Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Arvid Kappas

Prof. Dr. Arvid Kappas


Arvid Kappas is professor of Psychology and Dean at Jacobs University. Since over 30 years he has studied human emotions. After his studies with Klaus Scherer at the University of Giessen where his Diploma Thesis focused on the expression of emotions and attitudes in the voice, he went to Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Social Psychology in 1989. His research with John Lanzetta and Bob Kleck at Dartmouth focused on emotion regulation and the cohesion of facial muscle activity, autonomic activation, and subjective experience. Some of this early research focused on the Facial Feedback Hypothesis.

After his PhD Arvid moved to Geneva Switzerland where he worked on several projects on emotions and started teaching at the University of Fribourg. From 1992 to 2001 he was at Laval University, Quebec City, Canada, first as assistant professor and then associate professor on the biological bases of human and animal behavior. From 2001 to 2003 he was senior lecturer at the University of Hull, UK, and from 2003 up to now he is professor at Jacobs University.

Since about over 20 years Arvid uses the term X lab to refer to the cornerstones that guide his research Emotion, Cognition, and Social Context – the acronym ECS in English or ECCS in French can be pronounced “X” and thus the label was born. In recent years his research has focused to a large degree on what is presently referred to as Affective Computing – making machines emotion savvy – the motivation behind this is to learn more about humans by having to be specific when building artificial systems, such as robots, or virtual characters.

Arvid is a member of many scientific societies, a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and he has been an associate Editor for the journals Emotion and Biological Psychology. From 2013-2018 he was the president of the International Society for Research on Emotion.


You will find Arvid’s contact information here.