Prof. Dr. Iris K. Schneider – Chair 

Originally from the Netherlands, Iris Schneider obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam and did her postdoc at the VU University Amsterdam and the University of Southern California. From 2016 to 2022, she was a Junior Professor at the University of Cologne. She now holds the chair for Social Psychology at the Technical University in Dresden where she heads the Social and Economic Cognition Lab. She is obsessed with understanding ambivalence – the experience of mixed feelings- – from all possible angles. She also studies the influence of spatial distance on judgment and decision-making. Her work is currently funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Center for Social and Economic Behavior in Cologne and has also been funded by the Dutch Scientific Organization (NWO). Her full academic CV can be found here, and her Google Scholar Profile here. OSF profile:

Dr. Farid Anvari – Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Farid’s work, beginning in social psychology (PhD from Flinders University of South Australia), is currently best categorized under the banner of meta-science in psychology. Following his PhD, he was funded by an Australian Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship to work in the Netherlands, where he began obsessing about (i) how to determine the smallest effect size that may be considered either theoretically or practically meaningful, and (ii) measurement in psychology. He’s currently finishing a 2-year postdoc at the University of Southern Denmark as of February 2021, where he researched the measurement of explore-exploit decisions in judgment and decision making. Funded by a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, he has started research with Iris on the measurement of positive and negative feelings. You can see his Google Scholar Profile here.

Jana Hohnsbehn, M. Sc. – Ph.D. Student

Jana obtained her Masters from the University of Cologne and is interested in the positive effects of ambivalence, in particular in decision-making processes. For instance, her work examines the influence of mixed feelings on confirmation bias. Jana’s work is funded through a Stipendium by the Schmitmann-Wahlen Stiftung and the Center for Social and Economic Behavior.

Eileen Pauels, M. Sc. – Ph.D. Student

Eileen works on the effect of spatial distance and similarity. She examines whether the spatial distance between people and objects influences the way people judge and categorize these objects. She is also interested in the perception of ambivalence in leaders. For instance: do people perceive female politicians who express ambivalence differently from male politicians who express ambivalence?

Jacqueline Bachmann, B.Sc. – Research Assistant

Jacqueline is a graduate research assistant in our group. She is interested in ambivalence and how this is perceived by others. She wrote her bachelor thesis on the relationship between ambivalence and cognitive flexibility.



Celine Frank, M.Sc. – Ph.D. student at the University of Cologne

Celine has been a member of the Social and Economic Cognition Lab since its inception in 2016. She started working on her Ph.D. project at the Department of Social Psychology at the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Cologne in 2022. Since the very beginning in our group, Celine has been particularly interested in ambivalence and its consequences. Pursuing this interest, she currently studies ambivalence and decision-conflict in relation to (intercultural) prosocial behavior. 

André Mattes, M. Sc. – Ph.D. Student at the University of Cologne

André was a research assistant with us since the early days of     our lab. In 2019, he started his Ph.D. project at the Individual Differences and Psychological Assessment Group at the University of Cologne. During his time with us, André investigated the cognitive processes underlying ambivalent evaluations using diffusion modeling, mouse-tracking, and network analyses. Currently, he studies error processing, post-error adaptation and perfectionism-related variations in error processing employing neurocognitive methods such as ERP analyses, multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA), and mathematical modeling of electrophysiological signals. You can find his contact details here.

Dr. Jehan Sparks – Quantitative UX Researcher

Jehan was a post-doc in the Social Cognition Center Cologne and had her home base in the Social and Economic Cognition Lab. Jehan obtained her PhD from the University of California Davis. She is now a quantitative UX Researcher. 


Dr. Julia Stapels – Data Steward

She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Bielefeld in 2021, where she studied ambivalence towards robots. She is now working in the field of research data management as a data steward at TU Dortmund. Find out more about Julia here.