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Chair Englich Group | Angewandte Sozialpsychologie und Entscheidungsforschung

Prof. Dr. Birte Englich

In memoriam

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is with great sadness that we inform you that our dear friend and colleague, Prof. Dr. Birte Englich, passed away unexpectedly last Monday, September 2nd. Birte was only 51 years old, and her death, due to sudden heart failure, comes as a great shock.

Birte was a great colleague, a creative researcher, a caring teacher, and a loving friend. With her passing, we have lost an inspiring scholar, who led an exciting and fulfilled academic and personal life.

Birte received her Psychology Diploma from the University of Mannheim in 1995, her PhD from the University of Tübingen in 2000, and her Habilitation from the University of Würzburg in 2006. Since 2009 she held the chair for Applied Social Psychology and Decision Science at the University of Cologne. From early on in her career, Birte combined an interest in social cognitive phenomena and judicial decision-making, drawing on both lab and field studies. Her most influential work shows that judges’ decisions in the courtroom are prone to the same basic social cognitive principles (e.g., anchoring and insufficient adjustment) as students are in laboratory situations. Her work in this domain is now among modern classics in social psychology and included in many textbooks.

Birte was passionate about making sure that psychological science found its way to where it makes a difference. She regularly gave workshops and seminars to lawyers, judges, and other judicial experts, working to prevent detrimental biases and improve decision-making in legal settings. While Birte’s scientific work was extremely important to her, she prioritized the people around her. She was an optimistic colleague, who saw the good in life, and in people. As an admired teacher, she enthused her students for social psychology through her lectures and seminars. Because of her open and friendly nature students often sought her out for advice and support. She was a caring and supportive mentor, who encouraged intellectual independence.

We will miss her terribly.

Our thoughts are with her family, especially her two children, during this tragic time.

With great sadness,
On behalf of the Social Cognition Center Cologne, and the University of Cologne,
Jan Crusius, Iris Schneider, Christian Unkelbach, and Tobias Wingen

 

Research interests

Judgment and decision making • Judicial decision making • Heuristics and biases • Confirmatory information processing • Bias correction • Social power • Expertise • Moral judgment • Indecisiveness

Key Publications

  • Schmittat, S. M., & Englich, B. (2016). If you judge, investigate! Responsibility reduces confirmatory information processing in legal experts. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 22, 386–400. doi:10.1037/law0000097
  • Burgmer, P., & Englich, B. (2013). Bullseye! How power improves motor performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 224–232. doi:10.1177/1948550612452014
  • Fischer, J., Fischer, P., Englich, B., Aydin, N., & Frey, D. (2011). Empower my decisions: The effects of power gestures on confirmatory information processing. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 1146–1154. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.06.008
  • Englich, B., Mussweiler, T., & Strack, F. (2006). Playing dice with criminal sentences: The influence of irrelevant anchors on experts' judicial decision making. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 188-200. doi:10.1177/0146167205282152
  • Englich, B., Mussweiler, T., & Strack, F. (2005). The last word in court—A hidden disadvantage for the defense. Law and Human Behavior, 29, 705–722. doi:10.1007/s10979-005-8380-7

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All Publications

  • Wingen, T., Berkessel, J., & Englich, B. (in press). No replication, no trust? How low replicability influences trust in psychology. Social Psychological and Personality Science. [preprint] [data and materials on OSF]
  • Bahník, Š., Englich, B., & Strack, F. (2017). Anchoring effect. In R. F. Pohl (Ed.), Cognitive illusions: Intriguing phenomena in thinking, judgment, and memory (2nd ed., pp. 223–241). London and New York: Routledge.
  • Böhmer, M., Englich, B., & Böhmer, I. (2017). Schülerbeurteilung aus der Perspektive dualer Prozessmodelle der sozialen Urteilsbildung. In A. Südkamp & A.-K. Praetorius (Eds.), Diagnostische Kompetenz von Lehrkräften (pp. 50–54). Münster, Germany: Waxmann.
  • Schmittat, S. M., & Englich, B. (2016). If you judge, investigate! Responsibility reduces confirmatory information processing in legal experts. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 22, 386–400. doi:10.1037/law0000097
  • Burgmer, P., & Englich, B. (2013). Bullseye! How power improves motor performance. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 224–232. doi:10.1177/1948550612452014
  • Fischer, J., Fischer, P., Englich, B., Aydin, N., & Frey, D. (2011). Empower my decisions: The effects of power gestures on confirmatory information processing. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 1146–1154. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.06.008
  • Englich, B. (2009). Heuristic strategies and persistent biases in sentencing decisions. In M. E. Oswald, S. Bieneck, & J. Hupfeld-Heinemann (Eds.), Social psychology of punishment of crime (pp. 295–314). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Englich, B., & Soder, K. (2009). Moody experts—How mood and expertise influence judgmental anchoring. Judgment and Decision Making, 4, 41–50.
  • Niehaus, D. S., Englich, P.-D. D. B., & Volbert, P.-D. D. R. (2009). Psychologie des Strafverfahrens. In P. D. med H.-L. Kröber, P. D. jur D. Dölling, P. D. med N. Leygraf, & P. D. med H. Sass (Eds.), Handbuch der Forensischen Psychiatrie (pp. 662–688). Steinkopff. doi:10.1007/978-3-7985-1746-2_17
  • Englich, B. (2008). Urteilseinflüsse vor Gericht. In M. Steller & R. Volbert (Eds.), Handbuch der Psychologie: Band VI. Handbuch der Rechtspsychologie (pp. 486–496). Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.
  • Englich, B. (2008). When knowledge matters—Differential effects of available knowledge in standard and basic anchoring tasks. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 896–904. doi:10.1002/ejsp.479
  • Englich, B. (2006). Ankereffekte im juristischen Kontext. In H.-W. Bierhoff & D. Frey (Eds.), Handbuch der Psychologie: Band III. Handbuch der Sozialpsychologie und Kommunikationspsychologie (pp. 309–313). Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.
  • Englich, B. (2006). Blind or biased? Justitia’s susceptibility to anchoring effects in the courtroom based on given numerical representations. Law & Policy, 28, 497–514. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9930.2006.00236.x
  • Englich, B., Mussweiler, T., & Strack, F. (2006). Playing dice with criminal sentences: The influence of irrelevant anchors on experts' judicial decision making. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 188-200. doi:10.1177/0146167205282152
  • Englich, B. (2005). "Geben Sie ihm doch einfach fünf Jahre!" - Einflüsse parteiischer Zwischenrufer auf richterliche Urteile. ["Give him five years!"—Influences of partisan hecklers on judges’ sentencing decisions]. Zeitschrift Für Sozialpsychologie, 36, 215–225. doi:10.1024/0044-3514.36.4.215
  • Englich, B. (2005). Rechtsfindung und deren Auswirkung im Spannungsfeld zwischen Gesetzestexten und psychologischen Einflüssen. Zeitschrift Für Sozialpsychologie, 36, 157–159. doi:10.1024/0044-3514.36.4.157
  • Englich, B. (2005). Verschiedene Kurzbeiträge und Kommentare. In R. M. Kiesow & M. Korte (Eds.), EGB: Emotionales Gesetzbuch. Köln, Germany: Böhlau-Verlag.
  • Englich, B., Mussweiler, T., & Strack, F. (2005). The last word in court—A hidden disadvantage for the defense. Law and Human Behavior, 29, 705–722. doi:10.1007/s10979-005-8380-7
  • Mussweiler, T., & Englich, B. (2005). Subliminal anchoring: Judgmental consequences and underlying mechanisms. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 98, 133–143. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2004.12.002
  • Mussweiler, T., & Englich, B. (2004). Sicherheit im Umgang mit dem Euro – Evidenz für eine schnelle Gewöhnung an die neue Währung [Certainty in dealing with the Euro: Evidence for a rapid adaption to the new currency]. Wirtschaftspsychologie, 4, 66–70.
  • Mussweiler, T., Englich, B., & Strack, F. (2004). Anchoring effect. In R. Pohl (Ed.), Cognitive illusions: A handbook of fallacies and biases in thinking, judgement, and memory (pp. 183–200). London, UK: Psychology Press.
  • Englich, B., & Fisch, R. (2003). Projektgruppen als Instrument für nachhaltige Entwicklung in einer modernen Verwaltung. In M. Kopatz (Ed.), Reformziel Nachhaltigkeit: Kommunen als Mitgestalter einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung (pp. 157–173). Berlin, Germany: Edition Sigma.
  • Mussweiler, T., & Englich, B. (2003). Adapting to the Euro: Evidence from bias reduction. Journal of Economic Psychology, 24, 285–292. doi:10.1016/S0167-4870(03)00015-1
  • Englich, B. (2001). Psychologische Rhetorik für Juristen: Evaluation eines sozialpsychologisch fundierten Trainingsprogramms. Hamburg, Germany: Dr. Kovac.
  • Englich, B., & Fisch, R. (2001). Projektgruppen in der öffentlichen Verwaltung: Lagebericht und Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten. In E. H. Witte (Ed.), Leistungsverbesserungen in aufgabenorientierten Kleingruppen. Lengerich, Germany: Pabst Science Publishers.
  • Englich, B., & Mussweiler, T. (2001). Sentencing under uncertainty: Anchoring effects in the courtroom. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31, 1535–1551. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2001.tb02687.x
  • Fisch, R., & Englich, B. (2001). Erfahrungen mit Projektgruppen in der öffentlichen Verwaltung. In R. Fisch, D. Beck, & B. Englich (Eds.), Projektgruppen in Organisationen: Praktische Erfahrungen und Erträge der Forschung (pp. 135–151). Göttingen, Germany: Verlag für Angewandte Psychologie.
  • Englich, B., & Fisch, R. (1999). Projektgruppen in der öffentlichen Verwaltung: Aktuelle Verbreitung, Chancen, Modernisierungsaspekte. Speyer, Germany: Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für öffentliche Verwaltung.
  • Englich, B., & Fisch, R. (1999). Projektgruppen in der öffentlichen Verwaltung: Ein Spiegelbild der Verwaltungsmodernisierung zwischen zwei Menschenbildern. Verwaltung & Management, 6, 329–332.
  • Englich, B., & Fisch, R. (1997). Schriftenreihe Verwaltungsorganisation: Band 18. Leitfaden zur Projektorganisation. Bonn, Germany: Bundesministerium des Innern.
  • Kracke, B., & Englich, B. (1997). Vorbereitung auf die Professur? Erfahrungen von studentischen Hilfskräften am Arbeitsplatz Universität. In B. Kracke & E. Wild (Eds.), Arbeitsplatz Hochschule: Zur beruflichen Sozialisation und Förderung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs (pp. 47–72). Heidelberg, Germany: Mattes.
  • Schmid, J., Fiedler, K., Englich, B., Ehrenberger, T., & Semin, G. R. (1996). Taking sides with the defendant: Grammatical choice and the influence of implicit attributions in prosecution and defense speeches. International Journal of Psycholinguistics, 12, 127-148.

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Academic distinctions

  • DFG Research Grant EN 835/5-1 Are findings on uncertainty transferable to indecisiveness? – Conceptual relationships, critical boundary conditions, and implications for application, 2019-2022
  • Research Fellowship at the Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz, Austria, 2016 and 2017
  • Research Grant from the Volkswagen Stiftung The Role of Expertise in Moral Decision-Making about Immoral Everyday Behaviour and Criminal Acts, an international and interdisciplinary cooperation within the European Platform for Life Sciences, Mind Sciences, and the Humanities, 2010-2015
  • Grant from the Volkswagen Stiftung for participation at the Summer Academy of the Emotions (Work Group Norms and Feelings), an interdisciplinary workshop, organized by the Junge Akademie at the Villa Vigoni, Menaggio, Lake Como, 2002 and 2003

Teaching Prizes

  • Departmental student organization at the University of Cologne, 2016
  • German Academy for Judges for the best training of the year, 2007
  • German Postgraduate School for Administrative Sciences in Speyer for the best course of the semester, 2000

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