"chEERSLab" research group

The chEERS Lab is a team of researchers headed by Prof. Andrea Samson and located at two universities in the heart of Switzerland: UniDistance Suisse and the University of Fribourg.

We are interested in affective processes such as emotion reactivity and regulation in children, adolescents and young adults with and without developmental disorders and intellectual disabilities. The ultimate goal of our research is to better understand mechanisms linked to mental health in these populations from an affective science perspective. We currently have multiple studies running on diverse socio-emotional phenomena (positive emotions, humor, emotion regulation) in disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Williams syndrome. We have a strong focus on including novel technologies in assessments such as Virtual Reality (VR) and on the development of remediation programs. Finally, we are developing board games to foster emotional competences. Learn more here.

Our ultimate goal is to better formulate treatment implications to improve emotional functioning and well-being in children and adolescents with and without neurodevelopmental disorders. 

We usually recruit French and German speaking participants for our different research projects. Although all our in-lab studies are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can contact us now either to participate in any of our current online studies, or if you would like to participate in the future in our studies in the lab: emotion@unidistance.ch

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, we have launched a new international study (www.specialneedscovid.org) on how people with special educational needs (SEN) are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have recruited more than 10000 families worldwide that completed in questionnaire in 16 different languages. This study will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the specific capacities (limitations and strengths) of people with SEN their families and institutions to cope with such an event. This anonymous survey should generate insights and hypotheses about the differences across types and age within types of SN in coping with a similar risk. It will not only contribute to a better understanding of the experiences and feelings of people with SEN, but also those of their parents, thus informing the design of future interventions to improve their quality of life.


For further information, we would ask you to consult our website. Or contact us directly at: emotion@unidistance.ch or on 079 521 36 95

Foto Forschungsgruppe Andrea Samson
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