Research statement

Scope

In my research, I analyze psychological questions relating to social media. Why, how, and to what effect do we use social networking sites or instant messengers? Specifically, questions I have analyzed so far include: Does communication via social network sites reduce communication face-to-face?1 Why do we disclose personal information on social networking sites?2 Does communicating via instant messengers influence our well-being?3

Methods

Of course, there is a multitude of methods one can use to do research. However, there are some aspects I try to emphasize. The three most important ones are:
  1. As a trained psychologist, I know I have to collect self-reported data wherever necessary; nonetheless, I aim to collect behavioral data wherever possible.
  2. I aim to test hypotheses with sufficient statistical power (i.e., >80%) – preferably on the basis of representative data.4
  3. I support open science. For example, whenever possible I include the actual data of studies in an online supplementary material.5

For further thoughts on this, have a look at my blog post “5 years into academia – 45 things I’ve learned so far“.

Aim

As an early career researcher, I am often given the following advice: “Publish as much as you can”. Personally, I think that this approach rather impedes than nourishes scientific progress — just consider the replication crisis, for example.6 Instead, I rather want to set the following aim: “Do good research”. Ideally, of course, this would lead to the same result (i.e., publications) – with the welcome side effect of increased relevance and sustainability. I will try my best!

Footnotes

  1. It doesn’t.
  2. Because we think that’s beneficial.
  3. No; or, at least, not across a time lag of 6-months.
  4. Of course, that’s not always possible. Even more so, it’s important to include that aspect into grant proposals.
  5. Here’s my profile on the open science framework.
  6. Here’s a great video with a summary of the replication crisis.