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David Dignath

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Institut für Psychologie
Engelbergerstraße 41
D-79085 Freiburg
Abteilung: Allgemeine Psychologie
R 3014
E-Mail: David.Dignath@psychologie.uni-freiburg.de


Since 2015                   post-doc researcher, University Freiburg
                                          (Prof. Dr. Andrea Kiesel)
2014-2015                     post-doc researcher, University Würzburg
                                          (Prof. Dr. Fritz Strack)
2014                              PhD, „Conflict management“, University Würzburg
                                          Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Eder
2011                                Diploma in Psychology, University Würzburg

Research interests

We are constantly confronted with the challenge to adjust our behavior according to inner needs and outer constraints. It has been suggested that our cognitive system solves this problem with the help of dedicated control mechanisms that guide and supervise goal-directed actions. The goal of my research is understand the cognitive mechanisms underlying „action control“. More specifically, I investigate (i) how goals are translated into actions and (ii) how actions are adjusted to ensure successful goal-pursuit.  



*2020/ in press* 

Dignath, D., Kiesel, A., Frings, C., & Pastötter, B. (in press) Electrophysiological evidence for action-effect prediction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Dignath, D., Eder, A., Steinhauser, M., & Kiesel, A. (in press) Conflict monitoring and the affective signaling hypothesis -an integrative review. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

Dignath, D., Wirth, R., Kühnhausen, J., Gawrilow, C., Kunde, W., & Kiesel, A. (in press). Motivation drives conflict adaptation. Motivation Science. 

Dignath, D., Berger, A., Spruit, I., M., & van Steenbergen, H. (in press) Temporal dynamics of error-related corrugator supercilii and zygomaticus major activity: Evidence for implicit emotion regulation following errors. International Journal of Psychophysiology.

Berger, A.,Mitschke, V., Dignath, D., Eder, A., & van Steenbergen, H. (in press). The face of control: Corrugator supercilii tracks aversive conflict signals in the service of adaptive cognitive control. Psychophysiology.

Rieger, T., C., Mittelstädt, V., Dignath, D., & Kiesel, A. (in press). Investigating limits of task prioritization in dual-tasking: Evidence from the prioritized processing and the psychological refractory period paradigms. Psychological Research.

Frings, C., Koch, I., Rothermund, K., Dignath, D., Giesen, C., Hommel, B., Kiesel, A., Kunde, W., Mayr, S., Moeller, B., Möller, M., Pfister, R. & Philipp, A. (in press). Merkmalsintegration und Abruf als wichtige Prozesse der Handlungssteuerung – eine Paradigmen-übergreifende Perspektive. Psychologische Rundschau

Frings, C., Hommel, B., Koch, I., Rothermund, K., Dignath, D., Giesen, C., Kiesel, A., Kunde, W., Mayr, S., Moeller, B., Möller, M., Pfister, R. & Philipp, A. (in press). Binding and retrieval in action control (BRAC). Trends in Cognitive Science.

Straub, E., Kiesel, A., & Dignath, D. (in press). Cognitive control of emotional distraction - valence-specific or general? Cognition and Emotion.

Kunde, W., Foerster, A., Weigelt, M., & Dignath, D. (in press). On the ball: Short-term consequences of movement fakes. Acta Psychologica.


Dignath, D., Johannsen, L., Hommel, B., & Kiesel, A. (2019) Contextual control of conflict: Reconciling cognitive-control and episodic retrieval accounts of sequential conflict modulation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance,45(9), 1265-1270.

Dignath, D., Herbort, O., Pieczykolan, A., Huestegge, L., &  Kiesel, A. (2019). Flexible coupling of covert spatial attention and motor planning based on learned spatial contingencies. Psychological Research, 83(3), 476-484.

Schuch, S., Dignath, D., Steinhauser, M., & Janczyk, M. (2019). Monitoring and control in multitasking. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 26 (19), 222-240.

Schröder, P.A., Dignath, D., & Janczyk, M. (2019). Individual differences in uncertainty tolerance are not associated with cognitive control functions in the flanker task. Experimental Psychology. 65 (4), 245- 256.

Eder, A., & Dignath, D. (2019) Expected value of control and the motivational control of habitual actionFrontiers in Psychology, 10, Article 1812.

Zhang, J., Kiesel, A., & Dignath, D. (2019). Affective influence on context-specific proportion congruent (CSPC) effect: Neutral or affective facial expressions as context stimuli. Experimental Psychology, 66, 86-97.


Dignath, D., & Lotze-Hermes, Farmer, H., & Pfister, R. (2018). Contingency and contiguity of imitative behaviour affect social affiliation. Psychological Research, 82 (4), 819-831.

Mittelstädt, V., Dignath, D., Schmidt-Ott, M., & Kiesel, A. (2018). Exploring the Repetition Bias in Voluntary Task Switching. Psychological Research, 82(1), 78-91.

Schwarz, K. A., Burger, S., Dignath, D., Kunde, W., & Pfister, R. (2018). Action-effect binding and agency. Consciousness and Cognition. 65, 304-309

Künzell, S., Bröker, L., Dignath,D.,  Ewolds, H., Raab, M., & Thomaschke, R. (2018). What is a task? An ideomotor perspective. Psychological Research, 82 (1), 4-11.

Foerster, A., Pfister, R., Schmidts, C.,  Dignath, D., Wirth, R., & Kunde, W. (2018).  Focused cognitive control in dishonesty: evidence for predominantly transient conflict adaptation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 44(4), 578-602.


Dignath, D., & Janczyk, M. (2017). Anticipation of delayed action-effect: Learning when an effect occurs, without knowing what this effect will be. Psychological Research 81 (5), 1072–1083.

Dignath, D., & Janczyk, M., & Eder, A.B. (2017) Phasic valence and arousal do not influence post-conflict adjustments in the Simon task. Acta Psychologica, 174, 31-39.

Eder, A. B., Dignath, D., Erle, T., & Wiemer, J. (2017). Shocking action: Facilitative effects of punishing electric shocks on action control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146, 1204-1215.

Pfister, R.*, Weller, L.*, Dignath, D., & Kunde, W. (2017). What or when? The impact of anticipated social action effects is driven by action-effect compatibility, not delay. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. 79 (7), 2132–2142. (* = shared first authorship)

Kiesel, A., & Dignath, D. (2017) Effort in Multitasking: Local and global assessment of effort. Frontiers in Psychology.


Wirth, R.*, Dignath, D.*, Pfister, R., Kunde, W., & Eder, A. B. (2016). Attracted by rewards: Disentangling the motivational influence of rewarding and punishing targets and distractors. Motivation Science, 2(3), 143-156.(* = shared first authorship)

Eder, A. B., Pfister, R., Dignath, D., & Hommel, B. (2016). Anticipatory affect during action preparation: Evidence from backward compatibility in dual-task performance.Cognition and Emotion, 1-14.

Eder, A. B., & Dignath, D. (2016). Asymmetrical effects of posttraining outcome revaluation on outcome-selective Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer in human adults. Learning & Motivation 54, 12-21.

Eder, A. B., & Dignath, D. (2016). Influence of verbal instructions on effect-based action control. Psychological Research,  81(2), 355-365.

Eder, A.B. & Dignath, D. (2016). Cue-elicited food seeking is eliminated with aversive outcomes following outcome devaluation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 69(3), 574-588.


Dignath, D., & Eder, A.B. (2015). Stimulus Conflict Triggers Behavioral Avoidance. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience.15(4), 822-836.

Dignath, D., Kiesel, A., & Eder, A.B. (2015). Flexible Conflict Management: Conflict Avoidance and Conflict Adjustment in Reactive Cognitive Control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 41(4), 975-988.
supplementary material:
model animation univalent                                 

model animation bivalent


Dignath, D., Pfister, R., Eder, A. B., Kiesel, A. & Kunde, W. (2014) Representing the hyphen in bi-directional action-effect associations: Automatic integration of time intervals into cognitive action structures. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 40(6), 1701-1712.

Dignath, D., Pfister, R., Eder, A. B., Kiesel, A., & Kunde, W. (2014) Something in the way she moves: Movement trajectories reveal dynamics of self-control. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(3), 809-816.

Pfister, R., Janczyk, M., Wirth, R., Dignath, D. & Kunde, W. (2014) Thinking with portals: Revisiting kinematic cues to intention. Cognition, 133(2), 464-473.

Eder, A. B., & Dignath, D. (2014). I like to get nothing: Implicit and explicit evaluation of avoided negative outcomes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 40, 55-62.


Dignath, D. & Eder, A. B. (2013). Recall of observed actions modulates the end-state comfort effect just like recall of one's own actions. Experimental Brain Research, 231(1), 75-83.

Pfister, R., Dignath, D., Hommel, B., & Kunde, W. (2013). It takes two to imitate: Anticipation and imitation in social interaction. Psychological Science, 24. 2117-2121.

Foerster, A., Pfister, R., Schmidt, C., Dignath, D. & Kunde, W. (2013). Honesty saves time (and justifications). Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience, 4, 473.


Eder, A. B., & Dignath, D. (2013). Messung von Verhaltenstendenzen der Annäherung und Vermeidung: Eine praktische Anleitung [Measurement of approach and avoidance tendences: A manual]. In C. Bermeitinger (Ed.), Paradigmen der Kognitiven Psychologie: Affektive Reize II (pp. 217-237). Berlin: Uni-Edition


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