This page sketches the common framework of our research. For the specific research interest of our team members, please visit their individual homepages.
We study the intra- and interpersonal processes of human judgment and decision making (broadly defined). A particular focus of our work is on cognitive process models, that is, understanding how decision makers arrive at the choices they make and which factors – in terms of the social/environmental context, differences between individuals, and their interplay – determine or influence choice behavior and its underlying processes. To this end, we mostly use behavioral/experimental methods and computational modeling. In the latter area, we especially focus on providing formal measurement models of cognitive processes and aiding comparisons between competing models. In terms of content, our areas of interest include probabilistic inferences, risky choice, judgments of truth, and strategic interaction in social dilemma situations.
Third-party funded projects
In the project “The character of social cooperation: Explaining the link of personality to strategic and economic decision making”, funded by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation (Juniorprofessorenprogramm), we investigate the mechanisms linking individual differences (especially in term of the HEXACO model of personality) to social dilemma decision making. In particular, we seek to dissect the contributions of fear and temptation as processes (or cognitive states) in accounting for the links between personality and cooperation. In terms of methodology, the project combines traditional approaches from personality research with various experimental paradigms from behavioral economics and techniques known form research in (social) cognition.
The project “Truth will out:
Honesty-Humility, socially desirable responding, and dishonest behavior”,
funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), deals with fundamental paradoxes
in the measurement of personality traits such as Honesty and the question
whether such individual differences can be conclusively validated through
behavioral and experimental approaches. Specifically, we investigate whether
and how individuals differ in dishonest behavior – based on paradigms emerging
at the intersection of behavioral economics and social psychology – and trace
the nature of the interplay between personality and situational variables. The
latter are selected to aid behaviorally informed design of institutions, thus
linking the project to the fields of economics and political science.
This work is part of a joint project with Ingo Zettler (University of Tübingen).