Leipzig University

Leipzig University was founded in 1409 making it one of the oldest universities in Germany. It is an interdisciplinary, international comprehensive university. 

On its ambitious path to becoming a European top-level university and internationally recognised seat of research and learning for young scholars the University draws on an extensive range of subject areas. Crossing boundaries of traditional academic disciplines, international collaboration, networking with non-university research institutes and business are not just traditions of the University but are also the basis of its academic excellence.

The University consists of 14 faculties with 128 institutes. 35,000 persons research, teach and study at the university and more than 4,300 persons are employed at the University Hospital of Leipzig. The university offered 136 courses of study in the 2009/10 winter semester. 5,686 doctoral candidates are registered at the UL (2,439 in medicines), 631 of whom are enrolled in 20 structured graduate training programmes (as per the end of 2009). The research potential in Leipzig is fortified by 20 non-university research institutions and five other universities.

As a university steeped in tradition, Leipzig University has always become stronger when emerging from difficult transitions. The phase after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 was dominated by a virtually complete restructuring of the humanities and social sciences while the life sciences and natural sciences were adapted to new accents in research and teaching. The fundamental reformation of its structures and courses of study was also combined with the opportunity to promote interdisciplinary collaboration from the onset and take advantage of arising synergies.

Leipzig University has been placed as the best university in the New Laender and among the top 25 in Germany in the fourth consecutive year (by the Shanghai Ranking).

Department of Social Psychology

The Department of Social Psychology is combining basic and applied research on motivated social cognition, group processes, and social identity, with a special focus on the social psychology of environmental behavior and environmental crises. This research is published in the leading journals of the field and repeatedly received prestigious external funding. Sustainability research by Prof. Dr. Immo Fritsche and his team is informed by disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and trans-disciplinary approaches. In a previous three-years transdisciplinary research project funded by the German Federal Ministery of Economic Affairs and Energy they have investigated how social identity processes affect the acceptance and use of electric mobility solutions in collaboration with groups of engineering and economic scientists and together with a local energy supplier. In this project, they found evidence that social identity variables predict the acceptance and adoption intention concerning electric mobility above and beyond personal cost-benefit variables (Barth, Jugert & Fritsche, 2016). Of interest, this contradicted the predictions by electric mobility experts in a related interview study.

In a two-years project funded by the German Federal Agency of Nature Protection, Fritsche and colleagues pursued both the dissemination and advancement of environmental psychology in a series of practitioner and scholarly workshops. Current basic research at the department addresses the motivational and cognitive foundations of group processes and intergroup conflict. In particular focus is work on how perceived threat and control loss trigger social identity concerns, laying the ground for divergent ethnocentric tendencies, such as intergroup conflict and collective action.

The team is internationally recognized for its basic and applied work in the fields of group processes and motivated social cognition and for introducing these concepts into environmental psychology. At the same time, its emphasis is on experimental laboratory and field methods, investigating both explicit and automatic cognitive and motivated processes that determine social identity and group processes. At the University of Leipzig the department is responsible for teaching social psychology and empirical research methods in BSc and MSc programs of psychology.

For a full list of publications in this and other areas refer to: http://www.biphaps.uni-leipzig.de/en/sozpsy/mitarbeiter/prof-dr-immo-fritsche.html