Psychology of decisions in work, organization and economy
Research in the Division of Work, Organizational and Economic Psychology focuses on the psychology of judgment and decision-making in context of economic activities. Two topics are of particular interest:
1. Psychological aspects of judgment and decision making
2. Tax morale and regulation of behavior in organizations
Psychological aspects of judgment and decision making
In this research, it is analyzed how economic decisions are influenced by the perception and cognitive processing of gains, losses, probabilities and risks. Of interest are individual decisions (e.g., consumption, money management) as well as cooperation and collective decision making in social groups (e.g., fare dodging in public transport, social benefit fraud, and sustainable consumption). The results are applied to develop psychological techniques, which are referred to as nudging in the literature (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008). A nudge is a stimulus that "pushes" a person in a desired direction (e.g., recommended by experts) without restricting the freedom to decide against the recommendation. The nudging principle can be applied in numerous economy and work related settings (e.g. pension schemes, consumption, organizational citizenship behavior).
Tax morale and regulation of behavior in organizations
The second research focus is on the regulation of behavior in organizations and in particular the psychology of tax morale. Of interest are the psychological determinants of compliance in organizations, as well as strategies for regulating and influencing behavior of the members of an organization. For example, tax authorities have two complementary ways to promote tax compliance: Either by coercing taxpayers to compliance by exercising power (e.g., by tax audits and fines), or by taking trust-building measures (e.g., by transparent and fair decision-making processes, democratic participation, expertise and professionality of the authorities) that lead to voluntary cooperation (Kirchler, Hoelzl, & Wahl, 2008).