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Juniors to the fore

Student involvement in frontline research

Munich, 10/14/2011

Book-learning can be a real chore – even, or perhaps especially – for full-time students. In the course of the current Winter Semester 2011/2012 all students at LMU Munich, irrespective of their subject or status, may apply for an opportunity to experience classical psychological research at close quarters. Interested volunteers will be fully integrated into an ongoing project which is devoted to the study of questions of great social significance. How do people communicate and interact with each other in the workplace? What are the hallmarks of successful teamwork? These are among the questions at issue in a research project which is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the European Social Fund. Participating students will learn at firsthand about the scientific background, the aims of the project, the hypotheses to be tested, the interpretation of data, and the results and their implications. If you are interested, please contact LMU psychologist Dr. Susanne Braun (sbraun@psy.lmu.de).

Most undergraduate students and courses deal primarily with the basics of their subjects. The issues and problems at the frontiers of international research in their subject areas are seldom encountered in the undergraduate curriculum. However, during the present Winter Semester 2011/2012, students of all subjects will have a chance to take part in an ongoing research project and see for themselves how research “works”. The project will enable them to learn how classical psychological methods are designed, applied and interpreted in the context of focused investigation. Participants can also look forward to other rewards, in the form of prizes and pocket-money.

The project will take three years, and its goal is to elucidate the factors that underlie successful teamwork and cooperation in commercial and scientific organizations. Initially the studies will focus on empirical and quantitative analysis of the data, in order to uncover interactions between the variables of interest. In a second phase the insights gained will be transferred into practice. “The results of the various studies will also be communicated to decision-makers in the worlds of business and science,” says Professor Dieter Frey, who will direct the project at LMU. “So the students who take part will be involved in a project of immediate social relevance.”

The project got underway on 1. July 2011, and is a collaborative venture led by Professor Frey (Chair of Social Psychology, LMU) together with Professors Isabell M. Welpe (Strategy and Organization) and Claudia Peus (Research and Science Management), both of whom are based at the Technical University of Munich.

Contact:
Dr. Susanne Braun
Phone: +49 89 2180 9778
Fax: +49 89 2180 999778
Email: sbraun@psy.lmu.de

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