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Our research activities concern various topics in Psychology, including:

  • Perceptual decision making
  • Visual awareness
  • Metacognition
  • Moral judgements
  • Shame and guilt
  • Human-machine interactions
  • Language and reading
  • Music psychology


Our research is based on multiple methodological approaches:

  • Psychophysics (visual and auditory)
  • Cognitive modeling (Bayesian models, signal detection models,
    sequential sampling models, simulations)


We are strongly committed to
research transparency
and open science

Funded projects

Sure or unsure: How is confidence in perceptual decisions generated?

Principal investigators: Prof. Michael Zehetleitner and Dr. Manuel Rausch
Project staff: Sebastian Hellmann,
Project duration: 2019 – 2023
funded by: German Research Foundation

Project description: Human observers are frequently faced with the need to respond to external objects although perception of these objects is incomplete or distorted. In these cases, it is necessary to use the percept of the object to make a decision which of several possible objects is present at the moment. In general terms, these decisions are characterized by three properties: First, humans can make a correct or an incorrect decision which of the objects is present. Second, it may take varying periods of time until a decision is accomplished. Finally, humans may feel a greater or lesser degree of confidence about having made the correct decision about the object. However, the existing mathematical theories of decision-making are not able to provide a satisfactory explanation for accuracy, decision time, and confidence at the same time. The goal of the present project is to provide and test a mathematical theory of choice, confidence, and decision time. For this purpose, we aim to extend the weighed evidence and visibility model, a recently proposed theory of choice and confidence, to include decision time as well.


Rahnev, D., Desender, K., Lee, A. L. F., Adler, W. T., Aguilar-Lleyda, D., Akdoğan, B., … Zylberberg, A. (2020). The Confidence Database. Nature Human Behavior. Full material.

Rausch, M., & Zehetleitner, M. (2019). The folded X-pattern is not necessarily a statistical signature of decision confidence. PLoS Computational Biology. 15 (10), e1007456. Full text. Full material.

Rausch, M., Hellmann, S., & Zehetleitner, M. (2018). Confidence in masked orientation discrimination decisions is informed by both evidence and visibility. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 80, 134-155. Full text. Full material.

Schlagbauer, B., Rausch, M., Zehetleitner, M., Müller, H. J. & Geyer, T. (2018). Contextual cueing of visual search is associated with greater subjective experience of the search display configuration. Neuroscience of Consciousness, 4, 1, niy001. Full text. Full material.

Rausch, M., & Zehetleitner, M. (2017). Should metacognition be measured by logistic regression? Consciousness and Cognition, 49, 291-312. Full text. Full material.

Schönbrodt, F. D., Wagenmakers, E.-J., Zehetleitner, M., & Perugini, M. (2017). Sequential Hypothesis Testing With Bayes Factors: Efficiently Testing Mean Difference. Psychological Methods, 22(2), 322–339. Full text.

Rangelov, D., Müller, H. J., & Zehetleitner, M. (2017). Failure to pop Out: Feature singletons do not capture attention under low signal-to-noise ratio conditions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(5), 651–671. Full text.

Rausch, M., & Zehetleitner, M. (2016). Visibility is not equivalent to confidence in a low contrast orientation discrimination task. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 591. Full text. Full material.

Moran, R., Zehetleitner, M., Liesefeld, H. R., Müller, H. J., & Usher, M. (2016). Serial vs. parallel models of attention in visual search: accounting for benchmark RT-distributions. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 23(5), 1300–1315. Full text.