Experimental Psychology

Introduction

The experimental psychology group offers methodological and theoretical collaboration to clinical project groups in these fields, with a specific focus on longitudinal data and time series, psychotherapeutic change mechanisms, embodied cognition in therapeutic exchange, and mindfulness-based interventions.

Concerning psychotherapeutic change, we conduct empirical projects that illustrate which of the common change factors of psychotherapy are activated by the various therapeutic techniques. These projects address dyadic and group psychotherapies with psychiatric patients, treated in day hospitals as well as ambulatory settings and inpatient units. For the analysis of change mechanisms, we specialize in time series modeling through vector autoregression and related methods. In embodiment research, we study processes of motoric and nonverbal synchrony in psychotherapy sessions and other dyadic social interactions. We have developed specific methods for measuring synchrony: SUSY (surrogate synchrony) detects social coupling based on cross-correlational statistics and surrogate tests. MEA (Motion Energy Analysis) is a method to monitor movement in video recordings.  In mindfulness research, a comprehensive questionnaire (the CHIME) was developed by our group and is currently used in projects on mindfulness-based psychotherapy (MBCT) and, as a short form, in ecological assessments.