Affect Analysis Group

"I would tell anyone considering this research to keep an open-mind and attempt to find the implications related to everyday life and outside of your normal psychology classes. Pursuing directed research is incredibly beneficial because it allows you to focus on specific interests you maintain as well as discover unexpected empirical avenues."


Supervising Faculty: Jeffrey Cohn, PhD


Contact: Megan Ritter, 412-624-7676,


Area of Research:  Clinical Psychology/Emotion/Non-verbal behavior/Depression


Description of Research: The Affect Analysis Group investigates nonverbal communication of emotion, pain, and depression, risk factors for psychopathology, and advanced quantitative methods to measure behavior.  The research is inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional and includes collaborations with the Departments of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, the Department of Psychology at University of Miami, and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.


Duties of Students: Students learn and use state-of-the-art tools to monitor and track facial, gestural, and vocal expression of emotion and intention.  They assist with data collection, literature review, data management, digital video processing, and data analysis. The student will report their learning experience in a 5–7 page paper in APA format.



  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100- Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0038 Research Methods Lab

Additional Requirements: A GPA > 3.0 in psychology and completion of departmental requirements for directed research. Because of the extensive training provided, a two semester commitment is required. 

Individuals who would like to join the lab must be able and willing to come into the lab in person while the University’s posture supports this ability. Additionally students are expected to follow all mitigation plans currently in place in the lab.


Terms offered: fall, spring and summer


Number of Students: 2-4


Additional Information: Learn more about Dr. Cohn's Research Lab and Dr. Cohn