Before joining Bayes Business School in 2018, I was an Assistant Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Until 2016, I was a post-doc at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, USA. I received my PhD in 2014 from the University of Cologne, Germany. In 2009, I graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, with additional time spent abroad at Kyoto University, Japan, and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. I was recently awarded the NRW Rückkehrprogramm Grant, which is a personal grant of up to 1.25 million Euros to return to a German university to lead a junior research group. I declined this grant to stay in my position at Bayes Business School.
My work investigates how people pursue their goals in a social context (Fishbach, Steinmetz, & Tu, 2016; Steinmetz & Pfattheicher, 2017; Steinmetz, Xu, Fishbach, & Zhang, 2016). In one major line of work, I find that actions done in the presence of others are magnified. For instance, people (falsely) believe that they ate larger portions of food when someone was watching them eat, because the social presence magnifies the action. This work suggests that people perceive the world in a fundamentally different way in the presence of others.
More generally, I’m interested in how people think about themselves and others. For example, I have investigated how consumer self-control is affected depending on whether people construe their self in an independent versus interdependent way (Steinmetz & Mussweiler, 2017). I have further shown effects of such self-construals on gender stereotyping (Steinmetz, Bosak, Sczesny, & Eagly, 2014). Because people often communicate their self-perceptions and decisions to others, I have examined whether the way people think about themselves affects how they portray themselves in public. It shows that, when people project their self-perceptions onto others, systematic mishaps in impression management can occur (Steinmetz, 2018; Steinmetz, Sezer, & Sedikides, 2017).
When thinking about others, I find that people apply what I call the first-member heuristic (Steinmetz, Toure-Tillery, & Fishbach, in press): The first member of a group in a random sequence (e.g., the first student to have his or her test graded by a machine) is seen as more diagnostic for the rest of the group than any of the other group members. Thus, information about the first member (e.g., the first student's test results are bad) is used to larger extents to draw inferences about the rest of the group (e.g., all students' test results will be bad), which in turn affects people's behaviour toward the group.
In another major line of work, I study how the concrete physical context affects people’s perceptions and behavior. I have shown that in physically warmer conditions, people are more motivated to perceive similarities between consumer objects and to assimilate to other people (Steinmetz & Mussweiler, 2011). Because people are also more motivated to affiliate in warmer conditions, their response behavior in surveys was biased towards greater affirmation of neutral items (Steinmetz & Posten, 2017, 2018). Even when only mentally simulating physical states, these simulation can affect judgments and behavior (Hansen & Steinmetz, 2019; Steinmetz, Tausen, & Risen, 2018). For example, I find that mentally simulated warmth (vs. cold) affects whether people pay more attention to single reviews or aggregate review scores when evaluating products, and that mentally simulated hunger (vs. satiation) leads people to choose larger food portion sizes.
- PhD, University of Cologne, Germany, Sep 2009 – Aug 2014
- Reader, City, University of London, Aug 2021 – present
- Senior Lecturer, City, University of London, Sep 2018 – Jul 2021
- Assistant Professor, Utrecht University, Apr 2016 – Sep 2018
- Post-doc, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Sep 2014 – Mar 2016
- HEA Fellow
Memberships of committees
- Member, European Social Cognition Network Best Paper Award Committee (ESCON)
Role: 2nd Supervisor
Role: 2nd Supervisor
Role: 1st Supervisor
- Fishbach, A., Steinmetz, J. and Tu, Y. (2016). Motivation in a Social Context. Advances in Motivation Science (pp. 35–79). Elsevier.
Conference papers and proceedings (2)
- Li, Z., Scopelliti, I. and Steinmetz, J. (2021). A Meta-Analysis on the Effects of Anthropomorphism on Consumer Behavior. Association for Consumer Research.
- Hashim, N., Scopelliti, I. and Steinmetz, J. (2021). How Gamification Can Be Used to Help Consumers Reach Their Saving Goals. Association for Consumer Research.
- Hashim, N., Scopelliti, I. and Steinmetz, J. (2021). Gamification Can Help Consumers Reach Their Saving Goals. Think Forward Initiative.
Journal articles (20)
- Touré‐Tillery, M., Steinmetz, J. and DiCosola, B. (2022). Feeling judged? How the presence of outgroup members promotes healthier food choices. Psychology & Marketing. doi:10.1002/mar.21667.
- Touré-Tillery, M., Steinmetz, J. and DiCosola, B. (2020). Feeling Judged? The Presence of Outgroup Members Promotes Virtuous Choices. Advances in Consumer Research, 48, pp. 1124–1128.
- Steinmetz, J. and Posten, A.-.C. (2020). Guidelines on Acquiescence in Marketing Research. Advances in Consumer Research, 48, pp. 712–714.
- Steinmetz, J. and Fishbach, A. (2020). We work harder when we know someone's watching. Harvard Business Review.
- Steinmetz, J., Touré-Tillery, M. and Fishbach, A. (2020). The first-member heuristic: Group members labeled “first” influence judgment and treatment of groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 118(4), pp. 706–719. doi:10.1037/pspi0000201.
- Hansen, J. and Steinmetz, J. (2019). Motivated level of construal: How temperature affects the construal level of state-relevant stimuli. Motivation and Emotion, 43(3), pp. 434–446. doi:10.1007/s11031-018-09750-w.
- Posten, A.-.C. and Steinmetz, J. (2018). Temperatur und Zustimmung - ein bisher unbekannter Zusammenhang: Einblicke für Praxis und Forschung. Praxis der Rechtspsychologie., 28(2), pp. 137–152.
- Steinmetz, J. (2018). Impression (Mis) Management When Communicating Success. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 40(5), pp. 320–328. doi:10.1080/01973533.2018.1500289.
- Steinmetz, J. and Posten, A.-.C. (2018). White lies and black lies: What they have in common and how they differ. InMind Magazine, 37.
- Steinmetz, J., Tausen, B.M. and Risen, J.L. (2018). Mental Simulation of Visceral States Affects Preferences and Behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44(3), pp. 406–417. doi:10.1177/0146167217741315.
- Steinmetz, J. and Mussweiler, T. (2017). Only one small sin: How self-construal affects self-control. British Journal of Social Psychology, 56(4), pp. 675–688. doi:10.1111/bjso.12208.
- Steinmetz, J. and Pfattheicher, S. (2017). Beyond Social Facilitation: A Review of the Far-Reaching Effects of Social Attention. Social Cognition, 35(5), pp. 585–599. doi:10.1521/soco.2017.35.5.585.
- Steinmetz, J., Sezer, O. and Sedikides, C. (2017). Impression mismanagement: People as inept self-presenters. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 11(6). doi:10.1111/spc3.12321.
- Steinmetz, J. and Posten, A.-.C. (2017). Physical temperature affects response behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 70, pp. 294–300. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2016.12.001.
- Steinmetz, J., Toure-Tillery, M. and Fishbach, A. (2017). Not All Bad Apples Spoil the Bunch: Order Effects on the
Evaluation of Groups. Advances in Consumer Research, 45, pp. 248–252.
- Steinmetz, J., Xu, Q., Fishbach, A. and Zhang, Y. (2016). Being observed magnifies action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111(6), pp. 852–865. doi:10.1037/pspi0000065.
- Steinmetz, J., Bosak, J., Sczesny, S. and Eagly, A.H. (2014). Social role effects on gender stereotyping in Germany and Japan. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 17(1), pp. 52–60. doi:10.1111/ajsp.12044.
- Steinmetz, J. and Mussweiler, T. (2011). Breaking the ice: How physical warmth shapes social comparison consequences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47(5), pp. 1025–1028. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.03.022.
- Steinmetz, J. and Posten, A.-.C. Akquieszenz in Umfragen: eine wenig beachtete Fehlerquelle. Wirtschaftspsychologie aktuell.
- Posten, A.-.C. and Steinmetz, J. Who’s a yea-sayer? Habitual trust and affirmative response behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology.
Working papers (2)
- Li, Z., Scopelliti, I. and Steinmetz, J. (2019). How Visual vs. Verbal cues Affect Perceived Anthropomorphism: Combining Evidence from Pre-registered Replications and a Meta-Analysis.
- Li, Z., Scopelliti, I. and Steinmetz, J. Clarifying the Effects of Anthropomorphism on Consumer Behaviour: Experimental Studies and Meta-Analysis.
Editorial activity (19)
- Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Editorial Board Member, Feb 2021 – present.
- European Journal of Social Psychology, Editorial Board Member, Jan 2021 – present.
- Frontiers in Psychology: Personality and Social Psychology, Editorial Board Member, May 2018 – Jan 2021.
- Perspectives on Psychological Science, Reviewer.
- Psychological Science, Reviewer.
- Journal of Consumer Research, Reviewer.
- Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Reviewer.
- Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Reviewer.
- Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Reviewer.
- Journal of Environmental Psychology, Reviewer.
- Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Reviewer.
- PloSOne, Reviewer.
- Psychology & Health, Reviewer.
- Social Psychology, Reviewer.
- Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Reviewer.
- Current Opinion in Behavioural Sciences, Reviewer.
- Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Reviewer.
- International Journal of Consumer Studies, Reviewer.
- International Journal of Market Research, Reviewer.
Media appearances (22)
- The gamification of finance may be a good thing after all. (2022) Washington Post (newspaper).
- Warum uns Konsum nur kurzfristig glücklich macht. (2021) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- Supermarkt-Einkäufe online: Weniger süß, viel teurer. (2021) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- Schein-Wahlhelfer: Täuschen für die Impfung. (2021) Deutschlandradio Nova (radio).
- Lieferdienste und Konsum. (2021) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- Urlaub trotz Corona. (2021) Deutschlandfunk Kultur (radio).
- Smart working. (2021) Forbes Italia (newspaper).
- Wir vertrauen unseren Liebsten zu sehr. (2020) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- Warum manche Produkte plötzlich im Trend sind. (2020) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- Workplace observation. (2020) El Pais (newspaper).
- Wie wir unsere Ziele verfolgen. (2020) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- What constant surveillance does to your brain and behaviour. (2020) Telegraph (newspaper).
- Wann uns Pessimismus helfen kann. (2020) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- Wann Geheimnisse in Beziehungen gut oder schlecht sind. (2019) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- The psychology of altruism. (2019) iNews (website).
- Warum uns Geld nicht mehr so wichtig ist. (2019) Deutschlandfunk Nova (radio).
- Why first impressions matter even more for groups. (2019) Quartz (website).
- Scientists reveal the secret to being more LIKEABLE on a first date. (2018) Daily Mail (newspaper).
- Scientist reveals the secret of doing well in job interviews. (2018) Yahoo News (website).
- The secret to first dates and job interviews. (2018) Daily Mail (newspaper).
- 4 Ways People Ruin a First Impression. (2017) Psychology Today (magazine).
- New paper provides evidence-backed insights on how not to come across as a jerk. (2017) British Psychological Society (website).
Media appearances (2)
- Australian Times. https://www.australiantimes.co.uk/news/rapid-delivery-grocery-apps-have-flourished-during-the-pandemic-but-will-they-permanently-change-how-we-shop/
Radio programmes (2)
- Dunning-Kruger-Effekt: Sport-Experte sein wollen bei Null Ahnung. Deutschlandfunk Nova
- Wie wir unseren Zielen näher kommen. Deutschlandfunk Nova https://www.deutschlandfunknova.de/beitrag/janina-steinmetz-wie-wir-ziele-verfolgen