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Allgemeine Psychologie

Cognition, Action, and Sustainability



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*Student Research Assistants and Research Interns for Summer Wanted!*
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In our lab, we are really interested in the relation between cognition and action.

Humans usually interact with their environment according to their goals. But behaviour is not fully determined by the mere goals- rather outer stimulation as well as inner states shape together the actual action.

We aim to identify processes that allow humans to reach their goals despite of interference especially in multitasking contexts.

Thus, we cover the topics of action and cognitive control, self-organization, conflict adjustment, using regularities in the outer world for predictive timing and associative learning. In addition, we are interested in how humans perceive their own actions and the following consequences in terms of sense of agency.

We strive to use this knowledge to better understand human actions in general and in particular regarding environmental behaviour. For example, we investigate measures to foster energy saving and sustainability.

We apply a wide variety of different methods. These include experiments assessing behavioural measures like reaction times, accuracy, subjective ratings, and eye movements as well as EEG activity. Furthermore, we conduct online questionnaire studies.

Embedded in the lab is the research group Time, Interaction, and Self-determination headed by Dr. Roland Thomaschke.



Engelbergerstraße 41 (Hauptgebäude) u. 41c (Hörsaalgebäude)
79106 Freiburg
Tel. +49 (0)761 203-2489


Prof. Dr. Andrea Kiesel: -9164 (Hauptgebäude, 3. OG, Raum 3009)



Angelika Maßler: -2489 (Hauptgebäude, 3. OG, Raum 3008)


Professor i.R.:

Prof. Dr. Hans Spada: -2487 (Hauptgebäude, 3. OG, Raum 3022)



Voormann, A., Meyer-Grant, C. G., Rothe-Wulf, A., & Klauer, K. C. (2024). Do moments of inattention during study cause the error-speed effect for targets in recognition-memory tasks? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Voormann, A., Rothe-Wulf, A., Meyer-Grant, C. G., & Klauer, K. C. (in press). Sometimes memory misleads: Variants of the error-speed effect strengthen the evidence for systematically misleading memory signals in recognition memory? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Straub, E. R., Schiltenwolf, M., Kiesel, A., & Dignath, D. (2024). Generalizability of control across cognitive and emotional conflict. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 50(1), 2.

Lisa Reuter hat den Erasmus Preis 2023 der Universität Freiburg erhalten. Wir gratulieren ihr ganz herzlich zu diesem Erfolg!

Wir verabschieden Dr. Michael Stumpf in den wohlverdienten Ruhestand - Du wirst uns fehlen, lieber Michael!

Zhang, J., Bürkner, P.C., Kiesel, A., & Dignath, D. (in press). How emotional stimuli modulate cognitive control: A meta-analytic review on studies with conflict tasks. Psychological Bulletin.

Wir begrüßen Dr. Raphael Hartmann, Wilhelm Gros, M.Sc. und Michael Gorki, M.Sc., in unserem Team.

Wir gratulieren Lisa Reuter zur Promotion mit dem Thema "New approaches to predict attitudes and behavior regarding living materials systems by means of cognitive-affective maps"!

Wir gratulieren Hannah Dames (jetzt Tschannen) zur Promotion mit dem Thema "Intentional Remembering and Forgetting in Long-Term and Working Memory"!

Wir gratulieren Markus Spitzer zur Promotion mit dem Thema "Predicting task choices in multitasking settings"

Zhang, J., Kiesel, A., & Dignath, D. (in press). When negative affect drives attentional control: The role of motivational orientation. Motivation and Emotion.

Straub, E. R., Schmidts, C., Kunde, W., Zhang, J., Kiesel, A., & Dignath, D. (2021). Limitations of cognitive control on emotional distraction–Congruency in the Color Stroop task does not modulate the Emotional Stroop effect. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 1-21.

Wir begrüßen Katja Pollak, M.Sc., in unserem Team.

Wir gratulieren Dr. Christina Pfeuffer zu ihrem Ruf auf die Tenure-Track Juniorprofessur für "Human-Technology Interaction" an der KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt.

Wir gratulieren Dr. Raphael Hartmann zur Promotion mit dem Thema "Facilitating the Use of and Extending the RT-MPT Model Class"!

Wir gratulieren unserer früheren Mitarbeiterin Dr. Stefanie Aufschnaiter zur Promotion mit dem Thema "Time-based expectancy in multitasking"!

Wir begrüßen Julius Fenn, M.Sc., in unserem Team.

Wir gratulieren Dr. Sonja Ehret zur Promotion mit dem Thema "The Effect of Affective and Attentional Qualities of the Environment on Time Awareness"!

Trukenbrod, A.K., Backhaus, N., & Thomaschke, R. (in press). Measuring subjectively experienced time in usability and user experience testing scenarios. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.

Fröber, K., & Thomaschke, R. (in press). In the dark cube: Movie theater context enhances the valuation and aesthetic experience of watching films. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.

Pfeuffer, C. U., Aufschnaiter, S., Thomaschke, R., & Kiesel, A. (in press). Only Time will tell the Future: Anticipatory saccades reveal the temporal dynamics of time-based location and task expectancy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Ehret, S., Trukenbrod, A. K., Gralla, V., & Thomaschke, R. (in press). A Grounded Theory on the Relation of Time Awareness and Perceived Valence Timing & Time Perception.

Dignath, D., Born, G., Eder, A., Topolinski, S., & Pfister, R. (in press). Imitation of action-effects increase social affiliation. Psychological Research.

Schuch, S., & Dignath, D., (in press). Task-Conflict biases Decision Making. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149(6), 1148–1155.

Dr. David Dignath has received and accepted an offer of a tenure track professor position for general psychology by the University of Tübingen.

Aufschnaiter, S., Kiesel, A., & Thomaschke, R. (2020). Humans derive task expectancies from sub-second and supra-second interval durations. Psychological Research 84, 1333-1345.

Dignath, D., Eder, A., Steinhauser, M., & Kiesel, A. (2020). Conflict monitoring and the affective signaling hypothesis -an integrative review. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 27(9), 193-216.

Dignath, D., Kiesel, A., Frings, C., & Pastöter, B., (2020). Electrophysiological evidence for action-effect prediction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 149(6), 1145-1155.

Dignath, D., Wirth, R., Kühnhausen, J., Gawrilow, C., Kunde, W., & Kiesel, A. (2020). Motivation drives conflict adaptation. Motivation Science 6(1), 84-89.

Ehret, S., Roth, S., Zimmermann, S., Selter, A., & Thomaschke, R. (2020). Feeling Time in Nature: The Influence of Directed and Undirected Attention on Time Awareness. Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, 34(3), 737-746.

Hartmann, R., Johannsen, L., & Klauer, K. C. (2020). rtmpt: An R package for fitting response-time extended multinomial processing tree models. Behavior Research Methods, 52, 1313-1338.

Hartmann, R., & Klauer, K. C. (2020). Extending RT-MPTs to enable equal process times. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 96.

Hölle, D.,  Aufschnaiter, S., Bogon, J.,  Pfeuffer, C., Kiesel, A., & Thomaschke, R. (2020). Quality ratings of wine Bottles in E-commerce: The influence of time delays and spatial arrangement. Journal of Wine Research.

Kunchulia, M., Tatishvili, T., Parkosadze, K., Lomidze, N., & Thomaschke, R. (2020). Children with autism spectrum disorder showincreased sensitivity to time-based predictability. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 66, 204-213.

Longman, C.S., Kiesel, A., & Verbruggen, F. (2020). Learning in the absence of overt practice: A novel (previously unseen) stimulus can trigger retrieval of an unpracticed response. Psychological Research, 84(4), 1065-1083.

Ruess, M., Thomaschke, R., & Kiesel, A. (2020). Acting and Reacting:  Is Intentional Binding Due to Sense of Agency or to Temporal Expectancy? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 7, 1-9.

Whitehead, P. S., Pfeuffer, C. U., & Egner, T. (2020). Memories of Control: One-shot episodic learning of item-specific stimulus-control associations. Cognition, 199.

Ruess, M., Thomaschke, R., & Kiesel, A. (in press). Intentional binding for unintended effects. Timing & Time Perception.

Wir gratulieren Dr. Jinhui Zhang zur Promotion mit dem Thema "Affective Influences on Cognitive Control"!

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 Sciences.

Rieger, T., 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.

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

Wir gratulieren Dr. Miriam Ruess zur Promotion mit dem Thema "Time in action contexts: the influence of delay duration on the magnitude of intentional binding"!

Wir begrüßen Lisa Reuter, M.Sc., in unserem Team.

Ehret, S., Schroeder, C., Johannes, B., Holzmüller, A., & Thomaschke, R. (accpeted). All or Nothing: The Interaction of Musical and Spatial Atmosphere. Psychology of Music.

Pfeuffer, C. U., Moutsopoulou, K., Waszak, F., & Kiesel, A. (in press). Execution-based and Verbal code-based Stimulus-Response Associations: Proportion manipulations reveal conflict adaptation processes in item-specific priming. Psychological Research.

Dignath, D., Herbort, O., Pieczykolan, A., Huestegge, L., & Kiesel, A. (in press). Flexible coupling of covert spatial attention and motor planning based on learned spatial contingencies. 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.

Wir begrüßen Florian Gouret, M.Sc., Sabrina Livanec, M.A., Alejandra Rodriguez, M.Sc., Moritz Schiltenwolf, M.Sc., und Markus Spitzer, M.Sc., in unserem Team.

Ecker, F., Spada, H. & Hahnel. U.J.J. (2018). Independence without control: Autarky outperforms autonomy benefits in the adoption of private energy storage systems. Energy Policy, 122, 214-228.

Ecker, F., Hahnel, U.J.J. & Spada, H. (2017). Promoting decentralized sustainable energy systems in different supply scenarios: the role of autarky aspiration. Frontiers in Energy Research, 5:14. DOI: 10.3389/fenrg.2017.00014

Mittelstädt, V., Miller, J., & Kiesel, A. (in press). Trading off switch costs and stimulus availability benefits: An investigation of voluntary task switching behavior in a predictable dynamic multitasking environment. Memory & Cognition.

Dr. Christina Pfeuffer wurde von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) das Projekt "A Look into the Future: Anticipatory saccades shed light on human action control" bewilligt (Laufzeit: 36 Monate; EUR 276.584). Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Bröker, L., Liepelt, R., Poljac, E., Künzell, S., Ewolds, H., de Oliveira, R., & Raab, M. (in press). Multitasking as a choice: A perspective. Psychological Research.

Poljac, E., Haartsen, R., van der Cruijsen, R., Kiesel, A., Poljac, E. (in press). Task intentions and their implementation into actions: Cognitive control from adolescence to middle adulthood. Psychological Research.

Braukmann, R., Bekkering, H., Hidding, M., Poljac, E., Buitelaar, J., & Hunnius, S. (2017). Predictability of action sub-steps modulates motor system activation during the observation of goal-directed actions.Neuropsychologia, 103, 44-53. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.07.009

Wir begrüßen Sonja Ehret, M.A., Irina Monno, M.A., und Ezgi Özoglu, M.A., in unserem Team.

Aufschnaiter, S., Kiesel, A., Dreisbach, G., Wenke, D., & Thomaschke, R. (in press). Time-based expectancy in temporally structured task switching. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Thomaschke, R., Bogon, J., & Dreisbach, G. (in press). Timing affect: Dimension-specific time-based expectancy for affect. Emotion.

Thomaschke, R., Miall, R.C., Ruess, M., Mehta, P.R., & Hopkins, B. (in press). Visuomotor and motorvisual priming with different types of set level congruency: Evidence in support of ideomotor theory, and the Planning and Control Model (PCM). Psychological Research.

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

Rittger, L., Reinmüller, K., & Kiesel, A. (in press). Measuring information demand of a dynamic in-vehicle display while driving – a study evaluating the MARS (Masking Action Relevant Stimuli) method. Transportation Research Part F: Psychology and Behaviour.

Dr. Christina Pfeuffer hat einen Psychonomic Society Member Select-Speaker Award erhalten, um ihren Beitrag zum Thema "Working Memory Re-processing in Instruction-based Action Control" auf dem Jahrestreffen der Psychonomic Society 2017 in Vancouver vorzustellen.



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