Professors and short description of research areas
- Prof. Dr. Matthias Berking (Psychotherapy Research)
- Prof. Dr. Mario Gollwitzer (Psychological Methods)
- Prof. Dr. Harald Lachnit (Biological Psychology, Perception and Learning)
- Prof. Dr. Urs Nater (Clinical Biopsychology)
- Prof. Dr. Dr. Martin Peper (Experimental and Clinical Neuropsychology)
- Prof. Dr. Martin Pinquart (Developmental Psychology)
- Prof. Dr. Renate Rau (Work and Organizational Psychology)
- Prof. Dr. Winfried Rief (Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy)
- Prof. Dr. Detlef H. Rost (Educational and Developmental Psychology)
- Prof. Dr. Lothar Schmidt-Atzert (Psychological Assessment)
- Prof. Dr. Anna Schubö (Experimental Psychology)
- Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarting (Experimental and Physiological Psychology)
- Prof. Dr. Gerhard Stemmler (Personality)
- Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wagner (Social Psychology)
Research has shown that mental disorders can effectively be treated with psychosocial interventions. However, up to 50% of those patients participating in state-of-the-art interventions fail to demonstrate clinically significant change. Moreover, many of the patients who initially benefit from these interventions relapse after discontinuing treatment. Thus, more needs to be done to make psychotherapeutic methods more effective and robust over time. In order to do so, our workgroup works to identify maintaining factors of mental disorders with a particular focus on deficits in emotion regulation. Based in this research we develop and evaluate innovative Interventions (e.g. the Affect Regulation Training, ART) that will help to elevate the suffering caused by mental health problems. Within this area we currently investigate how modern forms of communication technology (such as the iphone) can be used to enhance the effects of psychotherapeutic treatments.
- Berking, M. (2010). Training emotionaler Kompetenzen (2. Aufl). Heidelberg: Springer.
- Berking, M., Margraf, M., Ebert, D., Wuppermann, P., Hofmann, S., & Junghanns, K. (in press). Emotion regulation skills as a predictor of relapse during and after treatment of alcohol dependence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
- Berking, M., Meier, C. & Wupperman, P. (2010). Enhancing emotion-regulation skills in police officers - Results of a controlled study. Behavior Therapy, 41, 329-339.
- Berking, M., Neacsiu, A., Comtois, K. A. & Linehan, M. M. (2009). The impact of experiential avoidance on the reduction of depression in treatment for borderline personality disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47, 663-670.
- Berking, M., Wupperman, P., Reichardt, A., Pejic, T., Dippel, A.
& Znoj, H. (2008). General emotion-regulation skills as a treatment
target in psychotherapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46,
Our research interests are twofold: First, we are working on methodological issues such as data acquisition, data analysis (e.g. meta-analysis, measurement of change), structural modelling, and evaluation methods. Second, we have a strong interest in social psychology, such as (a) individual and social functions of revenge and retribution, (b) individual differences in sensitivity to injustice, (c) the nature and improvement of intergroup relations, (d) intervention programs aiming at reducing intergroup conflicts and aggressive tendencies, (e) social aspects of punishment, and (f) science communication.
- Christ, O., Hewstone, M., Tausch, N., Wagner, U., Voci, A., Hughes, J., & Cairns, E. (2010). Direct contact as a moderator of extended contact effects: Cross-sectional and longitudinal impact on outgroup attitudes, behavioral intentions, and attitude certainty. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1662-1674.
- Gollwitzer, M. & Denzler, M. (2009). What makes revenge so sweet: Seeing the offender suffer or delivering a message? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(4), 840-844.
- Gollwitzer, M. & Keller, L. (2010). What you did only matters if you are one of us: Offenders' group membership moderates the effect of criminal history on punishment severity. Social Psychology, 41(1), 20-26.
- Gollwitzer, M., Meder, M. & Schmitt, M. (in press). What gives victims satisfaction when they seek revenge? European Journal of Social Psychology.
- Gollwitzer, M., Rothmund, T., Pfeiffer, A. & Ensenbach, C. (2009). Why and when Justice Sensitivity leads to pro- and antisocial behavior. Journal of Research in Personality, 43(6), 999-1005.
- Keller, L., Oswald, M., Stucki, I. & Gollwitzer, M. (2010). A closer look at an eye for an eye: Laypersons’ punishment decisions are primarily driven by retributive motives. Social Justice Research, 23, 99-116.
- Tausch, N., Becker, J., Spears, R., Christ, O., Saab, R., Singh, P., & Siddiqui, R.N. (in press). Explaining Radical Group Behaviour: Developing Emotion and Efficacy Routes to Normative and Non-normative Collective Action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Biological Psychology, Perception and Learning
The Associative Learning Group studies behavior and accompanying peripheral physiological activity while people are engaged in certain learning tasks. Our work may best be located in the area of behavioral cognitive neuroscience. Perhaps the three most important guiding principles of our work are
- cognition is a function of the brain,
- complex cognitive processes can be based upon more “primitive” (e.g. associative) mechanisms, and
- humans are animals, too.
For further information, see http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb04/team-lachnit/mitarbeiter/lachnit .
- Deisig, M., Giurfa, M., Lachnit, H. & Sandoz, J.-C. (2006). Neural representation of olfactory mixtures in the honeybee antennal lobe. European Journal of Neuroscience, 24, 1161-1174.
- Lachnit, H., Giurfa, M. & Menzel, R. (2004). Odor processing in honeybees: Is the whole equal to, more than, or different from the sum of its parts? Advances in the Study of Behavior, 34, 241-264.
- Lachnit, H., Schultheis, H., König, S., Üngör, M. & Melchers, K.G. (2008). Comparing elemental and configural associative theories in human causal learning: A case for attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 34, 303-313.
- Melchers, K.G., Shanks, D.R. & Lachnit, H. (2008). Stimulus coding in human associative learning: Flexible representations of parts and wholes. Behavioural Processes, 77, 413-427.
- Thorwart, S. & Lachnit, H. (2009). Symmetrical generalization decrements: configural stimulus processing in human contingency learning. Learning & Behavior, 37, 95-106.
The main objective of the Lichtenberg professorship of Clinical Biopsychology (funded by Volkswagen Foundation) is the elucidation of the pathophysiology of stress-related bodily symptoms, in particular severe chronic fatigue, using methods and paradigms from various disciplines, such as psychology, medicine, and biology.
Research Topics: Experimental stress research; Mechanisms of stress-related morbidity; Development of methods in stress measurement; Biomarkers of stress-related medically unexplained symptoms; Relation between gene expression profiles and stress-relevant physiological systems (e.g. hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, autonomic nervous system, immune system); Interventions in stress-related disorders (e.g. stress management training, music interventions).
- Nater, U. M., Jones, J. F., Lin, J.-M., Maloney, E. M., Reeves, W. C. & Heim, C. (2010). Personality features and personality disorders in chronic fatigue syndrome – findings from a population-based study. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 79 (5), 312-318.
- Nater, U. M., Whistler, T., Lonergan, W., Vernon, S. D. & Heim, C. (2009). Impact of acute psychosocial stress on peripheral blood gene expression pathways in healthy men. Biological Psychology, 82 (2), 125-132.
- Nater, U. M. & Rohleder, N. (2009). Salivary alpha-amylase as a non-invasive biomarker for the sympathetic nervous system: Current state of research. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34 (4), 486-496.
- Nater, U. M., Lin, J.-M., Maloney, E., Jones, J. F., Tian, H., Raison, C. L., Reeves, W. C. & Heim, C. (2009). Psychiatric comorbidity in persons with chronic fatigue syndrome in the general population of Georgia. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71 (5), 557-565.
- Nater, U. M., Maloney, E., Boneva, R. S., Gurbaxani, B. M., Lin, J.-M., Jones, J. F., Reeves, W. C. & Heim, C. (2008). Attenuated morning salivary cortisol concentrations in a population-based study of persons with chronic fatigue syndrome and well controls. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 93 (3), 703-709.
Emotional processes play a central role in the adaptive modulation of perceptual encoding, learning and memory, decision-making, and the control of action. We investigate the cerebral correlates of emotion perception, aversive learning and autonomic responding. The dynamic interactions of prefrontal and mesiotemporal structures during emotional learning and emotional regulation are explored in the context of psychophysiological and neuroimaging research approaches to establish a neuro-cognitive model of “hot” executive functioning. In the clinical fields of application, we are interested in socio-emotional processing competences and changes of working memory and executive control in patients with brain lesions and psychiatric disorders (see our project pages for an overview of further clinical activities). Moreover, the dopaminergic basis of personality traits from the extraversion spectrum is investigated. D1/D2- and selective D2-agents are used to probe frontal vs. striatal DA-receptor stimulation.
For further information, see http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~peper/fb04/ag-neurops/team-peper/index.html
- Klein, Ch., Wendling, K., Hüttner, P., Ruder, H. & Peper, M. (2006). Intra-subject variability in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Biological Psychiatry, 60, 1088-1097
- Peper, M., Herpers, M., Spreer, J., Hennig, J. & Zentner, J. (2006). Functional neuroimaging studies of emotional learning and autonomic reactions. Journal of Physiology Paris, 99, 342-354
- Peper, M., Klett, M. & Morgenstern, M. (2005). Neuropsychological effects of chronic low-dose exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): a cross-sectional study. Environmental Health, 4(22), 1-12
- Peper, M., & Vauth, R. (2008). Socio-emotional processing competences: assessment and clinical application. In Vandekerckhove, M. et al. (eds.), Regulating emotions: culture, social necessity, and biological inheritance (p. 210-239) Malden, MA: Blackwell
- Robinson, S., Moser, E. & Peper, M. (2008). Functional
magnetic resonance imaging of emotion. In Filippi, M. (ed.),
Functional MRI techniques. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press
Research Topics: Adolescent development (problem behavior in adolescence, developmental contexts, development of intimate relationship in adolescence, chronically illness and developmental regulation in adolescence), adult development (decisions about parenthood, building intimate relationships and marriage; effects of life events and chronic stressors on developmetal regulation), psychological and social resources in coping with social change.
- Pinquart, M. (2009). Moderating effects of dispositional resilience on associations between daily hassles and psychological distress. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 53-60.
- Pinquart, M., Fröhlich, C. & Silbereisen, R.K. (2008). Testing models of change in life goals after cancer diagnosis. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 13, 330-351.
- Pinquart, M. & Schindler, I. (2007). Changes of life satisfaction in the transition to retirement: A latent-class approach. Psychology and Aging, 22, 442-455.
- Pinquart, M. & Silbereisen, R.K. (2008). Coping with increased uncertainty in the field of work and family life. International Journal of Stress Management, 15, 209-221.
- Pinquart, M., Stotzka, C. & Silbereisen, R.K. (2008). Personality and ambivalence in decisions about becoming parents. Social Behaviour and Personality, 36, 87-95.
Work and Organizational Psychology
Activities of the work and organizational psychology group center on research on efficient and productive human work, while simultaneously considering human oriented criteria of work. In close relationship to work efficiency we study and apply work design, which is conducive to individual growth and health (Occupational Health Psychology). A second area of special interest is about conditions of successful entrepreneurship and the development of self-employment both within one country and across countries. Further, we investigate intercultural problems of successful expatriate adaptation and intercultural training.
Further information available later in 2005.
- Rau, R. (2004). Job Strain or Healthy Work - A question of task design. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 9, 322-338.
- Rau, R. & Triemer, A. (2004). Overtime in relation to blood pressure and mood during work, leisure, and night time. Social Indicators Research, 67, 51-73.
- Stephan,U., Lukes, M. & Richter, P.G. (2003). A culture of entrepreneurial autonomy and successful entrepreneurs on the eve of EU enlargement: a research proposal for cross-national entrepreneurship research beyond Hofstede's dimensions. In: Fink, G., Reichel, W. & Neyer, A. (Eds.), Theory and methods in the study of intercultural knowledge and interaction (pp. 101-117).Vienna: Studies of Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (4).
Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
The clinical psychology and psychotherapy unit is characterized by its research profile, by an additional outpatient clinic, and by a postgraduate training programme in cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. The research focus of the unit is on psychosomatic disorders and psychological interventions in medical conditions (e.g., chronic pain, somatoform disorders, tinnitus). Psychophysiological and psychobiological features of these disorders, information processing, and interventions are evaluated. Further projects are on molecular findings and their psychosocial implications in obesity. Moreover, a psychophysiology lab allows to do stress research and biofeedback interventions in humans.
For further information, see http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~riefw/index.html and http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~riefw/Ebene2/Mitarbeiter/Rief/rief.html .
- Lincoln, T.M., Arens, E., Berger, C. & Rief, W. (2008). Can anti-stigma campaigns be improved? A test of the impact of biogenetic versus psycho-social causal explanations on implicit and explicit attitudes to schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 34, 984-994.
- Mewes, R., Rief, W., Martin, A., Glaesmer, H. & Braehler, E. (2009). What is normal disability? - An investiagtion of disability in the general population. Pain, 142, 36-41.
- Rief, W. & Broadbent, E. (2007). Explaining medically unexplained symptoms - Models and mechanisms. Clinical Psychology Review, 27, 821-841.
- Rief, W., v. Lilienfeld-Toal, A., Nestoriuc, Y., Hoffmann, S., Barsky, A. & Avorn, J. (2009). Do Placebos in tricyclic antidepressant trials induce more side effects than placebos in SSRI trials? Drug Safety.
- Weise, C., Heinecke, K. & Rief, W. (2008). Biofeedback-based behavioural treatment for chronic tinnitus - results of a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 1046-1057.
Prof. Dr. Detlef H. Rost
Educational and Developmental Psychology
Research topics: Longitudinal study of gifted children and youth; test anxiety and its differential assessment; self-concept, academic abilities, and scholastic achievement; reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and (verbal) intelligence; cheating .
For further information, see http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~rost .
- Rost, D.H. (1997). Differentielles Leistungsangst Inventar DAI [Differential test anxiety inventory DAI]. Frankfurt: Swets Test Services.
- Rost, D. H., Sparfeldt, J., Dickhaeuser, O. & Schilling, S. R. (2005). Subject-specific academic self-concepts and achievements: The question of dimensional comparisons. Learning and Instruction, 15, 557-570.
- Rost, D.H. (1993). Assessing different components of reading comprehension: Fact or fiction? Language Testing, 10 , 19-92.
- Schilling, S.R., Sparfeldt, J. R. & Rost, D.H. (2006). Families with gifted children. Educational Psychology, 26, 19-32.
The Psychological Assessment Unit is concerned with three main topics:
- Construction, evaluation and improvement of diagnostic tools for the assessment of intelligence, emotional intelligence, sustained attention and achievement motivation
- Proficiency assessment: Prediction of training, job and study success based on achievement tests and objective personality tests
- Exploring the structure of cognitive abilities in the domains of
attention and concentration based on approved statistical methods like
factor analysis as well as on the simulation of realistic tasks in
order to validate psychometric tests.
- Krumm S. & Schmidt-Atzert, L. (2009). Leistungstests im Personalmanagement (Reihe Praxis der Personalpsychologie - Band 19). Göttingen: Hogrefe.
- Krumm S., Schmidt-Atzert, L., Buehner, M., Ziegler, M., Michalczyk, K. & Arrow, K. (2009). Storage and non-storage components of working memory predicting reasoning: A simultaneous examination of a wide range of ability factors. Intelligence, 37 (4), 347-364.
- Krumm, S., Schmidt-Atzert, L. & Eschert, S. (2008). Investigating the structure of attention: How do test characteristics of paper-pencil sustained attention tests influence their relationship with other attention tests? European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 24(2), 108-116.
- Krumm, S., Schmidt-Atzert, L., Michalczyk, K. & Danthiir, V. (2008). Speeded paper-pencil sustained attention and mental speed tests: Can performance be discriminated? Journal of Individual Differences, 29(4), 205-216.
- Schmidt-Atzert, L., Krumm, S. & Bühner, M. (2008). Aufmerksamkeitsdiagnostik: Ableitung eines Strukturmodells und systematische Einordnung von Tests. Zeitschrift für Neuropsychologie, 19(2), 59-82.
Our research focuses on cognitive processes such as visual attention, working memory and action control and the underlying neural structures. We are particularly interested in processes related to visual attention such as top-down and bottom-up control in visual selection, pre-attentive and attentive vision, temporal constraints in visual selection and effects of visual context. Additionally, we investigate action planning and its impact on perceptual processes, and action-related processes such as motor preparation and coordination in single and joint action tasks.
- Wykowska, A., & Schubö, A. (2011). Irrelevant singletons in visual search do not capture attention but can produce non-spatial filtering costs. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 645-660.
- Akyürek, E. G., Vallines, I., Lin, E.-J., & Schubö, A. (2010). Distraction and target selection in the brain: an fMRI study. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3335-3342.
- Schankin, A., & Schubö, A. (2010). Contextual cueing effects despite of spatially cued target locations. Psychophysiology, 47, 717-727.
- Schubö, A., & Müller, H. J. (2009). Selecting and ignoring salient objects in visual search. Brain Research, 1283, 84-101.
- Wykowska, A., Schubö, A., & Hommel, B. (2009). How you move is what you see: action planning biases selection in visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35, 1755-1769.
Experimental and Physiological Psychology
In the laboratory, we use an array of behavioural, pharmacological, anatomical, and neurochemical techniques to analyse brain/behavior relationships in animal models (rat). The focus is on mechanisms of motivation, emotion, learning/memory, emphasizing the role of certain neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin), neuro-immune relationships, and the basal ganglia. Although basic in nature, this research can have clinical implications for areas like Parkinson's disease, addiction, anxiety, and sickness behavior.
For further information, see http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~semihirn/basal/.
- Karrenbauer BD, Ho Y-J, Ludwig V, Löhn J, Spanagel R, Schwarting RKW & Pawlak CR. (2009) Time-dependent effects of striatal interleukin-2 on open field behaviour in rats. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 208: 10-18.
- Ludwig V, Mohov Y & Schwarting RKW. (2008). Behavioral and neurochemical consequences of multiple MDMA administrations in the rat: role of individual differences in anxiety-related behavior. Behavioural Brain Research, 189: 52-64.
- Pawlak CR, Ho Y-J & Schwarting RKW. (2008) Animal models of human psychopathology based on individual differences in novelty-seeking and anxiety. Neuroscience Reviews, 32: 1544-1568.
- Schwarting RKW. (2009) Rodent models of serial reaction time tasks and their implementation in neurobiological research. Behavioural Brain Research, 199: 76-88.
- Wöhr M & Schwarting RKW (2007) Ultrasonic communication in rats: Can playback of 50-kHz calls induce approach behavior? PLoS One, 2: 1-12.
Research in the biology of personality includes the study of emotional and motivational processes and of distinct cognitive functional systems with regard to their central and peripheral physiological effects. Emphasis in this research is laid on individual differences in these effects, their molecular-genetic underpinnings, their sensitivity to pharmacological challenges and their association with personality traits and performance measures. Research in the psychophysiology of emotion and motivation embarks from the position that emotions are functional for individual goal achievement. We study different aspects of a biobehavioral emotion model: Differentiation of basic emotion systems, relation of emotion and motivation, psychophysiological emotion specificity, anterior hemisphere lateralization, goal achievement processes in relation to behavioral options, and feelings in the course of emotion processes.
For further information, see www.pass-mr.de.
- Stemmler, G. (2009). Physiologische Emotionsspezifität. In V. Brandstätter & J.H. Otto (Hrsg.), Handbuch der Allgemeinen Psychologie: Motivation und Emotion (Band 9, S. 491-498). Göttingen: Hogrefe.
- Stemmler, G., Aue, T. & Wacker, J. (2007). Anger and fear: Separable effects of emotion and motivational direction on somatovisceral responses. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 66, 141-153.
- Stemmler, G. & Wacker, J. (in press). Personality, emotion, an dindividual differences in physiological responses. Biological Psychology.
- Wacker, J., Chavanon, M.L., Leue, A. & Stemmler, G. (2008). Is running away right? The behavioral activation - behavioral inhibition model of anterior asymmery. Emotion, 8, 232-249.
- Wacker, J., Chavanon, M.L. & Stemmler, G. (2006). Investigating the dopaminergic basis of extraversion in humans: A multilevel approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 171-187.
Scientific focus of the working unit Social Psychology is group identification. This includes the analysis of ethnic intergroup relations (e.g. ethnic prejudice, hate crime) and intergroup relations in organizations (organisational identification, mergers). Prof. Wagner, the head of the working unit, is also the director of the interdisciplinary Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and speaker of the PhD program Group Focused Enmity.
For further information, see http://www.sozialpsychologie-marburg.de.
- Becker, J. & Wagner, U. (in press). Doing gender differently - The interplay of gender identification and content of gender identity in predicting women's endorsement of sexist beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology.
- Schlueter, E. & Wagner, U. (2008). Regional differences matter. Examining the dual influence of the regional size of the immigrant population on derogation of immigrants in Europe. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 49, 153-173.
- Wagner, U., Christ, O. & Heitmeyer, W. (in press). Ethnocentrism and bias towards immigrants. In J.F. Dovidio, M. Hewstone, P. Glick & V.M. Esses (Hrsg.), Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.
- Wagner, U., Christ, O. & Pettigrew, T.F. (2008). Prejudice and group related behaviour in Germany. Journal of Social Issues, 64, 403-416.
Wagner, U., Tropp, L., Finchillescu, G. & Tredoux, C. (Eds.) (2008). Improving intergroup relations: Building on the legacy of Thomas F. Pettigrew. Oxford: Blackwell.