Holger Steinmetz Heads ZPID Research Unit Big Data
Research with big data in psychology is still relatively young. ZPID – Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information has made it its mission and now has a head of the department: Dr. Holger Steinmetz.
„At ZPID, I am attracted by the one hundred percent orientation and focus on research relevant to infrastructure as well as on modern topics and scientific innovations,“ says Steinmetz about his new task.
He previously worked at the University of Paderborn at the chair of „International Business“. He is interested in basic topics – especially in social psychology – as well as in work psychology and practice-oriented research („evidence-based management and policy“). „Scientifically, I am very interested in causal inference, especially when being confronted with non-experimental data,“ he says. „In this respect, I have a focus on structural equation models.”
While big data is of great societal interest, especially in the economy, scientists are only hesitantly beginning to use such data to increase scientific knowledge. At ZPID, he would like to investigate, among other things, the possibility and limits of big data for theory-based research and understanding of phenomena. According to Steinmetz, this also includes the aforementioned aspects of causal inference, which go beyond the predominant focus on predictability. The aim is also to use methodological innovations developed in other fields (e.g. econometrics or epidemiology) for the treatment of big data in psychology.
Research with big data enables ZPID to link self-generated data sets such as text corpora of PSYNDEX database with externally available big data in order to create added value for ZPID’s target groups. Building up its own research expertise using big data should help ZPID to identify emerging infrastructure needs and further develop its own services.
„We are very pleased to welcome Mr. Steinmetz as a new head. His expertise fits perfectly into the overall concept of the research unit he heads,“ says ZPID Director Prof. Dr. Michael Bosnjak.
The topic „Big Data in Psychology“ will be the focus of a pre-conference symposium at the „Research Synthesis“ conference organized by ZPID in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in May. Information and registration at www.conferences.leibniz-psychology.org.
Last year ZPID organized a conference on „Big Data in Psychology“. The lectures of international keynote speakers such as Mike Cheung from the National University of Singapore or Katrijn Van Deun from Tilburg University in the Netherlands are available in the ZPID media center.
Dr. Holger Steinmetz, hs(at)leibniz-psychology.org