Social Cognition

Prof. Dr. Hans Alves

Room: IB 4/161

Phone: ++49 (0)234 32 19543


Office hours by appointment


Research interests

Valence asymmetries • Information ecologies • Sampling approach • Recognition memory • Person perception • Construal level theory • Illusory correlations




  • Alves, H., Uğurlar, P., & Unkelbach, C. (2021). Typical is Trustworthy-Evidence for a Generalized Heuristic. Social Psychological and Personality Science.


  • Kunz, S., Florack, A., Campuzano, I., & Alves, H. (2021). The sustainability liability revisited: Positive versus negative differentiation of novel products by sustainability attributes. Appetite.


  • Unkelbach, C., Koch, A., & Alves, H. (2021). Explaining Negativity Dominance without Processing Bias. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.


  • Florack, A., Koch, T., Haasova, S., Kunz, S., & Alves, H. (2021) The Differentiation Principle: Why Consumers Often Neglect Positive Attributes of Novel Food Products. Journal of Consumer Psychology.


  • Alves, H. Högden, F., Gast, A., Aust, F., & Unkelbach, C. (2020). Attitudes from mere co-occurrences are guided by differentiation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 119, 560.


  • Genschow, O., Alves, H. (2020). The submissive chameleon: Third-party inferences from observing mimicry. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 88, 103966.


  • Unkelbach, C., Alves, H., & Koch, A. (2020). Negativity bias, positivity bias, and valence asymmetries: Explaining the differential processing of positive and negative information. In: B. Gawronski (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Cambridge, MA: Academic Press.


  • Alves, H., & Mata, A. (2019). The redundancy in cumulative information and how it biases impressions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 117, 1035-1060.


  • Alves, H., Koch, A., & Unkelbach, C. (2019). The differential similarity of positive and negative information-an affect-induced processing outcome? Cognition and Emotion, 1-15.


  • Unkelbach, C., Koch, A., & Alves, H. (2019). The evaluative information ecology: On the frequency and diversity of “good” and “bad”. European Review of Social Psychology, 30, 216-270.


  • Alves, H., Koch, A., & Unkelbach, C. (2018). A cognitive-ecological explanation of intergroup biases. Psychological Science, 29, 1126–1133.


  • Alves, H. (2018). Sharing rare attitudes attracts. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 1270–1283.


  • Alves, H., Koch, A., & Unkelbach, C. (2017). The 'common good' phenomenon: Why similarities are positive and differences are negative. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146, 512-528.


  • Alves, H., Koch, A., & Unkelbach, C. (2017). Why good is more alike than bad: Processing implications. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21, 69-79.


  • Alves, H., Koch, A., & Unkelbach, C. (2016). My friends are all alike — the relation between liking and perceived similarity in person perception. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 62103-117.


  • Koch, A., Alves, H., Krüger, T., & Unkelbach, C. (2016). A general valence asymmetry in similarity: Good is more alike than bad. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 42, 1171-1192.


  • Koch, A., Imhoff, R., Dotsch, R., Unkelbach, C., & Alves, H. (2016). The ABC of stereotypes about groups: Agency/socioeconomic success, conservative–progressive beliefs, and communion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 675-709.


  • Hansen, J., Alves, H., & Trope, Y. (2016). Psychological distance reduces literal imitation: Evidence from an imitation-learning paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42, 320-330.


  • Alves. H., Unkelbach, C., Burghardt, J., Koch, A. Krüger, T. & Becker, V. (2015). A density explanation for valence asymmetries in recognition memory. Memory & Cognition, 43, 896-909.


  • Krüger, T., Fiedler, K., Koch, A. S., & Alves, H. (2014). Response category width as a psychophysical manifestation of construal level and distance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 501–512.


  • Unkelbach, C., Bayer, M., Alves, H., Koch, A., & Stahl, C. (2011). Fluency and positivity as possible causes of the truth effect. Consciousness and Cognition, 20, 594–602.



Academic distinctions


  • Visitor Program for a Research stay at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, awarded by C-SEB, University of Cologne, 2017
  • Best Paper Award, ESCON, 2013
  • Scholarship as Visiting Researcher at New York University, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2010
  • Fulbright Scholarship as Student at Arizona State University, Fulbright Commission, 2009-2010