Wolfgang Gaissmaier

Professor, University of Konstanz

Website Wolfgang Gaissmaier


  • since 2014: Professor of Psychology, Social Psychology and Decision Sciences, University of Konstanz, Germany
  • 2013: Habilitation in Psychology, University of Heidelberg
  • 2009: Dissertation prize from the German Psychological Society, Section: General Psychology (runner up)
  • 2008-2014: Chief Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Berlin
  • 2008: Otto Hahn Medal for outstanding scientific achievements - Max Planck Society
  • 2007: PhD in Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin - summa cum laude
  • 2006: Brunswik New Investigator Award
  • 2002: Diploma in psychology (equivalent to Master's Degree), Free University Berlin

Selected publications

Sumaktoyo, N. G., Breunig, C., & Gaissmaier, W. (2022). Social sampling shapes preferences for redistribution: Evidence from a national survey experiment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 101, 104341. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JESP.2022.104341

Toyokawa, W., & Gaissmaier, W. (2022). Conformist social learning leads to self-organised prevention against adverse bias in risky decision making. ELife, 11. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.75308

Giese, H., Neth, H., & Gaissmaier, W. (2021). Determinants of information diffusion in online communication on vaccination: The benefits of visual displays. Vaccine, 39(43), 6407–6413. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.VACCINE.2021.09.016

Neth, H., Gradwohl, N., Streeb, D., Keim, D. A., & Gaissmaier, W. (2021). Perspectives on the 2 × 2 Matrix: Solving Semantically Distinct Problems Based on a Shared Structure of Binary Contingencies. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 567817. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.567817

Giese, H., Neth, H., Moussaïd, M., Betsch, C., & Gaissmaier, W. (2020). The echo in flu-vaccination echo chambers: Selective attention trumps social influence. Vaccine, 38, 2070–2076, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.11.038

Popovic, N. F., Bentele, U. U., Pruessner, J. P., Moussaïd, M., & Gaissmaier, W. (2020). Acute stress reduces the social amplification of risk perception. Scientific Reports, 10, 7845. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62399-9

Tiede, K. E., Ripke, F., Degen, N., & Gaissmaier, W. (2020). When Does the Incremental Risk Format Aid Informed Medical Decisions? The Role of Learning, Feedback, and Number of Treatment Options. Medical Decision Making, 40, 212–221. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272989X20904357

Kause, A., Townsend, T., & Gaissmaier, W. (2019). Framing climate uncertainty: Frame choices reveal and influence climate change beliefs. Weather, Climate and Society, 11, 199–215, doi: https://doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-18-0002.1

Phillips, N. D., Neth, H., Woike, J., & Gaissmaier W. (2017). FFTrees: An R package to create, visualize, and evaluate fast-and-frugal decision trees. Judgment and Decision Making 12 (4), 344–368.

Hautz, W. E., Kämmer, J. E., Schauber, S. K., Spies, C. D., & Gaissmaier, W. (2015). Diagnostic performance by medical students working individually or in teams. Journal of the American Medical Association, 313, 303–304, doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.15770

Moussaïd, M., Brighton, H., & Gaissmaier, W. (2015). The amplification of risk in experimental diffusion chains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 112, 5631–5636, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421883112

Arkes, H. R., & Gaissmaier, W. (2012). Psychological research and the prostate-cancer screening controversy. Psychological Science, 23, 547–553, doi: 10.1177/0956797612437428

Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2012). 9/11, act II: A fine-grained analysis of regional variations in traffic fatalities in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Psychological Science, 23, 1449–1454, doi: 10.1177/0956797612447804

Gaissmaier, W., Wegwarth, O., Skopec, D., Müller, A.-S., Broschinski, S., & Politi, M. C. (2012). Numbers can be worth a thousand pictures: Individual differences in understanding graphical and numerical representations of health-related information. Health Psychology, 31, 286–296, doi: 10.1037/a0024850

Wegwarth, O., Schwartz, L. M., Woloshin, S., Gaissmaier, W., & Gigerenzer, G. (2012). Do physicians understand cancer screening statistics? A national survey of primary care physicians in the U.S. Annals of Internal Medicine, 156, 340–349.

Gaissmaier, W.*, & Marewski, J. N.* (2011). Forecasting elections with mere recognition from small, lousy samples: A comparison of collective recognition, wisdom of crowds, and representative polls. Judgment and Decision Making, 6, 73–88.             * Both authors contributed equally.

Gigerenzer, G., & Gaissmaier, W. (2011). Heuristic decision making. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 451–482. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-120709-145346

Heesen, C., Kleiter, I., Nguyen, F., Schäffler, N., Kasper, J., Köpke, S., & Gaissmaier, W. (2010). Risk perception in natalizumab-treated multiple sclerosis patients and their neurologists. Multiple Sclerosis, 16, 1507–1512.

Gaissmaier, W., & Schooler, L. J. (2008). The smart potential behind probability matching. Cognition, 109, 416–422, doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2008.09.007

Bröder, A. & Gaissmaier, W. (2007). Sequential processing of cues in memory-based multi-attribute decisions. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 14, 895–900.

Gigerenzer, G., Gaissmaier, W., Kurz-Milcke, E., Schwartz, L. M., & Woloshin, S. (2007). Helping doctors and patients make sense of health statistics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8, 53–96, doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6053.2008.00033.x

Gaissmaier, W., Schooler, L. J., & Rieskamp, J. (2006). Simple predictions fueled by capacity limitations: When are they successful? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 32, 966–982, doi: 10.1037/0278-7393.32.5.966