Robert Tobias

Robert Tobias, Dr. phil. et Dipl.-Ing.

Senior research associate

Phone: +41 44 635 72 72

Telfax: +41 44 635 72 79

Room number: BIN 3.D.06

Brief of the academic career

  • 2015–current Senior research assistant at the University of Zurich, Switzerland (Social Psychology)
  • 2009–2015 Senior scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Switzerland (Psychological Process Modeling)
  • 2008–2009 Post-doctoral scientist at the Arizona State University (USA) (Human Evolution & Social Change)
  • 2006 PhD in Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2000–2008 Scientific assistant at University of Zurich (Social Psychology) and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Switzerland (Systemanalysis, Integrated Assessment and Modeling)
  • 2000 MSc in Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1993–1996 Employed as geotechnical engineer at Heierli AG (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • 1989 MSc in civil engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ), Switzerland

Research fields

  • Behavior-change and habit development: Quantifying intervention effects on behaviors and mediating psychological and structural factors; optimal selection of behavior-change techniques
  • Communication and cooperation: Problem solving and cooperation in groups with communication, virtual vs. face-to-face communication, collective actions, immoral cooperation
  • Risk perception and heuristic decision making: Effects of trust and affective evaluations on decisions, and of communication forms and contents on trust and affect
  • Methods for investigating individual change: Questionnaire-based data gathering, gathering of time-series data of psychological factors, mediation-analysis, time-series analysis
  • Agent-based computer simulation: Development of agent-based models, and data-based system analysis and testing of these models

Areas of application

  • Environmental psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Behavior-change campaigns
  • Risk communication
  • Co-design of innovations (usability, acceptance, motivation to use)
  • Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) in developing countries
  • Climate change