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Focal Research Areas

Core Research Topics

A core topic of our research team are asymmetries in social cognition and communication. This includes asymmetries in the way (social and non-social) comparisons are drawn habitually as well as the (social) implications of such habits of framing. A particular focus is on comparisons between groups in intergroup contexts characterized by inequality. Importantly, inequality between social groups (e.g., gender groups, groups differing in socio-economic status) is a core research topic more generally, not only from a cognition and communication perspective. (esp. Susanne Bruckmüller & Maike Lösch)

A second core topic are asymmetries between two central content dimensions of social perception and judgment, namely “agency” (comprised by competence, assertiveness, and confidence) and “communion” (comprised by cooperation, friendliness, and morality). We examine basic processes such as implicit personality theories about these two dimensions as well as applied questions regarding these two dimensions, such as the importance of these two dimensions for evaluations of political actors and authority figures. (esp. Andrea AbeleBrehm, Susanne Bruckmüller, Nicole Hauke)

A third core research topic concerns trust, the basic conceptualization of trust as well as more applied questions surrounding the (often lacking) trust in political actors. This includes theoretical work on the definition and measurement of trust, the influence of different communication strategies of politicians on trust in them, as well as the effects of social diversity of political parties on trust. (Susanne Bruckmüller, Nicole Methner)

By using the buttons to the left, you can get an overview over these different research topics and selected relevant publications (for complete list, see “publications”). You can also find further information about our past and current research under “current projects” and “completed projects”.