Tobias Schröder is a social and cognitive scientist. Currently, he is a Research Professor at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences in Germany, at the recently founded interdisciplinary Institute for Urban Futures.
Basic Research: Dynamics of Social Interaction and Emotion
Tobias Schröder's research focuses on trying to understand the dynamics of social interaction and emotional experience, bridging multiple levels of explanation from the neural to the cognitive-affective to the social and cultural. Accordingly, he has an interdisciplinary perspective on social psychological phenomena, incorporating theories and methods from neighbouring disciplines such as sociology and cognitive neuroscience. He often uses computational models and simulation techniques such as neural networks or agent-based models to try and handle the complexities inherent in a dynamical, multilevel approach to social psychology. However, he usually complements these methodological tools with the more classical empirical strategies of a social psychologist, by rigorously grounding models in empirical data and testing model outcomes and predictions with experiments and behavioural observation.
Applying Social Psychology to Promoting Sustainable Urban Futures
Tobias Schröder thinks that social psychology has much to offer to help better understand and address some of the current enormous challenges to societies in general and cities in particular. Therefore, he strives to apply the basic insights about emotional processes, social behaviour, and communication to problems related to sustainable urban development (e.g., climate change mitigation and adaptation, demographic change, growing inequality). He believes that changing people’s minds and behaviours is as much of a challenge as the development of new technologies if we want to achieve a better life in our cities and a sustainable future for humanity.