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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - English

Research Domains

Because the Department is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, our research is primarily rooted in the natural sciences, using experimental and (in some areas) neurophysiological methods. There are strong interdisciplinary ties to the Departments of Medicine (particularly Psychiatry, Neurology, Psychosomatics), Computer Science, Mathematics, Geography, Linguistics, and Engineering. Research projects are embedded in local, national, and international cooperations.

The various research groups of the Department are currently organized according to the following research domains:
  • Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology
  • Clinical Psychology and Personality Psychology
  • Labor, Engineering, and Organizational Psychology

The research domain Cognitive and Neuropsychology is currently mainly investigated by the research groups Biological Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Personality Psychology, and the Junior Professorship for Cognitive Development. The focus is on assessing basic psychological structures and processes. Research topics include motor preparation, language processing and reading, executive functions, knowledge acquisition and application, cognitive plasticity, emotions, mental chronometry of sensorimotor tasks, dual task processing and higher visual processing such as face recognition as well as the implicit assessment of knowledge and personality characteristics. At the core of the newly established Interdisciplinary Wolfgang Köhler Centre for the Study of Conflicts in Intelligent Systems“ of the Humboldt-University, there is a DFG-funded research group with several projects at the department about “Conflicts as Signals in Cognitive Processes”. Research within this domain is served by several labs for behavioral assessment, recordings of psychophysiological signals (EEG and event-related potentials, eye movements, pupillary activity, and peripheral physiological signals), and for transcranial magnetic stimulation, In the framework of external cooperations also functional magnetic resonance imaging is employed and patient studies are conducted.

The research domain Clinical and Personality Psychology includes the research groups Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy and Somatic Psychology, Personality Psychology, and Personality Development. Studies focus on normal personality differences and their development, and on abnormal psychological and neurophysiological processes (assessed in close collaboration with Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology; see above). In addition, we conduct studies to evaluate the effectiveness of psychotherapy and improve its quality. There are close cooperations with the Department of Medicine at Humboldt-University (Charité) and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

The research domain Work, Engineering, and Organizational Psychology consists of the research groups with the same names. Research concentrates on the interactions between persons, technical systems, and organizations. Our goal is to analyze, create, and evaluate work and learning processes in the context of the individual and the organization. The theoretical foundation of this enterprise is offered by cognitive and social psychological theories. Our methodology is based on both experimental and field assessments. Behavioral indices (in particular, achievement) are the key dependent variables of this research, in part supplemented by subjective appraisals (e.g., acceptance, well-being). Research is partly conducted in close collaborations with commercial enterprises. Our applied research is strongly supported by the artop institute.