Thomas Schultze-Gerlach

Dr

20072023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

I am a social and organisational psychologist whose research draws strongly from cognitive psychology. In my research I am primarily concerned with judgement and decision-making in social contexts. Currently, my research has three main strands.

  • First, I am interested in synergy in group judgment and decision-making. The core finding of my work in this domain is that groups benefit from synergy when making quantitative judgements or decisions (e.g., investment decisions, economic forecasts, or climate prognoses) due to group-specific learning processes.
  • Second, I am studying advice taking with a particular focus on suboptimal use of advice. This includes identifying reason why (some) people are resistant to helpful advice, but also the opposite side of the coin, namely the inability to ignore useless advice. In addition, I am interested in cultural differences in advice taking.
  • Third, I am interested in the escalation of commitment, the tendency to throw good money after bad when making investment decisions. The main focus of my research in this context revolves around the question when it may be rational to continue with a seemingly losing course of action, and how to help decision-makers disengage from truly lost causes.
  • Most recently, I have extended my research interests to artificial intelligence (AI) as a source of feedback or advice. Here, I am interested whether the well-documented phenomenon of algorithm aversion (people not trusting an AI once they see that it is not infallible) can be ameliorated when re-introducing the human element into AI-based feedback or advice.

My work has been published in high-impact journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, JEP:General, JEP:LMC, Psychological Science, and Developmental Science.

Research Statement

I enjoy working in interdisciplinary teams and have done so for more than ten years. At the university of Germany, I was a co-investigator of the Research Training Group “Understanding Social Relationships” (GRK 2070), which comprised scholars from Biology, Neuroscience, Linguistics, and Psychology. I was also a PI at the interdisciplinary Leibniz ScienceCampus “Primate Cognition” . Here at Queen’s I have recently joined the extended supervisory team of the Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Algortithmic Solutions (LINAS).

I consider myself a strong proponent of open and reproducible science. In my own research, this entails preregistration of my studies as well as publicly sharing study materials, data, and analysis code. However, I have also taught the principles of open Science to undergraduate and graduate students and served as Open Science Representative of the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Primate Cognition” in Göttingen, Germany. You can find my profile on the Open Science Framework here: https://osf.io/cg9fy/

My research tends to be resource-intensive and would not be possible without considerable third-party funding. Therefore, I have acquired five grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG) totalling more than 1 million Euros. These grants include four individual projects: “A critical investigation of the effectiveness of interventions against escalating commitment” (DFG SCHU 2819/1-1), “G-I-transfer and coordination gains: group learning in discretionary tasks” (DFG SCHU 2813/2-2), “Advice takin in groups” (DFG SCHU 2813/3-1), and “Advice taking in groups (continuation)” (DFG SCHU 2813/3-2). The fifth project was embedded in the interdisciplinary DFG-funded doctoral research training group “Understanding Social Relationships” (GRK 2070) and focused on “The ontogeny of individual and collective advice taking”.

Teaching

I have taught social psychology, organisational psychology, and psychological methods at the undergraduate and graduate level for more than 15 years. At Queen's my main teaching responsibility revolved around upskilling staff at the School of Psychology in the use of R as a software for statistical analyses. To accompany my R classes, I have set up a web resource containing an introduction to working with R. You can access this website here: https://go.qub.ac.uk/QUB-PsyR.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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