Deutsch Intern
    Department of Psychology IV

    Course Program

      Hot-Topic Sessions

    Applicants can decide between different topics for the first (Monday/Tuesday) and the second (Thursday/Friday) sessions. Please note: Six of the topics are offered as one-day courses; it is possible to choose two one-day courses on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday.

    Teachers: Diana Rieger & Tim Wulf
    Time: Monday


    This session deals with narratives as means for extremism prevention. After a theoretical introduction into approaches of so-called counter messages, we will review extremist narratives and discuss their appeal. Thus, we set the stage to reflect on strategies and processes how narrative persuasion could be used for successful counter such messages. In interactive group work, participants will discuss practical implications to develop persuasive counter messages and then draft a storyboard sketch for a potential counter message campaign. Finally, participants will present and discuss their work with the group.

    Teacher: Wienke Wannagat
    Time: Monday


    Audiovisual narratives play an important role in children’s everyday lives. Books for young children are often extensively illustrated and in films, verbal information and pictures are presented simultaneously. In this session, we will discuss current research and theoretical considerations that explore if, how and why (moving) pictures affect comprehension of narratives.

    Teachers: Katharina Diergarten, Benedikt Seger, & Gerhild Nieding
    Time: Monday/Tuesday


    This session addresses the comprehension of narrative text from a developmental perspective. For this purpose, we discuss different kinds of mental representations that younger children, older children, and adults form during the reception of narrative text. As an orientation, we refer to the tripartite model (van Dijk & Kintsch), which discriminates three different levels of text representation: the text surface, the textbase, and the situation model. We also focus on embodied theories of language processing, which assume that text recipients perceptually simulates objects, situations, and events that are represented by a text. We will evaluate how these simulations can contribute to the understanding of narrative text and the development of that understanding.

    Teacher: Raymond Mar
    Time: Tuesday


    The study of how stories influence our cognition, emotion, and behavior is a fascinating and complex endeavor. In this seminar, we will discuss several of the major obstacles in study design that face researchers interested in this topic, covering a wide range of possible solutions. These include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) Story modality, (2) Lifetime exposure versus laboratory exposure, (3) Mass media stories versus researcher-created stories, (4) Story length and story excerpts, (5) Measuring in vivo influences, (6) Measuring short-term influences, (7) Measuring long-term influences, and (8) Experimental versus correlational (and archival/Big Data) approaches. A point of emphasis will be that there are few right or wrong choices, as all solutions to these various obstacles have strengths and weaknesses. The best decisions will incorporate awareness of how these strengths and weaknesses interact with specific study aims and contexts.

    Teacher: Christoph Mengelkamp
    Time: Tuesday


    Narratives are well known for their persuasive effects. Further, there is evidence for narratives being easier to read than expository texts, and while reading stories, accurate real-world information is retrieved from memory. Therefore, one may expect that using so-called informative narratives will be beneficial for learning. Surprisingly, such positive effects of the narrative format have not been consistently found. On the contrary, regarding learning outcomes, some studies showed detrimental effects of presenting information in a story format, and an overconfidence into one’s knowledge was observed. In this session, we will try to explain these findings and explore some conditions under which informative narratives are or are not beneficial for learning.

    Teacher: Anne Bartsch
    Time: Thursday


    This hot topic session focuses on eudaimonic stories and their potential to elicit empathy and prosocial responses. Research findings from several studies will be discussed that elucidate how eudaimonic stories can shift individuals’ focus from their own, egocentric concerns to empathic concern for the well-being of others, and how this change in perspective can promote prosocial outcomes. For example, research has found that eudaimonic stories can stimulate audience interest in political issues, and can elicit prosocial changes in attitudes and behavioral intentions toward stigmatized groups like homeless people or persons with mental illness or disabilities. In the hot topic session, we will explore the theoretical mechanisms behind these prosocial effects of eudaimonic stories and develop research ideas to examine their potential fruitfulness for other social causes. 

    Teacher: Helena Bilandzic
    Time: Thursday/Friday


    Stories have long been used as vehicles for moral messages, from ancient religious books to tales and contemporary films. Recently, modern television series have developed a taste for morally ambivalent characters like Walter White (Breaking Bad), Frank Underwood (House of Cards) or Dexter Morgan (Dexter) – and the audience has developed a taste for those subtly nuanced characters that are neither purely good nor purely bad. Morality has important implications for the liking of characters and the enjoyment of a story, but also for the moral outcomes in terms of an audience’s thinking, judgment and actions. In this Hot Topic Session students will acquire an overview of existing research on moral effects of stories, and connect theories of moral thinking and judgment to theories of narrative effects.

    Teacher: Jan Lenhart
    Time: Thursday/Friday


    Stories are a broadly used means to foster children’s language skills and serve to impart knowledge across a wide range of cognitive areas. In this hot topic session, we will focus on the role of stories in children’s vocabulary development. We will discuss theoretical accounts of shared-book reading, which typically emphasize the dyadic interaction between child and adult, and we will examine available emprirical evidence.

    Teacher: Birgit Lugrin
    Time: Friday


    In this hot topic session, we will explore the usage of social robots in the context of storytelling. Social robots are designed to interact with people in a natural, interpersonal manner. We believe, that they bear great potential to serve a storytellers, as they can support the narrative via multimodal channels such as emotional facial display or gestures, as opposed to more traditional forms such as audio books. In an introductory talk, students will first learn about existing research on social robots in storytelling. In a practical session, we will implement our own story with a robot to assess the possibilities but also the workload of such an endeavor.

      Afternoon Methods Workshop

    Workshops on research methods (with hands-on parts) are offerend for groups of 5 to 20 participants (depending on the topic) and last one afternoon. Participants can choose between the following workshops:

    Teachers: Markus Appel & Tobias Richter
    Time: Monday


    Doctoral students are expected to publish their work in international journals with peer review but getting into the process of publishing can be a challenge. This workshop covers the basic steps of publishing in peer-reviewed journals in psychology and communiction science, from selecting the right journal, planning the paper and writing it up to the review and revision process. We aim to provide background knowledge of the writing and publication process that helps doctoral students with little or no publication experience to make the right decisions, to present their research effectively, and to get their manuscripts published eventually in a good journal.

    Teacher: Sven Greving
    Time: Monday


    R is a free and versatile software environment for running statistical analyses. The workshop is aimed at researchers without any background knowledge of R. After this workshop, you will master the basics of this language and know (1) how to import and export data from different sources and create data from scratch, (2) how to (re) organize and transpose your data for analysis (especially for this summer module course’s other workshops), and (3) how to use and perform descriptive and basic inferential statistics. You will acquire these skills through learning R syntax that you can store, annotate, and adapt for your own purposes.

    Teacher: Simon Tiffin-Richards
    Time: Monday


    Eye movements are a valuable measure of cognitive processes involved in a wide range of tasks such as reading, scene perception, and visual search. In this workshop, we will look at the basic characteristics of eye movement patterns and how these may be interpreted in terms of cognitive processes. We will concentrate on how eye movement measurements are used in reading research to analyse higher-level processes of comprehension building and lower-level word recognition processes. In the course of the workshop we will discuss a range of different experimental designs to provide a broad insight into eye movement research.

    Teacher: Lynn Huestegge
    Time: Tuesday


    Eye-tracking allows for the unobstrusive measurement of eye movements. Thereby, this technique can be used to index attentional processes in many contexts, including story processing. Within this workshop, participants will learn about differences between eye-tracking systems, we will provide suggestions on how to use these systems for different purposes and show how data acquisition and analysis might be optimized for inferring aspects of visual attention.

    Teacher: Julia Schindler
    Time: Tuesday


    Experimental researchers usually collect data that comprise multiple levels (e.g., persons nested in test items and test items nested in persons, sentences nested in texts etc.). Analyzing such data with ANOVA or Multiple Regression may lead to distorted results and flawed hypothesis tests. In contrast, mixed-effects models offer many advantages for efficiently analyzing multi-level data. This workshop will provide a brief introduction to mixed-effects models for experimental researchers, including hands-on exercises with the R-package lme4. R skills are not required.

    Teacher: Anita Eerland
    Time: Tuesday


    Researchers, and society at large, need scientific findings to be robust. Yet large-scale replication efforts, like the one conducted by the Open Science Collaboration (2015), show us that this is often not the case. Some even argue that we are currently facing a replication crisis, which resulted in an enormous focus on Open Science practices. But what does Open Science entail? And why should you care? In this workshop, we will discuss various aspects of Open Science with a main focus on preregistration. This Open Science practice is often suggested as solution for several reasons for non-replication, like HARKing, p-hacking, low power, hidden moderators, and publication bias.

    Teacher: Wolfgang Lenhard
    Time: Thursday


    The free statistical environment R offers flexible and advanced methods for applying psychometric analyses to tests. This workshop offers a hands-on-tutorial for young scientists with no or only basic experiences in R and explains psychometrics with the packages foreign, psych, TAM and eRM. We will walk through the program step by step and you can practice every analysis on your own computer. The workshop will include visualization, basic analyses like assessing item discrimination and scale homogeneity and progress to advanced methods like IRT modeling and testing model assumptions.

    Teachers: Johannes Hewig & Johannes Rodrigues
    Time: Thursday


    The workshop on emotion induction provides a general background on emotion induction techniques. As a starting point a variety of techniques like pictures – including faces and emojis – film clips, virtual reality designs, mental imagery and feedback paradigms will be experienced in the laboratories by the participants. Subsequently, the techniques will be discussed and compared to each other. In particular, narrative elements in short film clips used in emotion induction research will be elaborated on. Furthermore, methods and techniques for establishing a manipulation check like self-report, peripheral physiology, event-related potentials, and electrical brain activation frequency responses are shown using research examples.

    Teachers: Hannes Muenchow & Marie-Luise Schmidt
    Time: Thursday/Friday


    Peripheral physiological responses can indicate changes of affective and motivational states. Consequently, these measures provide additional information about the processing of continuous stimuli during media exposure, such as written or spoken texts or animations. In this session, participants will be introduced into the core concepts of measuring, analysing and interpreting non-invasive peripheral-physiological measures like electrodermal activity, heart rate and respiration within the context of narrative reception.

    Teacher: Timo Gnambs
    Time: Friday


    Meta-analysis refers to a collection of statistical methods that allow summarizing results from multiple primary studies to derive an estimate of a pooled effect and its variability across contexts. Whereas it is straightforward to pool results from experimental designs with two conditions (e.g., experimental versus control group), multi-group designs with several experimental conditions are more challenging. In this situation, dependencies between effect sizes arise because each experimental condition is compared to a common control condition. The workshop will highlight problems when ignoring these dependencies and introduce several meta-analytic approaches that appropriately acknowledge dependent effect sizes (e.g., three-level and multivariate meta-analysis). The implementation of these models will be demonstrated in R using an empirical example. Participants are expected to have a basic understanding of univariate meta-analysis as a statistical method for aggregating results across primary studies and should be familiar with the basics of R.

    Teachers: Michael Brill & Frank Schwab
    Time: Friday


    FACS has established itself as the standard for the observation, but also for the construction of facial behavior in many disciplines. FACS is used to create artificial characters with emotional expression (e.g. in animated films, computer games or robots). On the analysis side, FACS is established in basic and applied research, e.g. when it comes to the facial reactions of viewers or users of media narrations. This workshop gives you the opportunity to get introduced to FACS by certified coders. This will help you to perceive facial expressions more consciously and to start recognizing and classifying nuances of facial behavior.