Psychology II - Research

Our research can be located in the fields of social psychology, media psychology and legal psychology. We mainly focus on information processing and factors influencing it. On the one hand, we examine biases in information processing (e.g., hindsight bias, in-group bias, confirmation bias) in various applied fields (e.g., media representations of controversial topics as well as events, such as catastrophes, terror attacks and inter-group conflicts; legal decision making). On the other hand, we investigate social influence in different contexts, such as advice taking (and seeking) as well as the suggestion of (false) memories (and its reversibility).


Research Projects

  • (Aileen Oeberst, Jort de Vreeze, Marie-Christin Krebs)

    A research group, funded by the Leibniz Association, investigates biases in collaborative information processing (e.g., online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia, Conservapedia, etc.) and focuses on three aspects that are expected to exert an influence: (1) norms of the online encyclopedia, (2) audience tuning, and (3) self-selection of users to online-environments.

    Link zur Projekthomepage:

  • (Aileen Oeberst, Marcel Meuer – verlinkt:

    This project is a cooperation with Prof. Dr. Steffen Nestler (University of Münster), that is funded by the German Research Foundation (OE 604/3-1, NE 1485/8-1) and follows up on an earlier project (OE 604/1-1, NE 1485/5-1) and examines hindsight bias in Wikipedia. Specifically, we test several explanations for the finding that only Wikipedia articles about disasters (but not articles about elections, official decisions, personal decisions, scientific discoveries, sports events) contained a hindsight bias. Moreover, we investigate the underlying mechanisms of the reception effects – the finding that biased articles increase hindsight bias in readers of those articles.

  • (Aileen Oeberst, Ingke Goeckenjan – verlinkt:

    We investigate several biases in information processing (hindsight bias, confirmation bias) in the context of legal decision making (e.g., criminal law, patent law) with professional decision makers or experts (e.g., judges, patent law attorneys).

  • (Aileen Oeberst, Merle Wachendörfer)

    Much research has shown that people can be led to form memories about entire events that never happened. Our focus lies on the reversibility of such false memories as well as potential indicators that might help their detection.

  • (Fabian Ache, Mandy Hütter – verlinkt:

    A variety of research investigates how individuals utilize information about other individuals’ judgments and decisions (i.e., advice) to adapt their own judgments and decisions. Next to increasing accuracy by exploiting the wisdom of crowds, advice taking also yields interpersonal benefits, such as shared responsibility and increased likelihood of future cooperation. This project investigates a necessary precursor to advice taking that has been largely neglected by existing research, namely how individuals seek advice. We developed a sampling paradigm of advice taking that allows individuals to seek any number of advisory estimates before revising their judgment or decision. This expanded paradigm allows to investigate advice taking in a more ecologically valid setting, yields new insights for developing a comprehensive theory of advice taking, and sheds new light on current evaluations of the adaptivity of individuals’ utilization of advice.

  • (Aileen Oeberst, Lena-Mareike Rode)

    How do (negative) media reports about a criminal case affect verdicts? Many studies have investigated this question. We are currently conducting a meta-analysis in order to provide a quantitative summary of previous research.

Tobias Burkhard | 12.08.2021