Thomas Schäfer

Thomas Schäfer
MSB Medical School Berlin · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

56
Publications
54,582
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1,504
Citations
Introduction
METHODS :: MUSIC :: MOTIVATION __ My research is focused on (1) quantitative research methods in psychology, specifically on the new statistics (effect sizes, confidence intervals, meta-analysis, replication, open science) and advanced regression models (such as mixed models), (2) music cognition (functions, preferences, emotions), and (3) the cognitive, emotional, and physiological conditions of motivation and wellbeing (with a special focus on mindfulness).
Additional affiliations
October 2005 - present
Technische Universität Chemnitz
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • · Music cognition · Human motivation and emotion · Representation of space and time · (cross-cultural) decision making · Attention disorders
October 2005 - present
Technische Universität Chemnitz
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • · Research methods and statistics for Bachelor and Master · Multivariate methods · Advanced regression methods (SEM, HLM) · Theory of science · Decision making · Music cognition

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
Full-text available
Introduction People bereaved by suicide are at high-risk for developing mental disorders and suicidal tendencies. Grief after suicide differs from grief after other types of death, and bereaved persons may require support tailored to their situation. In this study, we evaluate an online intervention for individuals bereaved by suicide and its effec...
Article
Full-text available
People across cultures often use music to evoke positive emotions and moods. Yet, some people tend to employ maladaptive strategies such as rumination, avoidant coping, or social isolation when they listen to music. The present research investigated how strongly maladaptive musical engagement is linked with depression and wellbeing in a sample of 1...
Article
Background Suicide bereavement is associated with increased risk for severe negative mental health outcomes and suicidality. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between mental health symptoms and suicidal ideation among suicide bereaved while taking multiple factors into account. Methods The sample consisted of N = 157 German...
Poster
Full-text available
The current study examines the role of adaptive and maladaptive strategies in music on the relationship between trait affect and empathy in an adult sample.
Article
Zusammenfassung: Theoretischer Hintergrund: Die Wirksamkeit der Psychotherapiemethode EMDR zur Reduktion von Stress- und Belastungssymptomen ist empirisch gut belegt. Die Einfachheit der Methode lässt die Frage offen, ob ihre Wirksamkeit ein therapeutisches Setting benötigt oder ob sie nicht als Selbstanwendung ebenso erfolgreich durchgeführt werde...
Article
This paper investigates how depressive symptoms are related to a comprehensive range of factors including sex, age, education, family history with dementia, subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), objective cognitive impairment, and sleep quality. The sample consisted of 958 memory-clinic patients of a large innercity academic memory clinic in Germa...
Article
Unbegleitet geflüchtete Jugendliche treffen in Deutschland neben anderen Herausforderungen häufig auf Diskriminierung und Rassismus. Die Situation in der Stadt Dresden ist durch die Aktivität der Gruppe Pegida von besonderer Brisanz. Im Rahmen der Studie wurden 50 unbegleitet geflüchtete Jugendliche (15-21 Jahre alt) in Dresden befragt. Untersucht...
Article
Full-text available
In a comprehensive meta-analysis on the effects of mindfulness meditation, Eberth and Sedlmeier (2012) identified a multitude of positive effects that covered a wide range of psychological variables, such as heightened mindfulness as measured through contemporary mindfulness scales, reduced negative emotions, increased positive emotions, changes in...
Article
Full-text available
Effect sizes are the currency of psychological research. They quantify the results of a study to answer the research question and are used to calculate statistical power. The interpretation of effect sizes-when is an effect small, medium, or large?-has been guided by the recommendations Jacob Cohen gave in his pioneering writings starting in 1962:...
Article
The estimation of power in two-level models used to analyze data that are hierarchically structured is particularly complex because the outcome contains variance at two levels that is regressed on predictors at two levels. Methods for the estimation of power in two-level models have been based on formulas and Monte Carlo simulation. We provide a ha...
Article
What is the appropriate way of analyzing and reporting data from psychological studies? Although there is a long history of argumentation and practical recommendations, the practice of psychological science still has severe deficits, such as a too-narrow focus on significance testing, the omission of data on effect magnitude, the eschewal of confid...
Chapter
Musikpräferenzen im Sinne einer Vorliebe für bestimmte musikalische Eigenschaften oder Stile sind das Ergebnis eines komplexen Zusammenspiels zahlreicher Variablen. Die jüngere Forschung hat gezeigt, dass bei der Ausprägung von Präferenzen besonders die drei Funktionen Selbstwahrnehmung, soziale Beziehungen und Erregungs- bzw. Stimmungsregulation e...
Article
Full-text available
Wie gut gelingt der Psychologie die Integration naturwissenschaftlicher und geisteswissenschaftlicher Bezugspunkte? Präsentiert werden die Ergebnisse einer Befragung von Psychologiestudierenden und graduierten PsychologInnen zur wissenschaftstheoretischen Verortung des Fachs. Die Ergebnisse zeigen: (1) Sowohl die wahrgenommene universitäre Ausricht...
Article
A meta-analysis was performed on the results of previous studies investigating the association between personality traits and music preferences. Regarding the categorization of personality traits, the Big Five and sensation seeking were used most often and were therefore chosen as the most appropriate categories in the meta-analysis. Regarding the...
Article
Background: Studies with younger participants have shown that listening to music is used to achieve a multitude of positive effects that can be summarized by three fundamental dimensions: self-awareness, social relatedness and regulation of mood and arousal. For the elderly, these effects contain a high potential with respect to alleviation of aff...
Article
Bewegende Kunstwerke sind zumeist gleichermaßen behaglich-angenehm und aufregend-interessant. Studien aus der neuen experimentellen Ästhetik sowie ästhetische Emotionstheorien legen nahe, dass auf Angenehmheit bzw. Interessantheit basierende Urteile voneinander entkoppelt sind. Andererseits wurden in vielen Studien hohe Korrelationen zwischen diese...
Book
Full-text available
Einführung in Datenerhebung, deskriptive Statistik und Inferenzstatistik
Article
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Individual differences in the strength of music preference are among the most intricate psychological phenomena. While one person gets by very well without music, another person needs to listen to music every day and spends a lot of temporal and financial resources on listening to music, attending concerts, or buying concert tickets. Where do these...
Chapter
In Abb. 5.3 hatten wir für unsere Studie zur Vorliebe für Klassik einen Mittelwert von 2,9 abgetragen. Die entsprechende inferenzstatistische Frage lautet nun: Wie zuverlässig können wir diesen gefundenen Mittelwert auf die Population verallgemeinern und sagen, dass die durchschnittliche Vorliebe aller Deutschen für Klassik 2,9 beträgt? Mit anderen...
Chapter
Die deskriptive Datenanalyse (Kap. 3) hat den Zweck, die in einer Stichprobe gefundenen Daten mit Hilfe von Kennwerten zu beschreiben und grafisch oder tabellarisch darzustellen. Bei dieser Darstellung von Daten geht es um einzelne Variablen und ihre Ausprägungen. In der explorativen Datenanalyse gehen wir nun einen Schritt weiter und versuchen, mi...
Chapter
Der t-Test ist ein relativ leicht nachvollziehbares Verfahren, das die Bedeutsamkeit der Differenz zweier Mittelwerte untersucht: der Mittelwertsunterschied wird anhand der Streuungen der Mittelwerte relativiert. Der Anwendungsbereich des t-Tests ist aber auf den Vergleich von zwei Mittelwerten beschränkt. Da sich psychologische Fragestellungen oft...
Chapter
Im Grunde genommen versucht jeder Mensch ein Psychologe zu sein. Menschen fragen oder wundern sich, warum andere Menschen bestimmte Dinge tun oder lassen, warum sie dieses oder jenes sagen, warum sie ihnen sympathisch erscheinen oder nicht. Und sie haben ihre ganz persönlichen Ideen und Erklärungen – nicht nur für das Verhalten anderer sondern auch...
Chapter
Mittelwerte und Anteile sind relativ einfache Angaben, die man über empirisch gewonnene Daten macht. Im vorigen Kapitel haben wir gesehen, wie man die Güte einer Verallgemeinerung von einer Stichprobe auf eine Population einschätzen und mit Hilfe von Zahlen ausdrücken kann. Neben der bloßen Angabe von Mittelwerten oder Anteilen sind Forscher jedoch...
Chapter
Der t-Test geht auf den Engländer William Gosset zurück, der – weil er in einer Brauerei beschäftigt war, deren Mitarbeiter keine Studienergebnisse veröffentlichen durften – unter dem Pseudonym Student publizierte. Daher wird die auf ihn zurück gehende t-Verteilung auch manchmal Students t-Verteilung genannt. Der t-Test ist im Prinzip kein einzelne...
Chapter
Das Anliegen einer jeden wissenschaftlichen Aussage ist, dass sie möglichst allgemeingültig sein soll. Das heißt, wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse über Sachverhalte, Zusammenhänge und Gesetzmäßigkeiten bekommen erst dadurch ein großes Gewicht, dass sie einen großen Geltungsbereich haben und damit für eine große Anzahl von Menschen oder für eine große...
Chapter
Nach dem Durchführen einer Studie liegen Daten vor – gewonnen durch Messungen in Beobachtungen, Befragungen oder Experimenten. Diese Daten können, je nach Umfang der Studie, sehr vielschichtig und komplex sein. Der nächste große Schritt besteht nun in der statistischen Auswertung der Daten. Dieser Schritt beinhaltet drei Aufgaben: das Beschreiben u...
Chapter
Rufen wir uns noch einmal kurz die Idee der Inferenzstatistik ins Gedächtnis: Wir wollen Aussagen darüber machen, wie sehr wir der Schätzung eines Populationseffektes aufgrund eines Stichprobeneffektes trauen können. Dafür haben wir drei Möglichkeiten kennengelernt. Der Standardfehler gibt an, mit welchem „durchschnittlichen“ Fehler bei einer solch...
Chapter
Wir haben bisher über eine Reihe von Analyseverfahren gesprochen, die Zusammenhänge von Variablen untersuchen (wie Korrelation und Regression) oder zur Untersuchung von Unterschieden zwischen Gruppen angewendet werden (t-Tests und Varianzanalyse). All diese Verfahren haben die Besonderheit, dass sie auf bestimmten Annahmen beruhen, die sich auf die...
Chapter
Statistik bezeichnet die, meist hypothesengeleitete, Auswertung von numerischen (quantitativen) Daten, die Rückschlüsse auf gestellte Forschungsfragen zulassen. Doch die Daten und Zahlen, mit denen man bei der Auswertung arbeitet, kommen nicht aus dem luftleeren Raum, sondern müssen zunächst gewonnen werden. In der Datenerhebung – gewissermaßen der...
Chapter
Signifikanztests berechnen aus einem gefundenen Effekt (zum Beispiel einem Mittelwertsunterschied) eine Prüfgröße (zum Beispiel einen t-Wert), die dann mit Hilfe einer Prüfverteilung auf Signifikanz geprüft wird. Unterschiedliche Fragestellungen führen zu unterschiedlichen Effekten und schließlich zu unterschiedlichen Prüfgrößen und Prüfverteilunge...
Article
Binaural beats are acoustically generated frequencies that match the frequency bands of brain waves and are therefore considered a means to inducing neurophysiological relaxation. There is, however, large dispute on the scientific quality and validity of extant research on binaural beats. Thus, the effect of a binaural 10Hz (Alpha) stimulation on s...
Article
Although much is known about musical preferences, they are still hard to explain and predict. Over the last two decades, scholars have suggested that the functions served by music should be considered when interpreting musical preferences. It is known that the degree of functionality and the strength of musical preferences are correlated. However,...
Article
Full-text available
As with any sensory input, music might be expected to incorporate the processing of information about the safety of the environment. Little research has been done on how such processing has evolved and how different kinds of sounds may affect the experience of certain environments. In this article, we investigate if music, as a form of auditory inf...
Article
Full-text available
Listening to music can change the way that people visually experience the environment, probably as a result of an inwardly directed shift of attention. We investigated whether this attentional shift can be demonstrated by reduced eye movement activity, and if so, whether that reduction depends on absorption. Participants listened to their preferred...
Article
Full-text available
Listening to music usually elicits emotions that can vary considerably in their intensity over the course of listening. Yet, after listening to a piece of music, people are easily able to evaluate the music's overall emotional intensity. There are two different hypotheses about how affective experiences are temporally processed and integrated: (1)...
Article
Full-text available
Why do people listen to music? Over the past several decades, scholars have proposed numerous functions that listening to music might fulfill. However, different theoretical approaches, different methods, and different samples have left a heterogeneous picture regarding the number and nature of musical functions. Moreover, there remains no agreemen...
Article
Full-text available
Music is known to alter people's ordinary experience of space and time. Not only does this challenge the concept of invariant space and time tacitly assumed in psychology but it may also help us understand how music works and how music can be understood as an embodied experience. Yet research about these alterations is in its infancy. This review i...
Article
Full-text available
Intense musical experiences (IMEs) have proven to be of high significance for the people who have them. We investigated the long-term effects of such experiences on people's way of life and developed a process model: (1) IMEs are characterized by altered states of consciousness, which leads to the experience of harmony and self-realization; (2) IME...
Chapter
There appears to be some dispute in the literature about whether music induces emotions at all and whether musical emotions are comparable to emotions in general. However, a closer look reveals that divergent conclusions are often the result of different conceptions of emotions and different kinds of measures of emotional responses. This chapter be...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Although ADHD is largely associated with antisocial behavior, those affected are often said to show pronounced justice sensitivity. To investigate this assumption, the authors compared participants with ADHD with healthy controls. Method: An experimental game was used to investigate decisions associated with social justice. A question...
Article
Is the use of music in everyday life a culturally universal phenomenon? And do the functions served by music contribute to the development of music preferences regardless of the listener's cultural background? The present study explored similarities and dissimilarities in the functions of music listening and their relationship to music preferences...
Article
Full-text available
Thomas Schafer and Peter Sedlmeier (2009). From the functions of music to music preference. Psychology of Music, 37: 279-300. (Original DOI: 10.1177/0305735608097247).
Article
Full-text available
There is a long history of research into which skills and abilities individuals need in intercultural situations. Intercultural competence is frequently claimed to be a critical variable. There are different models of intercultural competence but a shared and theoretically-based understanding of intercultural competence is still missing. The presen...
Article
In intercultural research, bias is sometimes introduced when a methodological approach that was mostly developed within one of the cultures (usually the Western one) is chosen. Instead of identifying and controlling such bias after data collection and during analysis, eliminating and minimizing bias during planning and while conducting the research...
Article
Full-text available
people often report changes in emotional arousal when listening to their preferred music. Can this subjective impression be related to objective physiological measures? And if so, does preference induce arousal or could arousal also influence preference? In Study 1, participants listened to 18 pieces of music and rated the strength of preference as...
Poster
Full-text available
The context is known to influence words’ interpretation (Pepper & Prytulak, 1974; Teigen & Brun, 2003) such that the same verbal expression can have a different meaning in different contexts. This is an interesting problem concerning decision support systems (Boegl et al., 2004) and man-machine interactions where technical systems receive spoken la...
Conference Paper
The context is known to influence words’ interpretation (Pepper & Prytulak, 1974; Teigen & Brun, 2003) such that the same verbal expression can have a different meaning in different contexts. This is an interesting problem concerning decision support systems (Boegl et al., 2004) and man-machine interactions where technical systems receive spoken la...
Article
Full-text available
What are the determinants of music preference, and how strong is their relative influence? This article investigates the parameters that may influence music preference, focusing on the cognitive, emotional, and cultural functions of music, physiological arousal, and familiarity. Data were collected in a lab study and in an online survey (total N =...
Article
Full-text available
To date, not much is known about how the functions of music relate to music preference. This article examines the basic hypothesis that the strength of preference for a given kind of music depends on the degree to which that kind of music serves the needs of the listener; that is, how well the respective functions of music are fulfilled. Study 1. a...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this study was to examine the role of domain and system knowledge on learner performance in reading and information search in hypermedia. Previous studies have shown that prior knowledge is an important individual factor for effective hypermedia use. However, current research lacks a full understanding of how these two aspects of prior...
Article
Full-text available
Why do we like the music we like and why do different people like different kinds of music? Existing models try to explain music preference as an interplay of musical features, the characteristics of the listener, and the listening context. Hereby, they refer to short-term preference decisions for a given piece of music rather than to the question...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
To examine mechanisms behind the way people interact with music in India by exploring the listening strategies (healthy way or unhealthy way) and reward mechanisms. I am conducting this study across different sections in the indian society : among different age groups, genders, levels of education, linguistics groups, occupation, marital status...