ID 2325: EmpkinS D03 – Contactless Measurement of Acute Stress from Macro Movements

Symbolic picture for the article. The link opens the image in a large view.
Examples of macro movement assessment during acute stress

Bachelor’s / Master’s Thesis / Research Internship / Project

The observation of body posture and movements is a promising extension to the established biopsychological markers for stress measurement, such as self-reports, saliva, or blood samples. Body posture and movements provide additional information about emotions. This is particularly important because the emotions of shame and pride are causally related to the cortisol stress response. Despite this link, the influence of acute psychosocial stress on body posture and movement and the use of body posture as a marker for stress measurement has remained largely unexplored. One possible reason for this lack of research is the difficulty in accurately measuring and quantifying body posture and movement.

In this project, we investigate how acute psychosocial stress influences macro movements and how these changes can be used to gain a better understanding of the human stress response.



We always have open topics for various types of theses in this project! If you are interested in working with us, please use the application form to apply for the topic. We will then get in contact with you and together, we can identify a suitable topic for you. You can have a look at our group page to get an overview of previous student topics in this area.


Examples of macro movement assessment during acute stress


  • You will work in an interdisciplinary team with psychologists and engineers
  • You have the opportunity to apply your data science knowledge to practical applications in stress research
  • Depending on the topic and scope of your project, you will:
    • Support in data collection
    • Implement different algorithms into an existing data analysis framework
    • Perform statistical and machine learning-based data analysis
    • Document your code in a clear and structured manner


Requirements (depending on the topic and type of project)

  • Interest in diving into the field of acute stress responses and psychology (especially biopsychology, psychophysiology, and psychoneuroendocrinology)
  • Knowledge in data processing, data analysis, and data visualization using Python (or willingness to learn such!)
  • Further skills:
    • Knowledge of machine and deep learning, (Bayesian) statistics, etc.
    • Web app development (JavaScript, node.js, React, etc.)
  • German skills for supporting in data collection


Robert Richer, M. Sc.

PhD Candidate & Group Head

Luca Abel, M. Sc.

Researcher & PhD Candidate

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Rohleder

Chair of Health Psychology

Please use the application form to apply for the topic. We will then get in contact with you.