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Applied Cognitive Psychology

The Applied Cognitive Psychology section conducts research within (Louis) "Pasteur's quadrant", meaning application-oriented basic research.

Real problems are identified and their underlying principles are worked out in the laboratory. The knowledge gained can then lead to applied research, which in turn can contribute towards solving the problems. For instance, take the question as to whether overweight and obesity can be furthered by the fact that people cannot accurately process today’s complex dietary information.

In the laboratory we study how information must be presented (for instance, food labels that are easier to interpret) so that people can use it for the intended purpose, especially also in demanding situations such as when under stress. Solutions developed in the laboratory can then be tested in stores (such as Migros supermarkets). Success can contribute towards balanced and healthy nutrition.

Research topics

Information visualization

People are being confronted with an ever increasing flood of information. Research projects in this area aim to discover how complex information should be visualized in a user-friendly way based on the latest findings of cognitive basic research.

Decision aids

Research projects in this area aim to shape the decision-making environment in such a way that people make decisions that benefit themselves and society. As an additional objective, the findings should contribute towards development of a theory of nudging.

Further research projects

Attention and memory in applied contexts


We are responsible for offering courses that teach universal fundamental laws of human experience and behaviour (cognition, emotions, etc.) and their neuronal basis. Through courses on the history of psychology and the four largest schools of psychology, we ensure a perspective that transcends any individual school of thought. By offering courses on other, non-psychology disciplines we transmit the ability to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue.
We are responsible for further developing the curriculum and involving lecturers in these thematic areas. Research projects in the context of applied cognitive psychology (for instance, designing pictogrammes for use in a medical context, eye witness statements) ensure the transfer of basic research findings to the world of practice.



Head of Section Applied Cognitive Psychology