An iMotions Customer Success Story – University of Massachusetts Boston

Pushed the boundaries of conventional psychology research and increased the likelihood of receiving funding

Steven Vannoy, PhD

Associate Professor of Counseling and School Psychology


  • Allowed more advanced research questions and study design
  • Pushed the boundaries of what has been done in psychology research
  • Enabled more student engagement
  • Increased likelihood of getting funding
  • Reduced training times for operators and researchers


Dr. Vannoy’s research focuses on training and dissemination of evidence based and alternative psychotherapies, integrated mental health care in medical settings and suicide prevention. His current focus lies on suicide prevention, where he tries to discover ways to identify people with acute risk of making an attempt as well as to understand the acute suicidal state of mind.

Before using iMotions, Dr. Vannoy used only traditional methods for his research and focused on cognitive associations. Since eye tracking and/or the integration of further signals like facial expressions or galvanic skin response require great programming skills and enormous amounts of time, he did not even consider it as it went beyond the scope of his resources. Only the prospect of obtaining easily collected and synchronized data inspired his ideas and let him expand his research field and expertise.


The combination of Dr. Vannoy’s knowledge, the advanced technologies and the insights that iMotions delivers, offer a higher likelihood of receiving a greater amount of funding for ambitious research projects. The unlimited versatility of iMotions allows Dr. Vannoy to implement ideas that he has not even fully shaped yet. “My knowledge and experience in the field plus the right resources create opportunities that I hadn’t conceived before. iMotions has a lot of impact on my research and helped me in good ways. They ensure quality data which I can easily access with the push of a single button. The software enabled me to do research projects that I would not have done otherwise. I was really interested in some far-reaching ideas but I don’t know if I really could have done it,” says Steven Vannoy, Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In addition, Dr. Vannoy has seen increased student engagement due to the more interesting projects, as well as the ease of use of the iMotions solution. The learning curve of an easy-to-use solution allows students and researchers to run even their own studies in no time.


Dr. Vannoy evaluated several different software platforms, but only iMotions offered a complete solution that could easily integrate and synchronize various sensors. The decision was easy, and he chose the iMotions solution. With iMotions, Dr. Vannoy now uses an advanced multiple-sensor setup and integrates eye tracking, facial expression analysis and GSR effortlessly. He can plug and play different sensors as he deems relevant for any specific research query he wants to investigate. The sensor setup allows him to collect biometric data in an unobtrusive way and supports the traditional methods used in psychology research.


“My knowledge and experience in the field, combined with the resources at iMotions, is creating opportunities that I had never conceived of before. The iMotions software has enabled me to do research projects that I would not have done otherwise. I was really interested in the idea but I don’t know if I really could have done it on my timeline without the iMotions software.”