Expi (Psy_B_3)

PSY_B_3: Internship in Experimental Psychology in Summer Semester 2020

Course Group 1, UnivIS 050687

Lecturer: Anne Bachmann

Topic: The mood paradox in (creative problem solving)

Content: A wide range of different research on the effects of mood on creative problem solving shows that positive mood models information processing during problem solving towards a more abstract, heuristic or even intuitive style of information processing, which is responsible for the fact that more and different dimensions of a problem are included, more complexly linked and thought through, which finally contributes to a more creative solution of the problem. In contrast, there are findings that question the outlined mechanism. In this experimental-psychological practical course, we want to examine, based on the study by Kaufmann and Vosberg (1997), whether and what role individual problem-solving strategies (optimize vs. satisfy) play in solving creative problems in addition to mood and the information processing style it stimulates. For this purpose we want to experimentally vary mood and problem-solving strategies and contribute to the solution of the mood paradox on creative problem solving.


  •  Kaufmann, G. & Vosburg, S.K. (1997). 'Paradoxical' Mood Effects on Creative Problem-solving. Cognition & Emotion, 11(2), 151-170.
  •  Kaufmann, G. (2003). Expanding the mood-creativity equation. Creativity Research Journal, 15(2-3), 131-135.

  • Förster, J. & Dannenberg, L. (2010). GLOMOsys: A systems account of global versus local processing. Psychological Inquiry, 21(3), 175-197, DOI:       10.1080/1047840X.2010.487849


Course Group 2, UnivIS 050678

Lecturer: Charlotte Falkenberg

Remark: Introductory event on 8.4.20 at 16-18 o'clock

Thema: Intuitive Physics

Content: Intuitive physics is understood to be innate or implicit knowledge of physical laws. This includes, for example, assumptions about the movement of things and the forces acting on them (mechanics), the properties of light or of liquids, or assumptions about quantities. In some areas our intuitive knowledge corresponds well with the actual laws, in other areas even well educated adults have different ideas about how things behave. In this experimental psychology lab, intuitive knowledge will be investigated in selected areas.


  •  Bertamini, M., Spooner, A. & Hecht, H. (2004). The representation of naive knowledge about physics. In G. Malcolm (Hrsg.), Multidisciplinary Approaches to Visual Representations and Interpretations (S. 32-43). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  •  Hecht, H. & Proffitt, D. R. (1995). The price of expertise: Effects of experience on the water-level task. Psychological Science, 6(2), 90-95.
  •  McCloskey, M. (1983). Intuitive physics. Scientific American, 248(4), 122-131.


Course Group 3, UnivIS 050679

Lecturer: Jürgen Golz

Topic: Perception of brightness: The Chevreul effect

Remark: The first session will take place on April 8th, 2019 at 17:00 in room 422 (OS62).

Content: In this experimental psychology lab, a phenomenon of brightness perception is to be investigated which may seem very specific, but is of fundamental theoretical importance: If one observes adjacent stripes of increasing light intensities (so-called Chevreul stimuli, see Schlüter & Golz, 2015, Fig. Ia), each stripe appears inhomogeneously bright, although each stripe is physically homogeneous in itself (i.e. of equal light intensity). In the vicinity of the adjacent brighter strip it appears darker, in the vicinity of the adjacent darker strip it appears brighter (so-called Chevreul effect). It shall be examined whether this phenomenon results from the fact that the perceptual system interprets an inhomogeneous (in the intensity increasing) illumination with such stimuli.


  •  Schlüter, N. & Golz, J. (2015). An illumination representation approach to the Chevreul Effect. Perception, 44, 662-678. http://pec.sagepub.com/content/44/6/662.full.pdf


Course Group 4, UnivIS 050664

Lecturer: Christian Kaernbach

Topic: Signal detection with uncertainty

Content: The classical Signal Detection Theory (SDT) assumes that decisions are made based on observations on an observation scale. These observations are normally distributed, with the distribution for experiments with one signal having a higher mean value than the distribution for experiments without signal. This theory is applied in both perceptual and memory psychology.

In case of uncertainty about the expected signal, the power decreases. There are several models that predict how accurately power decreases as a function of uncertainty. We want to put these models to the test in both perception and memory.


  •  D.M. Green, J.A. Swets, Signal detection theory and psychophysics, Wiley New York, 1966.


Course Group 5 & 7, UnivIS 050682 & 050684

Lecturer: Jabin Kanczok

Remarks: Single dates on 7.4.2020 (14:00 - 16:00 in OS75/S3 - R.184) as well as on 21.4.2020 and 23.6.2020 (16:00 - 18:00 OS62 - R.316)

Topics: False confessions(JK1), Manipulation by incompatible reactions(JK2), Embodiment(JK3), Replication crisis(JK4)


JK1: Voluntary false confessions are very problematic for legal proceedings and have been little researched so far. Self-report studies suggest that they are usually filed in order to protect the true perpetrator. Social psychological studies have found that guilt is more likely to be accepted for close friends than for acquaintances. In this expi-practical course you will deal with the topic of "assuming guilt".

JK2: How can you get someone to agree to something that he or she is actually reluctant to do from their original attitude?
This experimental practical course is about the fact that "natural" states and processes are influenced by incompatible reactions. Humor and laughter, for example, are successful interventions when it comes to appeasing an aggressor.

JK3: In this experimental lab, you will work with embodiment research findings to learn that a relatively small physical intervention is able to influence complete human behavioral sequences. You will replicate one of these experiments.

JK4: In this experimental internship you will supervise and conduct one or two studies that attempt to refute "already successful" experiments.


  • Willard, J., Guyll, M., Madon, S., & Allen, J.E. (2016). Relationship Closeness and Self-reported Willingness to Falsely Take the Blame. Behavioral sciences & the law, 34 6, 767-783 .
  •  Weitere Literatur wird beim ersten Treffen bekanntgegeben.


Course Group 6, UnivIS 050689

Lecturer: Frederike Stucke

Topic: Social emotions and respect

Remark: Single dates on 8.4.2020 and 22.4.2020 at 14:00 - 16:00 in OS62 - R.315

Content: Student*in, man, woman, German*r, European*in; we belong to a variety of different social groups. If we are aware of this group membership, our collective identity is salient and we evaluate situations, other groups and their members on the basis of this very collective identity and social emotions arise. Pluralistic societies consist of many different groups, some of which differ greatly in their norms and values, rejecting each other and feeling negative emotions for each other. Studies have shown, however, that the rejection of other groups can be inhibited by respect in the sense of the recognition of others as equals, made possible by a common superordinate collective identity.

In this experimental psychological internship we will investigate the influence of the nature of collective identity on social emotions and how equality-based respect influences this relationship.


  •  Mackie, D., Smith, E., & Ray, D. (2008). Intergroup emotions and intergroup relations. Social and Personality Psychology Compass , 2(5), 1866-1880.
  •  Simon, B. (2017). Grundriss einer sozialpsychologischen Respekttheorie: Implikationen für Kooperation und Konflikt in pluralistischen Gesellschaften. Psychologische Rundschau, 68, 241-250.


Course Group 8, UnivIS 050676

Lecturer: Joshua Lorenzen

Topic: Watching-eye effect(1) & Attentional Blink(2)


1: There is evidence that people tend to behave prosocially when in the presence of images representing eyes (compared to control images). An early study by Bateson, Nettle and Roberts (2006) found, for example, that visitors to a university coffee shop paid on average more for drinks consumed in a coffee pot that had a human eye image in it than a flower image. There are now many other (meta-) studies with various operationalizations (less bicycle theft, more generous donations, more accurate waste separation and less wild waste, ...) that indicate the consistency and robustness of this effect in both laboratory and field settings (Dear, Dutton and Fox, 2019). In this practical course, we will jointly derive a small question from the literature, which may for example refer to the assumed processes behind it, and develop an experiment on this basis.

2: To react at the right moment can decide over life and death in some situations - like driving a car. For this reason, it is of particular interest in the development of warning systems how the attention of people can be directed to relevant stimuli. This question - more precisely, the influence of auditory stimuli on visual perception - will be addressed in the Expi-Practical by trying to replicate two attempts at "attentional blinking".


  •  Bateson, M., Nettle, D., & Roberts, G. (2006). Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting. Biology letters, 2(3), 412-414.
  •  Dear, K., Dutton, K., & Fox, E. (2019). Do ‘watching eyes’ influence antisocial behavior? A systematic review & meta-analysis. Evolution and Human Behavior, 40(3), 269-280.
  •  Milinski, M., & Rockenbach, B. (2007). Spying on others evolves. Science, 317(5837), 464-465.
  •  Olivers, C. N. L., & Van der Burg, E. (2008). Bleeping you out of the blink: Sound saves vision from
    oblivion. Brain Research, 1242, 191-199. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.01.070
  •  Shapiro, K., Raymond, J., & Arnell, K. (1997). The attentional blink. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 1(8),
    291–296. doi: 10.1016/S1364-6613(97)01094-2


Course group 9, UnivIS 050688

Lecturer: Sabrina Voß

Topic: Investigation of relevant aspects of the facial recognition ability of persons


The identification and recognition of faces is an achievement that is of great importance for our social life. Very few people have problems identifying familiar and familiar faces, whereas faces that are only fleetingly known and rather unfamiliar to us are often difficult to identify, even under good environmental conditions. In a study on face blindness (prosopagnosia), Russel et al. (2009) were able to identify so-called super-recognizers, people who have above-average identification skills even with unknown/unfamiliar faces.

This special ability to remember even unknown faces very well and to reliably identify them is particularly interesting in the field of law enforcement. A special unit of the London Police has therefore been deploying police officers who possess this special ability for several years. What the difference in the perception of faces and the memory of persons of super-recognizers compared to persons with average abilities is, however, the subject of current research projects. In order to better understand this special ability and to reliably identify and use Super-recognizers, an important step is to identify variables related to the facial recognition ability and relevant aspects of the ability.

Some of these possible variables and aspects will be investigated and considered in the context of this internship.

The bibliographical references are opportunities for introduction/training in the topic! More detailed literature, e.g. on individual variables/aspects, will be made available upon request.


  •  Bate, S., Frowd, C., Bennetts, R., Hasshim, N., Murray, E., Bobak, A. K. et al. (2018). Applied screening tests for the detection of superior face recognition. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 3 (22), 1-19.
  •  Bobak, A. K., Pampoulov, P. & Bate, S. (2016). Detecting Superior Face Recognition Skills in a Large Sample of Young British Adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1378.
  •   Manzoor, S. (2017, 1. Dezember). You look familiar: on patrol with the MET´s super-recognisers. The Guardian, Verfügbar unter: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/05/metropolitan-police-super-recognisers
  • McCaffery, J. M., Robertson, D. J., Young, A. W. & Burton, A. M. (2018). Individual differences in face identity processing. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 3 (21).
  •  Russel, R., Duchaine, B. & Nakayama, K. (2009). Super-recognizer : People with extraordinary face recognition ability. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16 (2), 252-257.
  •  Wilmer, J. B. (2017). Individual Differences in Face Recognition: A Decade of Discovery. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26 (3), 225-230.


Course Group 10 & 11, UnivIS 050680 & 050686

Lecturer: Jannes Freiberg & Christian Kaernbach

Topic: Early cognition

Content: The flatworm is one of the earliest evolutionary animals that already show a separation into central and peripheral nervous system. With just 50,000 nerve cells, the animals are able to cognitively integrate and learn stimuli. So far, however, little psychological research has been conducted into how the animals learn, what can be learned and how long it remains in memory. Therefore, the aim of this practical course is the development of plateworm-compatible learning tasks to study the cognitive performance of these animals.

This is a laboratory internship with animal experiments, i.e. patience, a steady hand and interest in biology and biopsychology are advantageous!


  •  Inoue, T., Hoshino, H., Yamashita, T., Shimoyama, S. & Agata, K. (2014). Planarian shows decision-making behavior in response to multiple stimuli by integrative brain function. Zoological Letters. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40851-014-0010-z
  •  Kusayama, T. & Watanabe, S. (2000). Reinforcing effects of methamphetamine in planarians. Neuroreport. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001756-200008030-00033


Course Group 12, UnivIS 050662

Lecturer: Daniela Renger

Topic: Self-Respect

Content: Although self-respect has been widely discussed in other scientific disciplines, there is little research on this concept in psychology. A recently proposed definition understands self-respect as a belief in equality (Renger, 2018). Self-respect increases a person's empowerment (e.g., standing up for one's rights) while at the same time promoting pro-social attitudes. Theoretically, it can be assumed that self-respect arises from the experience of equality-based respect. First correlative findings (Renger, Eschert, Teichgräber & Renger, 2019) confirm this assumption. In the experimental psychology lab, this correlation will be investigated experimentally in order to be able to make causal statements. For this purpose, a priming manipulation is to be developed that could influence the perceived equality of an individual. This research should contribute to understanding how mature members of society emerge who stand up for themselves as well as for others.


  •  Renger, D. (2018). Believing in one's equal rights: Self-respect as a predictor of assertiveness. Self and Identity, 17(1), 1-21. doi:10.1080/15298868.2017.1313307
  •  Renger, D., Eschert, S., Teichgräber, M. L., & Renger, S. (2019). Internalized equality and protest against injustice: The role of disadvantaged group members' self-respect in collective action tendencies. Manuscript accepted for publication. European Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2637