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Cambridge Personality and Social Dynamics Research Group


Friedrich Götz is a final-year PhD student at Downing College, Cambridge. He is funded by the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Cambridge Trust (Vice-Chancellor Award) and an Alumnus of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung). 

The primary focus of his PhD is on the causes and consequences of regional personality differences. Herein, Friedrich pursues an interdisciplinary Big Data approach that seeks to combine classic interactionist theories from social and personality psychology with an applied behavioural science perspective and consequential real-world outcomes. Other research interests include mobility and migration, wanderlust, entrepreneurship and experience sampling methods. Friedrich has also established a special research partnership with Chris Wilson, the director of data journalism at TIME Magazine. Together, they are running ethically-approved large-scale survey studies that have attracted more than 2 million participants to date. Friedrich’s work has been published in leading general science and psychological specialty journals such as Nature Human BehaviourJournal of Personality and Social Psychology or Environment & Behavior, and is regularly featured in national and international media outlets such as Scientific AmericanThe AtlanticDaily MailDIE ZEITFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (orf)Neue Zürcher ZeitungRadiotelevisione Italiania (RAI), and ZEIT Wissen

Friedrich is a strong proponent of the Open Science movement and deeply committed to increasing science communication and outreach. So when he isn’t chasing after those pre-registration badges, he writes co-eds and is a regular guest on a German audible-commissioned science podcast that explains psychological research to lay audiences.

Originally from Germany, Friedrich would score very high on any wanderlust measure (including the one he developed himself). Before moving to Cambridge, he did exchange semesters at the State University of New York in Stony Brook and the University of Vienna and interned with research labs at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and Hong Kong University. During his PhD Friedrich continued these explorations to broaden his horizon and collaborate with researchers all over the world, having been a visiting research fellow at Prof. Obschonka’s lab at the Queensland University of Technology Business School in Brisbane, Australia,  Prof. Oshio’s lab at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan and Prof. Gladstone's lab at UCL School of Management in London. Furthermore, since Fall 2018, Friedrich has been serving as a visiting lecturer in psychometrics and test theory at the Karl Landsteiner University of the Health Sciences in Krems, Austria. In Cambridge, he supervises Social Psychology and Organizational Behaviour at the Department of Psychology and the Judge Business School

Friedrich received his MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Jason Rentfrow in 2017, earning a high distinction, and holds a BSc in Psychology with distinction from the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Outside of the research group, Friedrich enjoys running and rowing and has a soft spot for travelling, foreign languages, old cinemas and dark chocolate.