Ruprecht-Karls-Universit�t Heidelberg
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Research Projects

Main Research Topics

  • Stochastic Diffusion Models
  • Mathematical Psychology
  • Self-Regulatory Functions of Attentional Processes
  • Bayesian Statistics

Current Research Projects

You can find more informations about current research projects here:

Self-regulation after frustration of the achievement motive

Duration: 2018 (supported by the "Field of Focus 4: Self-Regulation and Regulation" of the University of Heidelberg)

Motive Disposition Theory (see Brunstein, Schultheiss, & Grässman, 1998; Schüler, Sheldon, & Fröhlich, 2010) states, that individuals scoring high on a motive, react more extremely to satisfaction and dissatisfaction of this motive. Thus, individuals with a high achievement motive should react more positively to positive feedback and more negatively to negative feedback. Some correlative studies show evidence for this hypothesis. In two studies with experimental design and a big sample sizes (N=150 and N=148) our research department found an unexpected result: Not people scoring high, but people scoring low, on the achievement motive reacted more negatively. This could be shown with interindividual (study 1) and intraindividual (study 2) performance feedback.
In this FoF4-Project we aim to explain this unexpected result. We hypothesize that the cause lies in differences of self-regulation between individuals with low and high achievement motive. We assume that people with a high achievement motive react initially more negatively, but we expect them to have better and more effective strategies to cope with these reactions. A support for this regulation-hypotheses could be, that people with a high achievement motive are better in remembering performance relevant situations (e.g. Woike, McLeod, & Goggin, 2003). Thus, it is possible that individuals with a high achievement motive can recall events where they performed well and can thereby distract themselves from the negative feedback. So they can regulate the initial negative affect more quickly than people with a low achievement motive.

The topic of our project is to identify interindividual differences of (cognitive and emotional) self-regulation after negative performance feedback. In doing so we use different methodological approaches (Eyetracking, Mixed-Methods).

Diffusion model analyses for tasks with long latencies

Duration: 2015 - 2018 (supported by the DFG: VO1288/2-2)

Assessing stress in daily life: Ambulatory assessement of physiological indicators in an intensive longitudinal design

Duration: 2016 - 2017 (supported by the FRONTIER initiative of the University of Heidelberg)

Deficient self-regulation in ADHD: Using the diffusion model to measure impulsive decision making

Duration: 2014 - 2015 (supported by the "Field of Focus 4: Self-Regulation and Regulation" of the University of Heidelberg)

Regulation, Donation Behavior and Moral Perception: An Experimental Investigation

Duration: 2014 - 2015 (supported by the "Field of Focus 4: Self-Regulation and Regulation" of the University of Heidelberg)

Prerequisits for data analysis with stochastic diffusion models: Comparison of optimization criteria

Duration: 2012 - 2015 (supported by the DFG: VO1288/2-1)

Mit stochastischen Diffusionsmodellen (Ratcliff, 1978) können kognitive Prozesse erfasst werden, die bei schnellen binären Entscheidungen ablaufen. Dabei werden die Reaktionszeitverteilungen von korrekten Antworten und Fehlern berücksichtigt um Parameter zu schätzen, die spezifische kognitive Prozesse (z.B. Geschwindigkeit der Informationsaufnahme; Menge der für eine Entscheidung berücksichtigten Information) abbilden. Durch diese Form der Analyse ist es möglich, spezifische Hypothesen über kognitive Prozesse bei der Bearbeitung einfacher Entscheidungsaufgabe zu testen. Im aktuellen Projekt wird die Effizienz und Robustheit von Schätzverfahren, die auf unterschiedlichen Optimierungskriterien beruhen (Chi-Square, Maximum-Likelihood, Kolmogorov-Smirnov) bei kleinen, mittleren und großen Datensätzen systematisch verglichen. Insbesondere soll untersucht werden, unter welchen Bedingungen Diffusionsmodellanalysen auch bei kleinen Datensätzen zu reliablen Ergebnissen kommen. Es sollen konkrete Empfehlungen abgeleitet werden, welche Datensätze für Diffusionsmodellanalysen notwendig sind. Desweiteren wird untersucht, inwieweit mit Diffusionsmodellen längerdauernde Entscheidungsprozesse analysiert werden können. Die Ergebnisse sollen dabei helfen, das Anwendungsgebiet dieser Form der Datenauswertung von den typischen Reaktionszeitaufgaben der experimentellen Psychologie auf das Feld der Entscheidungsforschung zu erweitern.

Completed Research Projects

You can find more informations about completed research projects here:

Self-Regulatory Processes in Danger Perception and Risky Decision Making

Laufzeit: 2013-2014 (gefördert aus Mitteln der Exzellenzinitiative der DFG)

Neural circuitry of impulse control: An integrative approach towards the understanding of normal and disturbed impulse control in humans.
Project 1: Cognitive components of impulse control

Laufzeit: 2008-2010 (gefördert vom BMBF)

In diesem Projekt wurde die kognitive Struktur der Impulskontrolle analysiert. Insbesondere wurden verschiedene Komponenten der Impulskontrolle identifiziert und ihre Kovariationen analysiert.

Influence of goal and action contexts on processes of automatic attention allocation

Laufzeit: 2007-2011 (gefölrdert von der DFG: Ro1272/2-1,2-3)

PhD Projects

You can find more informations about our PhD projects here:

Current PhD Projects

Alica Bucher

Motivated perception - Discovering emotional and gender bias in mood judgements using eyetracking

Ulf Mertens

Machine Learning for Approximate Bayesian Computation

Mischa von Krause

Using the diffusion model to measure individual differences

Completed PhD Projects

  • Lerche, Veronika (2016). Parameter Estimation in Diffusion Modeling: Guidelines on Requisite Trial Numbers and Estimation Procedures
  • Neubauer, Andreas (2016). Inter-individual differences in within-person effects - Methodological considerations and an empirical example in the framework of Self-Determination Theory
  • Kollei, Tanja (2014). Goal-Directed Visual Search: The Role of Cognition, Motivation and Emotion
  • Braun, Simone (2010). Memory diagnostic in time series analysis.
  • Nuszbaum, Mandy (2010). Motivierte Wahrnehmung und Motiviertes Denken: Unterschiede in der Wahrnehmung und Beurteilung schematischer und fotografischer Emotionsgesichter. (Universität Freiburg)
  • Schmitz, Florian (2010). Kognitive Mechanismen im Implicit Association Test: Task Switching, Inhibition und Inertia. (Universität Freiburg)
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Responsible: Andreas Voss