Thanks for your interest in joining our lab!

Research in our lab deals with the determinants, processes and consequences as well as the assessment of individual differences (aka personality) and their interplay with social relationships.  This is the right place to be if you are interested in (or even fascinated by) topics such as a) personality and first impressions; b) the accuracy of personality judgments; c) personality and the development of social status, friendships and romantic relationships; d) personality, social interactions, and well-being; e) narcissism, f) social skills, g) societal conflict and conspiracy mentality or h) the development of personality.

You can read more about what we do on our research pages. We conduct a variety of different kinds of studies, including online surveys, laboratory experiments, and experience-sampling studies. For the execution of these studies, our lab provides a rich research infrastructure (see Labs and Tools) including 1) software for questionnaire as well as reaction-time based online surveys; 2) a computer lab that allows for the assessment of a variety of reaction-time based tests and the assessment of standardized interpersonal perceptions for multiple participants; 3) interaction labs for the observation of dyadic and group interactions with high-quality video and audio recording units along with up-to date behavior observation software; and 4) latest tools and software for various experience sampling methods, including online diaries as well as  event- and time-based smartphone assessments.


  • Join us as a BSc.- or MSc.-student

    There are several (not mutually exclusive) options:

    • In case you want to write your BSc.- or MSc.-thesis in our lab: Check out available topics and guidelines, comb through our research topics, research projects and recent publications and email us your suggestion for a topic.
      You can find an overview of available Bsc.- and MSc.-projects by clicking on the links!
    • The best way to get to know our lab is to join us as a research trainee. Typically, you will be assigned to one or more research projects and will be involved in several steps of the research process (literature review; planning, conducting and execution of studies; preparation, analyses and presentation of data). As a trainee you can either work for 4-6 weeks (full time) or accompanying your studies for one semester (part time). Flexible arrangements are possible. From time to time we are actively seeking for research trainees, you can find available projects here.
    • Much like research trainees, student assistants will be assigned to one or more projects and will be active team members in ongoing research. The main difference is that you only work for a fix amount of hours per week (typically between 5 and 10) and that you get paid (which is why we can only hire a limited number of student assistants). Typically, we expect our student assistants to continue working in our lab for longer periods of time and to write their BSc- or MSc-thesis in our lab. Watch out for job advertisements if you are interested in being a student assistant in our lab.
    • Our seminars in psychological assessment and personality psychology are supported by student tutors who give advice and feedback regarding specific assessment techniques (e.g., seminars on personality and performance tests, diagnostic interviewing, test construction) and supervise the planning, execution and analysis of small research projects (e.g., seminars on personality psychology). Student tutors are employed according to the same conditions as research assistants. If you already successfully attended the course in question yourself and are interested in being a tutor in our work group, just ask us or look here whether there currently are free positions.

    For any of these positions, the most important qualifications are a strong motivation to learn about empirical research, strong methodological competence, high reliability and good organizational skills. If all this sounds interesting to you but you have further questions, please contact Professor Mitja Back.

  • Join us as a PhD student or PostDoc

    You are interested in a career in research? You have excellent methodological skills and plenty of scientific ideas/plans/questions in mind? You can imagine performing your own competitive research within a cooperative team of researchers? In our lab PhD students and PostDocs have opportunities to pursue research on a variety of topics around the dynamic interplay of personality and social relationships (see the research page for details). Our lab provides you with an excellent infrastructure, resources and expertise to support online, laboratory-based and field studies of individuals, dyads, or groups (see Labs and Tools). Regular positions in our lab will be announced. You can also write proposals for research grants and/or apply for scholarships. Contact Professor Mitja Back to discuss available options.

    If you are interested in projects in the lab, would like to work on a joint project during a research stay or have some other ideas for collaborations, get in touch.