Marianne Schmid Mast, PhD

I am interested in how people behave in social interactions. Observation and analyses of interpersonal behavior have thus been my passion ever since I started to conduct research. We are accountable for our acts and we are judged according to what we do and say. Our interpersonal behavior is the only directly accessible information available to our social interaction partners and it is on this basis that they perceive us, judge us, and interact with us.

My research addresses how individuals in power hierarchies interact, perceive, and communicate (verbally and nonverbally), how first impressions affect interpersonal interactions and evaluations, how people form accurate impressions of others, and how physician communication affects patients. I use immersive virtual environment technology to investigate interpersonal behavior and communication as well as computer-based automatic sensing to analyze nonverbal behavior in social interactions.

I am currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior and in the Editorial Board of the journal Leadership Quarterly. I am a former member of the Swiss National Research Council and I acted as president of the Swiss Psychological Society.

I am Full Professor of Organizational Behavior at HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne.

To know more about Marianne Schmid Mast

University page: https://hec.unil.ch/people/mschmidmast

Wikipedia page:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marianne_Schmid_Mast


Anaïs Butera

PhD Candidate

Why are individuals with disabilities subject to employment discrimination?

What are concrete actions to curtail employment discrimination towards them?

By highly resonating within me, these two questions became my motivational drivers as a researcher. I not only aspire to identify ways to give everyone the same chances to get employed but also to be influential by being appointed to a managerial position. Through my academic work, I thus aim at finding strategies to increase disabled applicants’ managerial employment prospects as well as reducing the employment discrimination individuals with disabilities are subject to.

To know more about Anaïs Butera: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ana%C3%AFs-butera-90526160/

Anely Bekbergenova

PhD candidate

My research focuses on charismatic leadership and the individual importance of verbal and nonverbal components of charismatic signaling for women and men. In my research I investigate whether the importance of verbal and nonverbal behavior for women and men is different and how it is different.

To know more: http://hec.unil.ch/people/abekbergenova?dyn_lang=en

Laetitia Renier, PhD


As a researcher, I am interested in social interactions at work, from its determinants to its outcome. This places my research field at the intersection of social psychology and organizational behavior. One of my main research areas focuses on the use of Virtual Environment as a tool for interpersonal skills training. My other research interests gravitate around attitude and behavior change, human-machine interaction, nonverbal behavior, and individual differences (e.g., dark traits, self-efficacy).

My educational and professional background gathers a Master degree in neuropsychology and cognitive development, professional experiences as instructional/pedagogical counselor, and a PhD in Management. My former research focused on the role of social cognition (i.e., meta-perception as linked to self- and other-perception) in key work situations, such as job applications, task performance and multi-source feedback (PhD thesis).

To know more: http://hec.unil.ch/people/lrenier?dyn_lang=fr

Matthieu Jost

PhD candidate

Did you ever wonder how one could learn a new complex skill, for instance talking in front of an audience? Could it be done in virtual reality while using neurobiofeedback? My research tackle those questions and focuses more broadly on interpersonal skills training, a valuable topic for anyone either be leaders, managers and employees. I am also passionate about applying organisational behaviour to fields not fully abreast of its usefulness.

To know more: http://hec.unil.ch/people/mjost?dyn_lang=en

Phebe Driebergen

PhD candidate

When interacting with others we often adapt our behaviour to better suit our interaction partners.  Adapting our behavior to our social interaction partners usually leads to better interaction outcomes. The goal of my research is to better understand how motivational factors affect behavioral adaptability. For instance, how do the type of social relationships and the interaction goals that we might have, affect behavioral adaptability? This involves studying how/if people change their verbal and nonverbal interpersonal behavior according to different interaction partners and/or social situations.

To know more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/phebe-driebergen-9a21482a/


Our lab has evolved thanks to the work of smart, curious and passionate people. By alphabetical order:

Annick Darioly Carroz, PhD

Now Assistant Professor @ Les Roches Global Hospitality Education in Bluche VS.

My research interests include the leadership and its dark side, the leader’s competence and incompetence, the leader’s nonverbal behavior and the perception of nepotism in leadership. I am particularly interesting in the exploration of toxic leadership in hospitality businesses, where this kind of practices seems more accepted than in other businesses.

To know more: http://bit.ly/2nRO6M3

Benjamin Tur, PhD

Now Director @Investor Gestion SA

My research focuses on charismatic leadership. I am particularly interested in the type of verbal and nonverbal behaviors leaders express, the effects these behaviors have on followers and the contexts in which these behaviors are expressed. I also teach charisma and public speaking to executives.

To know more : https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjamin-tur-phd-14a57794/

Christina Klöckner Cronauer, PhD

Now lecturer @ Kalaidos University, Zurich

To know more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-kl%C3%B6ckner-cronauer-a381353b/

Denise Frauendorfer, PhD

Now Project Manager @ the Swiss Red Cross

My research focuses on the nonverbal behavior in important work situations, such as the job interview. I investigate how the applicant nonverbal behavior influences evaluation processes, such as hiring decisions and objective measures such as job performance. I am also interested in interpersonal sensitivity of recruiters and how it overcomes stereotypical thinking. I use social sensing to automatically detect nonverbal features and the virtual reality lab for behavioral observations.

To know more :https://www.linkedin.com/in/frauendorfer-denise-9aa1b8ba/

Elena Canadas, PhD

Now Scientist @Akili Interactive Lab (Boston) 

I am a social cognitive psychologist with expertise in emotion and face processing. I earned my Ph.D. in Psychology and Master in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Granada, Spain. During my postdoctoral research at University of Lausanne I worked with Immersive Virtual Reality as an ecological approach to study gender-emotions stereotypes during social interactions. I am interested in creating new interventions to improve cognitive and emotional skills of patients suffering mental disorders using video games.

To know more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elena-canadas-669391103/

Emmanuelle P. Kleinlogel, PhD

I am interested in how people engage in unethical behaviors using an interactionist perspective. Particularly, one of my main research area focuses on the concept of moral disengagement as an important predictor of unethical behaviors, but under certain situational conditions. My second main research area is strongly related to the former and addresses the question of how to promote workplace ethical behavior using ethical infrastructure.

To know more : https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmanuelle-p-kleinlogel-25461b72/ 

Gaëtan Cousin, PhD

Now Psychologist @ Les Toises

To know more : https://www.linkedin.com/in/ga%C3%ABtan-cousin-93507320/

Kéou Kadji, PhD

To know more : https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-k%C3%A9ou-kadji-5441881b/

Mahshid Khademi, PhD

Now Researcher @ ETHZ

I am intrigued by the influence of power on individuals’ behaviors and emotions; Questions such as: does power make leaders less caring, feel more distant from their employees and thus more prone to engage in unethical behavior? Moreover, I am interested in the role of dominance hierarchy in small groups and the influence of hierarchy on group performance.

To know more : https://www.linkedin.com/in/mahshid-khademi-57651646/

Manuel Bachmann, PhD

Now Professor @ Bern University of Applied Sciences (Social Work)

I am teaching psychology and other social work related topics of psychology (like racism, violence) for social work students. I am also using virtual reality as a training and research tool. I am member of the VR lab in Lausanne and the co-founder of the VR lab in Bern. My former research was mainly about the impact of social power on emotions (PhD Thesis).

To know more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/manuel-bachmann-95513a149/

Nele Dael, PhD

Now Researcher @Vima

In my research, I am generally interested in how people express and perceive emotions, personality, attitudes and social attributes from nonverbal behavior.In the context of organizations, I aim to objectively measure expression and perception skills in job candidates to be able to predict work related outcomes. To do so, we develop a new performance-based test that measures interpersonal sensitivity at the workplace.I also work with computational scientists to find out how automatically detected nonverbal behavior of job candidates affects recruiters’ impressions of social skills and their hiring decision. In a more general context of human interaction, I am interested in multimodal affective communication, focusing on body movement and colour. While endorsing a probabilistic functional approach, I also like to disentangle causal relationships using experimental set-ups.

To know more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neledael/

Petra C. Schmid, PhD

Now Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior @ ETH Zurich

My research examines the psychological and neural mechanisms involved in the effect of social power on behavior. Much of my research focuses on the role of affect, motivation, and self-control in the effects of power on goal-directed behavior and decision-making.

To know more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petra-schmid-80524931/

Tristan Palese, PhD

My research focuses on managers’ social skills. Specifically, I am studying managers’ interpersonal accuracy and behavioral adaptability and the impact these skills have on subordinates’ satisfaction. I am also interested in the importance of these skills in the sport context (e.g. coach/player relationship).

To know more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tristan-palese-a310159b/

Valérie Carrard, PhD

Now a Research Associate @ CHUV

My main research interest is the process of human adaptability. During my PhD, I investigated whether physicians are able to tailor their communication behaviors according to their different patients’ preferences and whether this behavioral adaptability is related to positive consultation outcomes. As a postdoctoral researcher, I am studying people psychological adaptation to stressful life event such as bereavement, onset of a chronic health condition, or divorce.

To know more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/val%C3%A9rie-carrard-218658b5/