Dr. Corwin's Research Statement

My research hinges on my love to teach actor training and how psychological measures can help quantify the impact these skills have in students. My research concentration evolved while exploring the innovative field of somatic psychology after earning my MFA in actor training. My acting and clinical psychology focus revolves around how internal and external behavior impact personal development.  With that in mind, discovering ways to assess and investigate how actor training impacts individuals is the root of my research.


 In December of 2014, I published my dissertation entitled “The relationship of emotional intelligence and Sanford Meisner actor training” with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The research questions I asked were 1) Does Meisner actor training impact emotional intelligence (EI)? and 2) Does gender impact EI scores on those participating in Meisner actor training?  This was a quantitative study, ANCOVA that is using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) before and after actor training.  Participants were recruited into three groups: Meisner, Non-Meisner, and Acting Interest No Actor Training.    Covariates include age, income level, sexual orientation, duration of romantic relationships, experience with therapy, and other arts training.  My research supports that the skills taught in actor training are the same skills necessary for high EI, though the study results do not show any significant relationship between EI and any type of actor training.



Currently, I am the PI of a national study at Northern Illinois University, University of Coastal Carolina, and University of Southern California called "Performing arts training relationship with emotional intelligence, stress management, and psychological wellness: A national study."  This research is a longitudinal study based on my dissertation examining how performing arts impacts EI, psychological wellness, and stress management. The two instruments measuring at 5 intervals are the TEIQue 2.0 and The Skills for Career And Life Effectiveness Assessment. Four groups in training (enrolled in higher education) are Actors, Design Technical, Theatre Studies, and physical or dance students.  The research questions are 1) Does any performing arts training have an impact on EI, 2) Does any group have more impact on scores of EI, stress management, or psychological wellness over time, 3) Does any group have higher scores in any area of EI, stress management, or psychological wellness at any interval or over time?  Covariates include age, sexual orientation, self-identified psychological diagnosis, and education.  The data analysis is in process.


Another study currently underway is “Empathy, community engagement, and performing art expressions: A mixed methods study.” The purpose of the research study is to explore whether or how community engagement impacts empathy, a component of emotional intelligence (EI).  Up to 16 MFA in Theatre candidates are interviewing community members and producing a non-verbal and verbal expression as a result of that interview.  The instruments used is a Compassion Scale through a T test to determine if empathy has been impacted as well as an interview to explore themes that may emerge.  Data analysis expected to be complete in 2019.