The Mar Lab researches a diverse range of topics, that often cluster around the following central questions:


1. How is one's experience with narrative fiction (e.g., novels, movies, plays) similar to a cognitive and emotional simulation of social experience?


2. What are the cognitive, social, and emotional outcomes of exposure to narrative fiction, both in the short-term and over one's lifetime?


In general, we examine how imagined experiences can affect real-world cognition and emotion, but we also study a variety of the other research questions. You can find out more about our research by reading our papers. A good place to start might be the Mar (2018) article entitled Stories and the promotion of social cognition, or the longer piece published that same year entitled Evaluating Whether Stories can Promote Social Cognition: Introducing the Social Processes and Content Entrained by Narrative (SPaCEN) Framework.

Our lab is beginning to address the serious issue of systemic racism—organizational structures that oppress marginalized populations—both within our own lab and its work, and in society at large. In Canada, systemic racism disproportionately affects Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour, such as Filipino-Canadians.1 We also acknowledge the importance of supporting feminist perspectives, LGBTQ+ inclusion, combating discrimination based on age and ability, and supporting new Canadians. As such, we welcome applications from these communities for volunteer and graduate school placements.

1Abada, T., Hou, F., & Ram, B. (2009). Ethnic differences in educational attainment among the children of Canadian immigrants. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 34(1), 1−30.