Research - Psychology

Applied Cognitive & Affective Sciences: Understanding cognitive and affective (emotional) processes is essential to anyone who wants a better grip on the many issues that challenge ourselves and society. At Webster Vienna, we investigate processes that are relevant to a variety of domains such as psychotherapy, decision making, and interpersonal negotiation. We use a wide range of techniques (brain imaging, face reading, psychophysiological recordings, startle reflex modulation, etc.) to collect, process, and analyze psycho-biological data, which we then use to answer both fundamental and applied research questions.

Research Core Areas

  • Interpersonal communication (Dr. Marc Mehu): We are particularly interested in studying the mechanisms and function of nonverbal behavior and how it interacts with language to make communication more effective. This topic covers research questions in emotion psychology, evolutionary psychology and impression formation.
  • Conscious vs. non-conscious mind: We aim at a deeper understanding of the neural basis of emotion, attention, memory, decision making, and self-referential processing. We also offer this expertise to industry partners interested in consumer neuroscience.
  • Clinical Psychology and Counseling skills (Mag. Katrin Kristjansdottir): We are interested in understanding the mechanisms in clinical psychology interventions, including the mechanisms behind basic counseling skills.

Research Environment

In the CanBeLab, we can collect and integrate objective measures at different levels:

  • Physiology - We measure a variety of physiological indicators such as brain activity (via EEG), respiration, heart rate, galvanic skin response, body temperature, and muscle activity. We use these techniques to measure startle-reflex modulation and other event-related perceptual studies.
  • Cognition - We study the influence of basic cognitive processes like attention and memory on decision making, in different areas of interest (for example consumer preferences and impression formation).
  • Behavior - We take observational measurements of verbal and nonverbal behavior displayed in face-to-face social interactions. Nonverbal measurements include body movement, facial behavior, and vocal parameters. We run behavioural experiments both in the field and in the laboratory.

Research Projects

Dr. Marc Mehu

  • Negotiation and emotion (NEMO): Multi-level analysis of dyadic social interaction
  • Exploring and explaining misrecognitive discrimination: field and laboratory experiments (FWF project I 3645-G29)

Psychology Research News - Archive