Office D 512
Tel.: +49 7531 88-3024
Fax: +49 7531 88-5288

Research interests

  • Judgment and decision making
  • Individual differences in decision making
  • Risk perception and communication
  • Memory-based decision making
  • Medical decision making
  • Ecological rationality
  • Models of heuristics

Professional experience

since 2014 Full Professor of Social Psychology and Decision Sciences (W3), Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Germany
since 2014 Adjunct Researcher, Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
2008–2014 Chief Research Scientist, Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
2007 Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
2003–2006 Predoctoral Fellow, Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany


2013 Habilitation in Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
2007 PhD in Psychology, Free University Berlin, Germany
2002 Diploma in Psychology (equivalent to Master’s Degree), Free University Berlin, Germany

Honors and awards

2013 Rising Star, Association for Psychological Science
2012 Fellow, German Young Academy, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities & German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
2009 Dissertation prize (runner up), German Psychological Society, Section: General Psychology
2008 Otto Hahn Medal for outstanding scientific achievements, Max Planck Society
2006 New Investigator Award, Brunswik Society


Toyokawa W, and Gaissmaier W. (2021) Conformist social learning leads to self-organised prevention against adverse bias in risky decision making. bioRxiv. [Code:]

Neth, H., Gradwohl, N., Streeb, D., Keim, D.A., & Gaissmaier, W. (2021).  Perspectives on the 2x2 matrix: Solving semantically distinct problems based on a shared structure of binary contingencies.  Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 567817.  doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.567817

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.

Giese, H., Neth, H., Moussaïd, M., Betsch, C., & Gaissmaier, W. (2019).  The echo in flu-vaccination echo chambers: Selective attention trumps social influence.  Vaccine.  [Available online 18 December 2019]  doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.11.03

Gaissmaier, W., Giese, H., Galesic, M., Garcia-Retamero, R., Kasper, J., ... Heesen, C. (2018). Numeracy of multiple sclerosis patients: A comparison of patients from the PERCEPT study to a German probabilistic sample. Patient Education and Counseling, 101(1), 74–78 doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2017.07.018

Neth, H., Gaisbauer, F., Gradwohl, N., & Gaissmaier, W. (2018).  riskyr: A toolbox for rendering risk literacy more transparent.  Social Psychology and Decision Sciences, University of Konstanz, Germany. Computer software (R package version 0.2.0, Dec. 20, 2018).  Retrieved from

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

Neth, H., & Gaissmaier, W. (2017).  Warum erfolgreiche Prognosen einfach und unsicher sind.  Von der Wahl des richtigen Werkzeugs für Wähler und die Wahlforschung.  Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, 27 (2), 205–220.  doi: 10.1007/s41358-017-0100-5

Galesic, M., Kause, A., & Gaissmaier, W. (2016). A sampling framework for uncertainty in individual environmental decisions. Topics in Cognitive Science, 8, 242-258. doi: 10.1111/tops.12172

Gaissmaier, W., Wilke, A., Scheibehenne, B., McCanney, P., & Barrett, H. C. (2016). Betting on Illusory Patterns: Probability Matching in Habitual Gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, 32, 143-156.
doi: 10.1007/s10899-015-9539-9

Gaissmaier, W., & Neth, H. (2016).  Die Intelligenz einfacher Entscheidungsregeln in einer ungewissen Welt.  Controller Magazin, 41(2), 19–26.

Kendel, F., Helbig, L., Neumann, K., Herden, J., Stephan, C., Schrader, M., & Gaissmaier, W. (2016). Patients’ perceptions of mortality risk for localized prostate cancer vary markedly depending on their treatment strategy. International Journal of Cancer, 139, 749–753. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30123

Donner-Banzhoff, N., Seidel, J., Sikeler, A.-M., Bösner, S., Vogelmeier, M., Westram, A., Feufel, M., Gaissmaier, W., Wegwarth, O., & Gigerenzer, G. (2016). The phenomenology of the diagnostic process: A primary-care based survey. Medical Decision Making. doi: 10.1177/0272989X16653401

Oertelt-Prigione, S. Seeland, U., Kendel, F., Rücke, M., Floeel, A., Gaissmaier, W., Heim, C. M., Schnabel, R., Stangl, V., & Regitz-Zagrosek, V. (2015).  Cardiovascular risk factor distribution and subjective risk estimation in urban women (BEFRI study): A randomized cross-sectional study.  BMC Medicine13, 52. doi: 10.1186/s12916-015-0304-9

Gigerenzer, G., & Gaissmaier, W. (2015). Decision making: Nonrational theories. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 5). Amsterdam: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.26017-0

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 Association313, 303–304. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.15770

Monteiro, S. D., Sherbino, J. D., Ilgen, J.S., Dore, K.L., Wood, T.J., Young, M.E., Bandiera, G., Blouin, D., Gaissmaier, W., Norman, G. R., Howey, E. (2015).  Disrupting diagnostic reasoning: The effect of interruptions on the diagnostic performance of residents and emergency physicians.  Academic Medicine.  doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000614

Wilke, A., Scheibehenne, B., Gaissmaier, W., McCanney, P., & Barrett, H. C. (2015).  Illusionary pattern detection in habitual gamblers.  Evolution and Human Behavior35, 291–297. doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.02.010

Gigerenzer, G., & Gaissmaier, W. (2015).  Intuition und Führung.  In M. W. Fröse, S. Kaudela-Baum, & F. E. P. Dievernich (Eds.), Emotion und Intuition in Führung und Organisation.  Heidelberg: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-658-07796-9_2

Bodemer, N., & Gaissmaier, W. (2015). Risk perception.  In H. Cho, T. Reimer, & K. A. McComas (Eds.). The Sage Handbook of Risk Communication (pp. 10–23). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.