Main Research

The department of social psychology does research primarily on the following subjects:

The Mere Consensus Approach

The Mere Consensus Approachis an explanation of social impacts by minorities and majorities. Individuals as members of social groups exhibit uniformity and adaption to meet the targets of the majority, e.g. by wearing similar clothing, sharing social norms and ideas of morality or following certain models. The current consensus determines the expectations and guidelines of the members. Thereby social phenomena arise, such as the “herd instinct”.

Read more: The Mere Consensus Approach as an explanation of social impacts by minorities and majorities


Forming judgments, e.g., about a product or another person, is a fundamental human activity. Throughout time, this topic has received much attention in Social Psychology. Typically, the research conducted focused either on a specific content (e.g., persuasion, attribution, impression formation, judgments under uncertainty), or addressed a specific phenomenon (base-rate neglect, anchoring, etc). Dual-process models are the theoretical models mostly referred to in the literature (e.g., Chaiken & Trope, 1999). Especially with respect to persuasion research, the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) as well as the Heuristic-Systematic Model (Chaiken, Liberman & Eagly, 1989) are the models most often used to explain the effects of persuasive communications.

Read more: Unimodel

Need for Uniqueness

Tattooes, customized clothing, holding deviating opinions can all be indicative of the Need for Uniqueness (Snyder & Fromkin, 1977, 1980; for an overview see Schumpe & Erb, 2015). People want to be unique, to set themselves apart, and to be special. The NfU is a stable personality trait that differs among individuals.

Read more: Need for Uniqueness

last modified Nov 06, 2019 03:56 PM

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