Jens is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and a member of the Division of Psychology in the School of Social Sciences.
As a lecturer, Jens is currently course leader for the BSc (Hons) Psychology course and teachers chiefly on Social Psychology and Cyberpsychology. He also regularly supervises 3rd year dissertations and Masters projects.
As a researcher, Jens's interests focus on social interactive settings, social media use and human-computer interaction. He is currently Director of Studies to three PhD projects in these areas. One of his core questions concerns novel ways of assessing the impact of technology use on everyday socialising.
As of 2014-15, Jens is also an employee representative for the employee information and consultation forum at NTU.
Jens studied at the Universities of Tuebingen, Germany and Massachusetts, US. He completed his doctoral work in 2005 in the area of small group decision-making and negotiation under the supervision of Michael Diehl.
Jens was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex from 2005-2006, working with Rupert Brown and Hanna Zagefka on intergroup relations, acculturation an intergroup contact. This was followed by post-doctoral work outside of psychology at the University of Manchester with Alistair Sutcliffe, Andrew Howes and Steve Payne in the area of social-media, online social networks and evolutionary models of human relationships.
Jens joined NTU in 2009 as a full-time lecturer.
Jens has investigated interactive settings on various levels, from intergroup relationships to small group processes, dyadic friendships and social networks. He is primarily interested in studying such settings from the perspectives of internet psychology, cyberpsychology and HCI.
Recent research examples include:
- Technology-mediated interaction patterns and media multiplexity
- Composition of online social networks and online social tension
- Use of multiple social network sites
- Intrinsic motivation in computer gaming
In terms of theoretical background, Jens is fascinated by issues surrounding co-operation and competition; social exchange theories of relationships; the novelties that internet-based technologies add to these areas; applications of social psychological theories and models; and the overlap between social and evolutionary and cognitive psychology.
In terms of methods and methodologies, Jens is primarily working with quantitative methods, both survey-based and experiment-based. In addition, he takes an interest in data analytical tools for approaching ego-centric social networks and other applications of multi-level modelling.
Jens is currently Director of Studies to three PhD projects:
- Cultural orientation, Facebook networks, Trust and Support (Moon Halder)
- Internet usage, family cohesion and psychological well-being (Sami Alzhrany)
- Online social network structure, and perceived and actual online vulnerability across age groups (Sarah Buglass)
Jens is a regular reviewer of manuscripts for a range of academic journals in his research domains, such as Computers in Human Behaviour and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
He is also editor of the new short monographs series "Palgrave Pivot Texts in Cyberpsychology" with Palgrave Macmillan Publishers.
Sponsors and collaborators
Academic collaborators and co-authors include:
- Steve Payne, University of Bath
- Robin Dunbar, University of Oxford
- Sam Roberts, University of Chester
- Alistair Sutcliffe, University of Manchester
- Andrew Howes, University of Birmingham
- Rupert Brown, University of Sussex
- Hanna Zagefka, Royal Holloway
In the past, Jens has worked on projects sponsored by the German Foundation of Peace Studies, the ESRC and the EPSRC.
- Social networks
- Social media
- Online relationships