Decision-Making Research Cluster

Research Cluster

Research on Decisions concentrates on the investigation of decision processes, the systematic description of decision situations, the theoretical explanations, and the prediction of decisions.

The research cluster Decision Making builds on Zeppelin University’s expertise to investigate decisions in social, political, ethical and economic contexts. Further, the cluster examines the influence of decision processes, motivation and monetary incentives on decisions in general and specifically in the aforementioned contexts. We also focus on physiological processes like visual attention and automatic reinforcement learning as investigated by the EEG. We distinguish between research on individual and collective decisions.


Achtziger, Anja | Prof Dr

Anja Achtziger

Speaker of the Research Cluster

Professor | Chair of Social & Economic Psychology

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Anja Achtziger graduated in Psychology in 1997 (Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany) and received her PhD in Psychology in 2003 (University of Konstanz, Germany). She worked as a Postdoc and Temporary Professor of Social Psychology and Motivation at the University of Konstanz. She later moved to the Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Germany, there she holds the Chair in Social and Economic Psychology. Anja was a Visiting Professor of Psychology at New York University Abu Dhabi from August 2019 to May 2020. From March 2018 to December 2019 she was the speaker of the research unit “Psychoeconomics,” funded by the German Research Foundation. Anja is an associate editor of the Journal of Economic Psychology since January 2019. She is the deputy speaker of the coordination committee of the Consumer Research Network of the Federal Government of Germany appointed by the Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Heiko Maas in 2015 and by Dr. Katarina Barley in 2018.

Anja Achtziger’s research focuses on human decision making, algorithm aversion and appreciation, self-control, and motivation. She uses a multi-method approach to investigate human cognition, with techniques encompassing laboratory and field experiments, eye-tracking, and electroencephalography (EEG). Her work ins interdisciplinary and includes collaboration with researchers from economics, management science, consumer research, computer science, and ethics. Her most recent research project, on the consequences of using algorithmic decision-making systems in legal systems for society, is “Deciding about, by, and together with algorithmic decision-making systems,” funded by the Volkswagen Foundation in its program “Artificial Intelligence and the Society of The Future”.

Behnke, Joachim | Prof Dr

Behnke, Joachim

Joachim Behnke studied political science, communication science, economics and philosophy at LMU Munich. He did a doctorate and habilitation in political science at the University of Bamberg. Since 2008 he is holding the chair for Political Science at Zeppelin University. His interests in research and teaching focus on Modern Political Theory, especially theories of justice, the study and analysis of electoral systems und game theory.

Elff, Martin | Prof Dr

Elff, Martin

Professor | Chair for Political Sociology

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Martin Elff holds the Chair of Political Sociology since February 2015. His research activities cover a variety of topics, including the relation between social structure and electoral behaviour, the estimation of parties‘ political positions from their electoral platforms, measuring democracy, and methodological questions of quantitative political research.
Findings of his research have been published or are forthcoming in Acta Politica, the British Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, the European Journal of Political Research, German Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Political Analysis and Politics and Governance.

Felfeli, Julia | M. Sc.

Felfeli, Julia Zeppelin Universität

Julia is a post-doctoral candidate at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen. She graduated from the University of Tuebingen in Psychology (M. Sc.) in 2016 and received her PhD from the Zeppelin University in 2020. As a PhD candidate, she worked in the project “Psychoeconomics” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In this project, Julia investigated decision-making processes, decision-making under uncertainty and interventions to improve decision-making. In 2019, Julia joined the project “Deciding about, by and together with algorithmic decision-making systems” funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. This project intents to compare human decisions and automatic algorithm decision-making in domains that raise ethical questions (e.g., law, medicine).

Jungkunz, Tatjana | MA

Jungkunz, Tatjana

Tatjana Jungkunz is an academic assistant at the Chair of Political Sociology (Prof. Martin Elff). After her bachelor and master studies at the University of Bamberg (focus on political sociology) she has been working at Zeppelin University since October 2018. Her dissertation, which is based at the chair, deals with the effects of contradictions between politicians and parties on their evaluation and the political attitudes of people. Central to her research is the question of what drives people to select political information about candidates, how information is processed and to what extent this information is taken into account in the formation of attitudes. Her research interests also include quantitative methods, political attitudes research and political psychology. She presented her latest research results at APSA 2018 (Boston), APSA 2019 (Washington D.C.) and at Waseda University in Tokyo (2019).

Tanner, Carmen | Prof Dr

Tanner, Carmen

Since 2015, Carmen Tanner is professor of economic psychology and leadership ethics at the Zeppelin University and vice-director of the Leadership Excellence Instituts Zeppelin (LEIZ). Since 2016, she is also professor of economic psychology at the Department of Banking and Finance an der University of Zurich and there since 2011 director of the Center for Responsibility in Finance. From 2004-2010 she hold a professorship from the Swiss National Science Foundation at the Department of Psychology at the University of Zurich (2006 Habilitation). Prior to that she was working and teaching at several other universities (Bern, Fribourg, Northwestern University in USA, Max Planck Institut Jena). Her research interests center around individual and organizational factors that affect ethical behavior (behavioral ethics, organizational culture), determinants of dishonesty and corruption; gender, ethics and Leadership; digital ethics. One topic is also the implementation of digital tools to promote personal integrity. Related to those topics, she was and is running various interdisciplinary research projects and is publishing in high-ranked journals. She is currently also member of the Digital Society Initiative at the University of Zurich, and member of the scientific committee of DICO (Deutsches Institut für Compliance).

Time to decide

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