Dead or alive? Researchers use uncertainty to scare

A wide-eyed skeleton statue perched on a table in the corner of a dank stone-walled basement follows visitors with its eyes. They aren’t sure if it’s a plastic dummy or a human, until the ghoul suddenly lunges from its post and claws the air as the innocents scurry into the next room of a haunted house designed by University Distinguished Professor of Psychology Lisa Feldman Barrett.

For nine years now, Barrett’s family along with her lab’s full-time research staff have been scaring locals using everything they know about the science of emotion.

A graduate …read more