Ralph Hertwig

Director of the Research Center for Adaptive Rationality and
Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Office of the Director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality
Maren Kutscha, Katja Münz, Petra Siemers-Hering
Phone: +49 30 82406-202

Office of the Managing Director
Katrin Götz
Phone: +49 30 82406-210

Memberships and Service (Selection)

  • Member, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Section "Psychology and Cognitive Sciences"
  • Member, German National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech
  • Member, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science (APS)
  • Member, Wilhelm-Wundt-Gesellschaft
  • Faculty, International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE)
  • Fellow, Max Planck School of Cognition
  • Faculty, International Max Planck Research School for Computational Methods in Psychiatry and Ageing Research (COMP2PSYCH)

Research interests

  • Models of bounded and ecological rationality
  • Decisions from experience
  • The psychology of risk
  • Lifespan development of decision making
  • Evidence-based public policy (Boosting)

Short CV

2017Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize
since 2016Honorary professor, Freie Universität Berlin
since 2013Honorary Professor, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
since 2012Director, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
2005–2012Full Professor for Cognitive and Decision Sciences at the Department of Psychology, University of Basel
2003Habilitation in Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin
1995Ph. D. (Dr. rer soc.) in Psychology, Universität Konstanz

Selection of recent publications

(the complete list of publications can be found here)

  • Haux, L. M., Engelmann, J. M., Arslan, R. C., Hertwig, R., & Herrmann, E. (2023). Chimpanzee and human risk preferences show key similarities. Psychological Science, 34(3), 358–369.
  • Lorenz-Spreen, P., Oswald, L., Lewandowsky, S., & Hertwig, R. (2023). A systematic review of worldwide causal and correlational evidence on digital media and democracy: . Nature Human Behaviour, 7, 74–101. Open access
  • Hertwig, R., & Ellerbrock, D. (2022). Why people choose deliberate ignorance in times of societal transformation. Cognition229, Article 105247. Open access
  • Hertwig, R., Leuker, C., Pachur, T., Spiliopoulos, L., & Pleskac, T. J. (2022). Studies in ecological rationality. Topics in Cognitive Science14(3), 467–491.
  • Leuker, C., Eggeling, L. M., Fleischhut, N., Gubernath, J., Gumenik, K., Hechtlinger, S., Kozyreva, A., Samaan, L., & Hertwig, R. (2022). Misinformation in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey on citizens’ perceptions and individual differences in the belief in false information. European Journal of Health Communication3(2), 13–39. Open access
  • Li, Y., Luan, S., Li, Y., Wu, J., Li, W., & Hertwig, R. (2022). Does risk perception motivate preventive behavior during a pandemic? A longitudinal study in the United States and China. American Psychologist77(1), 111–123.
  • Reijula, S., & Hertwig, R. (2022). Self-nudging and the citizen choice architect. Behavioural Public Policy6(1), 119–149.
  • Lejarraga, T., & Hertwig, R. (2021). How experimental methods shaped views on human competence and rationality. Psychological Bulletin147(6), 535–564.
  • Hertwig, R., & Engel, C. (Eds.). (2020). Deliberate ignorance: Choosing not to know. MIT Press.
    • Here is a book review essay by Thomas Hills.
  • Kozyreva, A., Lewandowsky, S., & Hertwig, R. (2020). Citizens versus the internet: Confronting digital challenges with cognitive tools. Psychological Science in the Public Interest21(3), 103–156. Open access
Go to Editor View