Prof. Andrea Samson
Associate Professor (Unidistance) and Assistant Professor (University of Fribourg)
Institution : Unidistance Suisse, University of Fribourg
Department : Faculty of Psychology (Unidistance), Institute of Special Education (University of Fribourg)
Discipline : Psychology, Special Education
Research field : Emotion regulation, positive emotions, humor, social skills, games, neurodevelopmental disorders (autism spectrum disorder, Williams syndrome)
I completed my PhD at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), did a 5-year postdoc at Stanford University, and was between 2015-2018 a senior researcher (awarded with the Ambizione Fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation, SNSF) at the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (CISA, University of Geneva). Currently, I am Associate Professor and Co-Responsible for the French Masters program at UniDistance, Switzerland. In parallel, I also have a SNSF Professorship in Special Education at the University of Fribourg.
I am director of the chEERSLab, which focuses on affective processes such as positive emotions, humor, and emotion regulation and their relation to mental health and well-being. We have a particular research focus on individuals with and without neurodevelopment disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and Williams Syndrome. We are interested in understanding complex socio-emotional processes and how they relate to each other, as well as how they serve as protective or risk factors in the development of anxiety symptoms in these groups. In various studies, we are using a variety of methods, including virtual reality to induce various emotional states or prompt emotion regulation. We are also developing tools to promote emotional competences in different populations, such as through online interventions or board games (chEERS games).