Thomas Schilling, PhD


Postdoctoral Researcher
Phone.: +49 (0)651 201-1841
Office: D 130

Office hours
As per request via email

Research areas

  • Experimental social psychology/economics
  • Personality psychology
  • Judgment and decision-making
  • Heuristics, biases, and fast-and-frugal decisions
  • Digital nudging (dark patterns) on websites
  • Human-computer-interaction
Current courses - winter term 2023/24
11401126 - C2 Empiriepraktikum [English] – Mo, 14 - 15 (D 420), Tu, 16 - 18 (C9)
Courses summer term 2024

11401133 - C3 Wissenschaftliche Projektarbeit [English] – Mo, 12 - 14 (D 031) and Th, 14 - 16 (D 034), course ends on 27 May 2024

11401043 - B3 Recherche und Datenanalyse [English] – Mo, 14 - 16 and Th, 12 - 14 (B 121), course ends on 23 May 2024


Academic Career

05/2022 – 12/2026

Postdoctoral researcher at Trier University

03/2018 – 02/2022

Doctor of Philosophy in Economics at Victoria University of Wellington – Wellington, New Zealand

10/2013 – 12/2015


Master of Business Administration at Trier University – Trier, Germany

  • Study abroad: University of Nebraska at Omaha, College of Business Administration, Omaha, NE (08/2014 – 05/2015)

10/2009 – 12/2012

Bachelor of Business Administration at University of Applied Sciences Trier – Trier, Germany

  • Study abroad: Midwestern State University, College of Business Administration, Wichita Falls, TX (08/2012 – 12/2012)

Professional Work Experience

since 09/2023

Freelance behavioral scientist in Germany. Helping companies and government institutions to understand people’s financial decision-making, designing and testing experiments, analyzing experimental data.

02/2020 – 10/2021

Behavioral Scientist at Behavioural by Design Wellington, New Zealand

01/2016 – 12/2016

Business Analyst at Advanzia Bank S.A. Münsbach, Luxembourg

03/2015 – 05/2015

Financial Analyst Intern at University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, Nebraska, USA

01/2014 – 07/2014 and
07/2015 – 12/2015

Project Management Intern UBS Luxembourg S.A. (Bank) Luxembourg, LU

01/2013 – 09/2013

Assistant Auditor at KPMG Luxembourg S.à r.l. (Auditor) Luxembourg, LU

02/2012 – 07/2012

Global Investment Solutions Intern at Deutsche Bank Luxembourg S.A. Luxembourg, LU

02/2010 – 04/2010

Financial Advisory Intern at MLP Finanzdienstleistungen AG (Financial Advisors) Trier, Germany

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in how people make the decisions they make and what factors influence these decisions. Specifically, I am interested in financial decisions—from all decisions we make every day (e.g., shopping in stores, on the street, online) to decisions we make infrequently (e.g., purchases of durable goods, real-estate, and investments)

  • Broadly: Psychology of money, personality psychology, experimental social psychology, economic psychology
  • More specifically: Personality predictors of financial decisions (savings, borrowings, purchases, investments) and person-situation perspectives (interactions between context, situation, and people’s personality) in financial decision-making


Supervision of Students’ Theses

I am happy to supervise your thesis as long as it aligns with my own research areas and interests. Furthermore, if you do wish to work with me on a thesis, I have a few requirements that you need to be aware of. Please contact me regarding your thesis via email if you are okay with my requirements. We can then discuss your thesis.

My requirements are as follows:

  • You are welcome to choose the exact topic yourself. But if you don't have a specific idea for a topic, I will suggest you a research topic broadly within the area of financial decisions done via mobile apps or the browser (e.g., consumer/purchasing behavior, savings behavior, debt behavior, investing in financial markets).
  • The project must involve experimental manipulation.
  • Personality variables (HEXACO+D) must be part of the data collection.
  • Data should be collected online from a diversified sample of adults, preferably working adults.
  • The thesis must contribute to scientific knowledge, so it must have the potential to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. That should be your ambition of work.
  • If you do not wish to continue working on the thesis until publication, I would like to have your permission to continue working on the project as a (corresponding) co-author until I published or abandoned the paper.
  • The thesis must be written in English.
  • The data of the thesis must be analyzed with R using multivariate methods (multiple regressions, structural equation models).




Thomas Dudek, Eberhard Feess, and Yuriy Timofeyev. Misreporting in teams with individual decision making: the impact of information and communication, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.


Thomas Dudek, Jan FeldAnne A. Brenoe, and Julia Rohrer. 2022. Global Evidence on the Effect of Siblings’ Sex on Personality, Psychological Science.

Dudek, Thomas. 2022. Personality economics: An investigation of how personality develops and how it predicts decisions. Victoria University of Wellington Thesis Depository. Access here (link)


Amin Zokaei Ashtiani, Thomas Dudek, and Marc-Oliver Rieger. 2020. Happy Savers and Happy Spenders: An experimental study comparing US Americans and Germans, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

Working Papers

Thomas Schilling and Vishal George. Toward a regenerative future: Profiling and nudging pro-environmental leaders?

Thomas Schilling and Wiebke Bleidorn. 2023. Personality Differences Predict Insurance Decisions.

Thomas Dudek, Ilan Noy, and Eric Ulm. Demand for multi-year catastrophe insurance contracts: Experimental evidence for mitigating the insurance gap. CESifo Working Paper No. 9442.

Thomas Dudek, Wiebke Bleidorn and Eric Ulm. Locus of control predicts decisions involving risks. 

Thomas Dudek, Eberhard Feess, and Roee Sarel. Do moral transgressions lead to pro-social effort? Evidence from a real-effort experiment.