Postdoctoral Program

Katja Schlegel

Lecturer / Research associate


Institution : University of Bern, University of Geneva
Department : Psychology (personality and assessment)
Discipline : psychology
Research field : emotion, personality, assessment

NCCR position : doctoral student, postdoc
NCCR PI : Klaus Scherer, David Sander



Habilitation, University of Bern

since 02/2017

Lecturer in personality psychology and psychological assessment, University of Bern (Thomas Rammsayer, Stefan Troche);

06/2018 to 04/2019 Scientific collaborator at the Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC) at the University of Lausanne; Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast
02/2017 to 12/2017 Postdoctoral researcher, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (David Sander)
12/2014 to 12/2016 Postdoctoral researcher, Social Interaction Laboratory, Northeastern University, Boston MA (Judith A. Hall)
06/2013 to 11/2014

Postdoctoral researcher, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (Marcello Mortillaro, Klaus Scherer)

10/2009 to 05/2013

Ph.D. candidate, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences.
Supervisors: Prof. Klaus R. Scherer & Prof. Didier Grandjean

Topic: Improving the measurement of emotion recognition ability


Diploma (Master) in Psychology (Humboldt University, Berlin)


I study individual differences in people’s ability to perceive and use emotional information effectively, also known as “emotional competence” or “emotional intelligence”. Over the past years, I have developed several performance-based tests that measure different components of emotional competence.

During my research stay at Prof. Judith Hall's Social Interaction Laboratory at Northeastern University (Boston), I also developed a short computer-based training to improve people's ability to accurately recognize emotions in others from their nonverbal behavior.

You can find detailed information on emotional competence research at the CISA, including my own research, on this page .

My full list of publications can be found on Researchgate or on Google Scholar.


These are some of my current research interests:

  • emotional competencies in applied settings across various professions
  • training emotion recognition and other emotional competencies
  • relationship between emotion recognition and other cognitive abilities such as psychometric intelligence
  • downsides of high emotion recognition ability
  • negotiation and emotions
  • interpersonal accuracy


>> Geneva Emotion Recognition Test (GERT)

This test measures emotion recognition ability using video clips in which actors portray 14 different emotions. It is available for research purposes in various languages.

>> Geneva Emotional Competence Test (GECO)

This test consists of four subtests that measure emotion recognition, emotion understanding, emotion regulation in oneself, and emotion management in others in a work context. Like the GERT, the GECO is a performance-based measure, not a self-report questionnaire. 

>> Geneva Emotion Knowledge Test (GEMOK)

This test measures emotion understanding and knowledge about emotions with two performance-based tests.


Scientific outreach

Blog post by Judy Hall on what lay people think the Big Five personality traits mean, based on our 2019 publication in Journal of Research in Personality.
Press release by the University of Geneva and University of Bern on the Geneva Emotional Competence Test (GECo) in 2018.
Interview on emotional intelligence, "The Agenda with Steve Paikin", TV Ontario, June 2016.
Quand les robots pleureront aussi - interview on emotional intelligence and affective computing in Le Temps, December 30, 2011.


Selected presentations

Schlegel, K., Dael, N., & Schmid Mast, M. (2019, February). Validation of the Workplace Interpersonal Perception Skill (WIPS) Test. Paper presented at the Nonverbal Preconference of the 20th Annual Convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Portland, OR.

Schlegel, K. (2018, July). New approaches to measuring ability EI. Paper presented at the 19th European Conference on Personality; Zadar, Croatia.

Schlegel, K. (2017, July). Effectiveness of a new training for multimodal emotion recognition ability. Paper presented at the Meeting of the International Society for Research on Emotion; St. Louis, MO.

Schlegel, K. (2017, March). Sense or sensibility: Is cognitive or emotional intelligence more important for successful negotiation? Paper presented at the 2nd International Convention of Psychological Science, Vienna, Austria.

Schlegel, K., & Hall, J. A. (2017, January). Emotional attunement in the observation of social situations. Paper presented at the Nonverbal Preconference of the 18th Annual Convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.

Schlegel, K. (2016, May). Training emotion recognition ability : Effects on individuals’ skills and interpersonal interaction. Poster presented at the 27th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.

Schlegel, K. & Scherer, K. R. (2016, February). New tests to measure emotional understanding. Poster presented at the 17th Annual Convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.



Bertrams, A., & Schlegel, K. (2020). Speeded reasoning moderates the inverse relationship between autistic traits and emotion recognition. Autism, online first publication.

Preis, M. A., Schlegel, K., Stoll, L., Blomberg, M., Schmidt, H., Wünsch-Leiteritz, W., Leiteritz, A., & Brockmeyer, T. (2020). Improving emotion recognition in anorexia nervosa: An experimental proof-of-concept study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 53(6), 945–953.

Bianchi, R., Patthey, N., Mirkovic, D., Lemaitre, B., & Schlegel, K. (2020). Machiavellian males with high emotional intelligence exhibit fewer depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 158, 109867.

Schlegel, K. (2020). Inter- and intrapersonal downsides of accurately perceiving others’ emotions. In R. J. Sternberg & A. Kostic (Eds.), Social Intelligence: The Adaptive Advantages of Nonverbal Communication. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave-Macmillan.

Schlegel, K., Vicaria, I. M., & Isaacowitz, D. M. (2020). Facets of interpersonal accuracy across the lifespan: Is there a single skill in older age? Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.

Schlegel, K., Palese, T., Schmid Mast, M., Rammsayer, T. H., Hall, J. A., & Murphy, N. A. (2019). A meta-analysis of the relationship between emotion recognition ability and intelligence. Cognition and Emotion, 1-23.

Hall, J. A., Schlegel, K., Castro, V. L., & Back, M. D. (2019). What laypeople think the Big Five trait labels mean. Journal of Research in Personality, 78, 268-285.

Wang, Y., Hawk, S. T., Tang, Y., Schlegel, K., & Zou, H. (2019). Characteristics of emotion recognition ability among primary school children: Relationships with peer status and friendship quality. Child Indicators Research, 12, 1369-1388.

Schlegel, K., & Mortillaro, M. (2018). Measuring emotional intelligence in the workplace: Development of a new battery of ability-based tests. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104, 559-580.

Schlegel, K., Mehu, M., van Peer, J. M., & Scherer, K. R. (2018). Sense and sensibility: The role of cognitive and emotional intelligence in negotiation. Journal of Research in Personality, 74, 6-15.

Schlegel, K., & Scherer, K. R. (2018). The nomological network of emotion knowledge and emotion understanding in adults: evidence from two new performance-based tests. Cognition and Emotion, 32, 1514-1530.

Schlegel, K., Witmer, J. S., & Rammsayer, T. H. (2017). Intelligence and sensory sensitivity as predictors of emotion recognition ability. Journal of Intelligence, 5, 1-13.

Schlegel, K., Vicaria, I. M., Isaacowitz, D. M., & Hall, J. A. (2017). Effectiveness of a short audiovisual emotion recognition training program in adults. Motivation and Emotion, 41, 646–660.

Frühholz, S., Schlegel, K.*, & Grandjean, D. (2017). Amygdala structure and core dimensions of the affective personality. Brain Structure and Function, 1-11 (online first publication).                                                                            *shared first authorship

Schlegel, K., Fontaine, J. R. J., & Scherer, K. R. (2017). The nomological network of emotion recognition ability: Evidence from the Geneva Emotion Recognition Test. European Journal of Psychological Assessment.

Schlegel, K., Boone, R. T., & Hall, J. A. (2017). Individual differences in interpersonal accuracy: Using meta-analysis to assess whether judging other people is one skill or many. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.

Schlegel, K. & Scherer, K. R. (2017). Interpersonale Kommunikation. In D. Frey & H.-W. Bierhoff (Eds.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie, Band Sozialpsychologie.

Schlegel, K. (2016). Commentary: Looking beyond the ability EI model facilitates the development of new performance-based tests. Emotion Review, 8(4), 1-2.

Goh, J. X., Schlegel, K., Tignor, S. M., & Hall, J. A. (2016). Who is interested in personality? The Interest in Personality Scale and its correlates. Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 185–191.

Boone, R. T. & Schlegel, K. (2016). Is there a general skill in perceiving others accurately? In J. A. Hall, M. Schmid Mast, & T. V. West (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Perceiving Others Accurately (pp. 379-403). Cambridge University Press.

Schlegel, K. & Scherer, K. R. (2015). Introducing a short version of the Geneva Emotion Recognition Test (GERT-S): Psychometric properties and construct validation. Behavior Research Methods. Online first publication.

Schlegel, K., Grandjean, D., & Scherer, K. R. (2014). Introducing the Geneva Emotion Recognition Test: An example of Rasch-based test development. Psychological Assessment, 26 (2), 666–672.

Schlegel, K., Grandjean, D., & Scherer K. R. (2013). Constructs of social and emotional effectiveness: Different labels, same content? Journal of Research in Personality, 47(4), 249-253.

Schlegel, K. & Wallbott, H. G. (2013). Ausdruck und Eindruck. In W. Sarges (Ed.), Management-Diagnostik (pp. 355-362). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Schlegel, K., Grandjean, D., & Scherer, K. R. (2012). Emotion recognition: Unidimensional ability or a set of modality-and emotion-specific skills? Personality and Individual Differences, 53 (1), 16-21.