefs about psychotherapy, and dissatisfaction with psychotherapy.  Journal of Psychotherapy Integration.
  • Pinel, E. C., Long, A. E., Johnson, L. C., & Yawger, G. (2018).  More about when I’s meet: The intergroup ramifications of I-sharing, Part II. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
  • Pinel, E. C. (2018). Existential isolation and I-sharing: Interpersonal and intergroup implications.  Current Opinion in Psychology.
  • Pinel, E. C., Long, A. E., Murdoch, E., & Helm, P. (2017).  A prisoner of one’s own mind: Identifying and understanding existential isolation.  Personality and Individual Differences.
  • Pinel, E. C., *Long, A. E., & *Crimin, L. A. (2008).  We’re warmer (they’re more competent): I-sharing and African Americans’ evaluations of the ingroup and outgroup.  European Journal of Social Psychology, 11841192.
  • Pinel, E.C., *Long, A. E., Laundau, M., Alexander, K., & Pyszczynski, T. (2006).  Seeing I to I: A pathway to interpersonal connectedness.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 243-257.
  • Bosson, J. K., Pinel, E. C., & Vandello, J. A. (2010).  The impact of benevolent sexism: Folk beliefs versus real experiences.  Sex Roles, 62, 520-531.
  • Pinel, E. C., *Warner, L. R., & *Chua, P. (2005).  Getting there is only half the battle: Stigma consciousness and maintaining diversity in higher education.  Journal of Social Issues, 61, 481-506.
  • Pinel, E. C. (1999).  Stigma consciousness: The psychological legacy of social stereotypes.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 114-128.   
  • Gilbert, D. T., Pinel, E. C., Wilson, T. D., Blumberg, S. J., & Wheatley, T. P. (1998).  Immune neglect: A source of durability bias in affective forecasting.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 617-638.


  • B.A. Hamilton College, 1992
  • Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, 1998


  • 802-656-8302
Office Location:

348 Dewey Hall

Office Hours:

By appointment via email