Research Areas

Human-Computer Interaction:

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These days, modern technologies such as smartphones are omnipresent and a crucial part of humans’ life. Modern technologies can be used to externalize cognitive processes in order to facilitate task processing (i.e. cognitive offloading). Thus, smartphones or other technical gadgets can serve as an extended mind that, for instance, stores important information for us. In my research, I investigate which determinants guide the offloading of cognitive processes (esp. working memory processes) and which consequences such offloading behavior entails. Furthermore, I investigate how humans perceive and interact with artificial intelligence. More specifically, I’m interested in whether there are certain factors (e.g., personality, intelligence) that predict individuals’ assumptions, knowledge, trust, and use of artificial intelligence. In addition, I work on a systematic comparison between human and artificial intelligence.

Selected publications:

  • Grinschgl, S., & Neubauer, A. C. (2022). Supporting cognition with modern technology: Distributed cognition today and in an AI-enhanced future. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence, 5, 908261. https://doi.org/10.3389/frai.2022.908261 [Open Access]
  • Grinschgl, S., Papenmeier, F., & Meyerhoff, H. S. (2021). Consequences of cognitive offloading: Boosting performance but diminishing memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 74, 1477-1496. https://doi.org/10.1177/17470218211008060 [Open Access]
  • Grinschgl, S., Meyerhoff, H. S., Schwan, S., & Papenmeier, F. (2021). From metacognitive beliefs to strategy selection: Does fake performance feedback influence cognitive offloading? Psychological Research, 85, 2654–2666. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-020-01435-9 [Open Access]

Human enhancement:

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Humans have always strived to enhance themselves, but in the 21st century the topic of human enhancement has reached an all-time peak. Modern technologies such as brain stimulation or gene editing promise a significant enhancement of human characteristics and abilities such as intelligence (although the effectiveness of these methods is only moderate so far). Especially the philosophical movement Transhumanism proposes a broad enhancement of humans so that we become smarter, healthier, and happier. In my research, I investigate whether the assumptions about and acceptance of different enhancement methods are predicted by certain factors such as intelligence, personality, interests, and values. Studying individual differences with regard to human enhancement could help to identifiy who is prone to enhance oneself and to create guidlines for using enhancement nowadays and in the future.

Selected publications:

  • Grinschgl, S., Tawakol, Z., & Neubauer, A. C. (2022). Human enhancement and personality: A new approach towards investigating their relationship. Heliyon, 8, e09359. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e09359 [Open Access]
  • Schönthaler, E., Hofer, G., Grinschgl, S., & Neubauer, A. (2022). Super-Men and Wonder-Women: The Relationship between the Acceptance of Self-Enhancement, Personality, and Values. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/k892c

Self-estimation of cognitive abilities/Metacognition:

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Individuals have to self-estimate their cognitive abilities in many situations (e.g., during learning or when looking for a job). However, research showed that individuals’ self-estimation of cognitive abilities is not always accurate. Thus, in this line of research I investigate interventions that might improve inviduals’ self-estimation of cognitive abilities such as their verbal, numerical, and figural intelligence as well as working memory abilities. Metacognitive awareness about ones’ abilities can help individuals to choose proper strategies when performing tasks (e.g., use external help when one’s internal performance is low) and to make important life decisions (e.g., select suitable training paths or jobs).