Research Centers

Adaptive Rationality
The Center for Adaptive Rationality (Director: Ralph Hertwig) investigates how simple decision-making strategies—also known as heuristics—and cognitive search and learning help people to navigate the twilight of uncertainty in a constantly changing world. The Center further explores how these cognitive processes develop over the lifespan and play out in groups. The insights from this research feed into conclusions and recommendations on heuristics and environmental changes that can empower citizens, patients, doctors, and policy makers to make better decisions. more
Lifespan Psychology
At the Center for Lifespan Psychology (Director: Ulman Lindenberger), researchers from various disciplines study human development from birth until old age. Using training studies, they explore hidden potentials and examine how brain changes are related to behavioral changes. In longitudinal studies like the Berlin Aging Study, they determine the causes and consequences of long-term developmental differences. more
History of Emotions
Do emotions have a history? And do they make history? These are the questions that the Research Center for the History of Emotions (Director: Ute Frevert) seeks to answer. To explore the emotional orders of the past, historians work closely with psychologists and education specialists. In addition, they draw on the expertise of anthropologists, sociologists, musicologists and scholars working on literature and art. Our research rests on the assumption that emotions—feelings and their expressions—are shaped by culture and learnt/acquired in social contexts. Research concentrates on the modern period (18th to 20th centuries). Geographically, it includes both western and eastern societies (Europe, North America and South Asia). more
Humans and Machines
The Center for Humans and Machines (Director: Iyad Rahwan) conducts science to understand, anticipate, and shape major disruptions from Artificial Intelligence, the Web, and social media to the way we think, learn, work, play, and govern our lives. more
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