Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Erb


Postal Address

Postfach 700822
22008 Hamburg

Phone Number: +49 40 6541-2310

Fax Number: +49 40 6541-2546

Visiting Address
Holstenhofweg 85
22043 Hamburg
Gebäude H 1, Raum 2369
Due to the pandemic, there are no regular consultation hours at the moment. Appointments are being scheduled via e-mail.


Research Interests

Throughout my life as a scientist I have been interested in how humans form judgments and attitudes. I have conducted research on the topic of persuasion, integrating motivational, affective, and cognitive processes in attitude formation and change. In particular, I have been fascinated by the integrative power and parsimony of a Unimodel approach to persuasion phenomena. In the realm of social influence I have proposed a very general model – the mere consensus approach – to explain the social impact of minorities and majorities that may help explain compliance and deviation on a most basic level. More recently, I have developed interest in the personal need for uniqueness. I have conducted research on how this basic motivational need can be assessed and how it forms individual reactions in social contexts.

Major Publications

Erb, H.-P., Bioy, A., & Hilton, D. J. (2002). Choice preferences without inferences: Subconscious priming of risk attitudes. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 15(3), 251–262.

Erb, H.-P., & Bohner, G. (2007). Social influence and persuasion: Recent theroretical developments and integrative attempts. In: K. Fiedler (Ed.), Frontiers of Social Psychology: Social Communication (pp.191–221). Psychology Press.

Erb, H.-P., Bohner, G., Rank, S., & Einwiller, S. (2002). Processing minority and majority communications: The role of conflict with prior attitudes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(9), 1172–1182.

Erb, H.-P., Bohner, G., Schmälzle, K., & Rank, S. (1998). Beyond conflict and discrepancy: Cognitive bias in minority and majority influence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24(6), 620–633.

Erb, H.-P., Hilton, D. J., Bohner, G., & Roffey, L. (2015). The minority decision – A risky choice. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 57, 43–50.

Erb, H.-P., Kruglanski, A. W., Chun, W. Y., Pierro, A., Mannetti, L., & Spiegel, S. (2003). Searching for commonalities in human judgment: The parametric unimodel and its dual mode alternatives. European Review of Social Psychology, 14(1), 1–47.

Tilner, A., Schumpe, B., & Erb, H.-P. (in press). Need for uniqueness as a motor for social change. In R. A. R. Gurung (Ed.), The Routledge research encyclopedia of psychology applied to everyday life. Routledge.

Academic career

1987 – 1993 Studies of Psychology at the University of Mannheim, (“Diplom-Psychologe” on 06/30/1993).

06/93 – 08/97 Research assistant on various projects at the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Mannheim and at the Otto Selz Institute for Psychology at the University of Mannheim.

1993 – 96 Doctoral studies at the University of Heidelberg supervised by Klaus Fiedler and Gerd Bohner; dissertation: “Information about consensus influences the processing of persuasive communication”.

09/96 – 03/97 and 09/97 – 07/99 University assistant at the Chair II for Psychology, Würzburg

07/99 – 06/01 Research assistant at the University of Maryland, in the project “Persuasion by a Single Route” by Arie W. Kruglanski

09/01 – 04/03 Research assistant at the Psychiatric University Hospital, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

05/03 – 03/04 Research assistant at the Department of Social Psychology, University of Jena, in the project “Positive-Negative Asymmetry of Social Discrimination” under the direction of Thomas Kessler and Amélie Mummendey

10/04 Postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) in ‘Psychology’ conferred by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Jena

04/04 – 09/07 Substitute professorships in Bonn, Chemnitz and Magdeburg

Since 10/07 Professor of Social Psychology at the Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg

Professional activities

Senate Representative for the Media Centre at Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg (since March 2019)

Chairman of the Examination Board for the degree programmes in Psychology at Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg (since January 2013)

Member of the Examination Board for Education (Bachelor’s, Master’s and Diploma programmes) of the Faculty of Humanities at Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg (January 2008 to December 2012)

Member or deputy member of the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Helmut Schmidt University since 2009

Member of the Senate of Helmut Schmidt University, January 2013 to December 2014, before that since 2009 and from January 2015 deputy member

Organisation of the 13th Conference of the Division of Social Psychology in the German Psychological Society, Helmut Schmidt University, 09/18/2011 – 09/21/2011

Appointed member of the selection committee of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for doctoral candidates in psychology on 08/20/2013 for the years 2014 – 2017, also ad hoc reviewer since 2008

Member of the Management Committee of the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action IS1205 “Social psychological dynamics of historical representations in the enlarged European Union”, total budget € 644.000,-, duration 11/19/2012 – 11/18/2016; appointed as German representative by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on 08/30/2012

Reviewer activities

Fritz Thyssen Foundation, since May 2019

PRO*Niedersachsen funding programme, Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, since March 2019

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, since July 2013

Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Baden-Württemberg, since September 2011

Volkswagen Foundation, since January 2009

German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, since January 2009

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), since August 2007

Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, since August 2007

Political Psychology, since July 2006

German Research Foundation (DFG), since June 2007

Psychologische Rundschau, since March 2006

Journal für Betriebswirtschaft, since May 2005

Business Psychology, since March 2005

Israel Science Foundation (ISF), since March 2004

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, since September 2003

Journal of Environmental Psychology, since July 2003

Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, since August 2001

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, since July 1999

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, since September 1998

British Journal of Social Psychology, since June 1998

European Journal of Social Psychology, since April 1997

Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie / Social Psychology, since October 1996

Editorial activities

European Journal of Social Psychology (Editorial Board from 2005 – 2009)

Social Psychology (Associate Editor 2008 – 2010 and 2012 – 2013)

Social Psychology (Editor-In-Chief 2010 – 2012)


Letzte Änderung: 3. May 2022