Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Michael Waldmann, Prof. PhD

University of Göttingen

Main Research Interests

The focus of our research is on higher-level cognitive processes including learning, reasoning, categorization, judgment and decision making. Currently we study how causal and moral knowledge is acquired, represented, and used. Methodologically we combine computational modelling with behavioural experimentation to gain insights into the cognitive processes underlying these key competencies. I am also interested in the neural basis of causal and moral reasoning, and in cognitive behavioural research comparing humans with other species.

Academic Background

2010 Co-Initiator of the DFG-Priority Program "New frameworks of rationality" (SPP1516)
2010 Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science
since 2008 Principal Investigator of the Courant Center "Evolution of Social Behavior", University of Göttingen
2002-2010 Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Göttingen
since 2005 Professor of Psychology (W3) at the University of Göttingen
since 2003 Visiting Scholar at the Department of Psychology, (UCLA) (several extended stays) and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
1998 Professor of Psychology (C3) at the University of Göttingen
1996 Early career research award from the German Society for Psychology ['Charlotte- und Karl-Bühler-Preis']
1994-1998 Senior research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research [Area: 'Behavioral and cognitive development']
1995 Habilitation at the University of Tübingen
1988-1990 Postdoctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); collaboration with Keith Holyoak
1987-1994 Teaching and research positions at the Universities of Frankfurt and Tübingen
1988 Ph.D. at the University of Munich
1982-1987 Graduate student at the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich
1981 Diploma in Psychology from the University of Munich

Recent Publications

Waldmann, M. R., & Hagmayer, Y. (in press). Causal reasoning. In D. Reisberg (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Nagel, J., & Waldmann, M. R. (2013). Deconfounding distance effects in judgments of moral obligation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 39 (1), 237-252.

Dhami, M. K., Schlottmann, A., & Waldmann, M. R. (Eds.)(2012). Judgment and decision making as a skill. Learning, development and evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hagmayer, Y., Meder, B., v. Sydow, M., & Waldmann, M. R. (2011). Category transfer in sequential causal learning: The unbroken mechanism hypothesis. Cognitive Science, 35, 842-873.

Waldmann, M. R. (2007). Combining versus analyzing multiple causes: How domain assumptions and task context affect integration rules. Cognitive Science, 31, 233-256.

Waldmann, M. R., & Dieterich, J. (2007). Throwing a bomb on a person versus throwing a person on a bomb: Intervention myopia in moral intuitions. Psychological Science, 18, 247-253.

Blaisdell, A. P., Sawa, K., Leising, K. J., & Waldmann, M. R. (2006). Causal reasoning in rats. Science, 311, 1020-1022.

Waldmann, M. R., & Hagmayer, Y. (2006). Categories and causality: The neglected direction. Cognitive Psychology, 53, 27-58.

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