Prof. Dr. Malte Friese


Geb. A 2.4 - Raum 1.30
Sprechstunde: Dienstag von 13:30 - 14:30
Tel.: +49(0)681/302-3196
Fax: +49(0)681/302-4640

Research Interests



The dynamics of self-control

Many self-control situations are characterized by conflicts between individuals’ long-term goals and their short-term impulses. Based on current models of human information processing (Strack & Deutsch, 2004), my colleagues and I developed a framework that specifies three components of self-regulatory behavior: (1) reflective precursors of behavior such as explicit attitudes and personal standards, (2) impulsive precursors of behavior such as spontaneous affective reactions toward a temptation, and (3) boundary factors that shift the weight of reflective and impulsive processes on behavior such as the willingness and the ability of the individual to exert control over behavior (Friese, Wänke, & Hofmann, 2009; Hofmann, Friese, & Strack, 2009). A series of studies supported the assumptions that reflective precursors correspond to observed self-regulatory behavior better under conditions of high ability to control and the reverse was true for impulsive precursors of behavior, emphasizing the dynamic underlying self-control behavior (for an overview, see Hofmann et al., 2009).


Self-control depletion

Abundant evidence suggests that initial acts of self-control impair performance in subsequent attempts at self-control, a phenomenon dubbed ego depletion. Several lines of my research revolve around this phenomenon: First, my colleagues and I investigated conditions that (a) counteract, and (b) reduce susceptibility to ego depletion effects (e.g., Friese, Messner, & Schaffner, 2012; Friese & Wänke, 2014). Second, despite abundant behavioral evidence, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying ego depletion effects. In a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) my colleagues and I investigated the neural correlates of ego depletion and overcoming depletion by increasing motivation to perform well (Friese, Binder, Luechinger, Boesiger, & Rasch, 2013; Luethi et al., 2016).



In a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) my colleagues and I investigate the influence of the precision of first offers in negotiations. Increasing precision leads to a stronger anchoring pull for negotiation amateurs. For experts, precision backfires unless a convincing rationale is given (Loschelder, Friese, Schaerer, & Galinsky, 2016).

A second line of research investigated when and why making the first offer in a negotiation increases versus impairs a negotiator’s outcomes. Our model suggests that first offers serve as supporting anchors, but may also reveal priority information that may be exploited by the opponent. The data supported these assumptions (Loschelder, Trötschel, Swaab, Friese, & Galinsky, 2016).

Finally, a third project demonstrated that self-regulation techniques such as goal setting and forming if-then plans can help negotiators overcome the detriments of being in structurally disadvantageous positions (e.g., having low power; Jäger, Loschelder, & Friese, 2015; 2017).


Implicit Social Cognition

In recent years, implicit measures to measure attitudes, self-concept or impulses have sparked immense research interest. In one line of research, my colleagues and I investigated influences of stimulus selection in Implicit Association Tests (Bluemke & Friese, 2006, 2012). Other work examined the psychometric properties of the Single Category Implicit Association Test (SC-IAT) and its suitability to measure spontaneous evaluations toward multiple attitude objects (Bluemke & Friese, 2008; Friese, Bluemke, & Wänke, 2007).

In a review of the literature on the predictive validity of implicit measures, my colleagues and I developed a two-dimensional classification system of moderators that is based on contemporary dual-process models (Friese, Hofmann, & Schmitt, 2008).

Another focus of my work was the application of implicit measures to the prediction of political voting behavior (e.g., Friese, Smith, Plischke, Bluemke, & Nosek, 2012; see Friese, Smith, Koever, & Bluemke, 2016, for an overview).