Postdoctoral Program

Ursula Beermann

Post-doctoral Researcher

General Information

I received my Master (Magister) in Psychology at Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Austria, and my Ph.D. at University of Zurich, Switzerland. After research stays at Free University of Berlin (Germany) and University of California, Berkeley (United States), I am now a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Swiss Center of Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland. I am interested in emotion and prosociality, especially in the context of humor and laughter, aesthetic emotions and effects of music on emotion, and I investigate these domains using multiple methods including questionnaire measures as well as psychophysiological and behavioral measures, such as facial and vocal expression of emotion.


  • Since July 2013: Postdoctoral researcher at the Centre Interfacultaire en Sciences Affectives (CISA), University of Geneva, Switzerland, in the project funded by the ERC: “PROPEREMO”, directed by Prof. Klaus R. Scherer
  • January 2011-June 2013: Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Psychology, University of California at Berkeley, CA; Berkeley Social Interaction Laboratory [Director: Prof. Dacher Keltner], supported by a fellowship of the Committee for Academic Career Development [Nachwuchsförderungskredit] of the University of Zurich, Switzerland: Project “Measuring the virtues of humor and laughter“; Working with Prof. Dacher Keltner and Prof. Robert W. Levenson
  • June – December 2010: Research associate at the Department of Education and Psychology of the Free University of Berlin, Germany; Program in Research on Schools and Teaching [Freie Universität Berlin, Arbeitsbereich Schul- und Unterrichtsforschung, Prof. Bettina Hannover], in the project granted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research [Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF]: “ The influence of musical and creative projects on educational development of adolescents “, project management: Dr. Lysann Zander, Prof. Bettina Hannover
  • January – May 2010: Various external projects involving the Facial Action Coding System (FACS, Ekman, Friesen, & Hager, 2002)
  • April 2010: Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy, Dr. phil.) in Psychology
  • July 2004 – Dec. 2009: Teaching and research associate at the Department of Psychology of the University of Zurich, Switzerland; Program in Personality and Assessment [Fachrichtung für Persönlichkeitspsychologie und Diagnostik, Prof. Willibald Ruch]
  • 2004: M.A. in Psychology [Magistra Rerum Naturalis der Psychologie]; Thesis: “Emotional Intelligence: MET—A test measuring emotional perception using simple and morphed pictures”. [Emotionale Intelligenz: MET—ein Test zur Messung der emotionalen Perzeption mit Hilfe von einfachen und gemorphten Bildern.], supervised by Prof. Aljoscha C. Neubauer, Karl-Franzens-University of Graz, Austria

Selected Publications

  • Haase, C M, Beermann, U, Saslow, L R, Shiota, M, Saturn, R S, Lwi, S, Casey, J J, Nguyen, K N, Whalen, P, Keltner, D, Levenson, R W (2015) Short Alleles, Bigger Smiles? Effects of 5-HTTLPR on Smiling and Laughing Behavior. Emotion Advance online publication. , .
  • Beermann, U (2014) Sick Humor. Encyclopedia of Humor: A Social History SAGE Thousand Oaks, CA 2, 691-693.
  • Beermann, U (2014) Humor Styles Measurement. Encyclopedia of Humor: A Social History SAGE Thousand Oaks, CA 1, 365-367.
  • Ruch, W, Huber, A, Beermann, U, Proyer, R (2007) Character strengths as predictors of the “good life” in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Studies and researches in social sciences Argonaut Press Cluj-Napoca, Romania 16, 123-131.
  • Samson, A, Beermann, U (2006) Humor und Lachen: Wonach suchen Humorforscher?. Psychoscope 9, 10-11.