Dr. Rima-Maria Rahal

Senior Research Fellow

Research Focus

My research focuses on decision making. I am interested in how decisions in social and moral dilemmas, as well as in legal and economic contexts are formed. My work focuses on the cognitive and affective processes underlying the choices we make in such settings, using unobtrusive measurement techniques such as eye-tracking and thermal imaging.


Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals

Rahal, R.-M., Fiedler, S., Adetula, A. et al. (2023). Quality research needs good working conditions. Nature Human Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-022-01508-2

Rahal, R.-M., & van Beest, I. (forthcoming). Conflict and Competition. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Psychology in the Real World.

Rahal, R.-M., & Fiedler, S. (2021). Cognitive and Affective Processes of Prosociality. Current Opinion in Psychology.

Rahal, R.-M., Fiedler, S. & De Dreu, C.K.W. (2020). Prosocial Preferences Condition Decision Effort and Ingroup Biased Generosity in Intergroup Decision-making. Scientific Reports, 10(10132).

Rahal, R.-M., & Fiedler, S. (2019). Understanding Cognitive and Affective Mechanisms in Social Psychology through Eye-tracking. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85.

Rahal, R.-M. (2018). The Fire Burns Within: Individual Motivations for Self-Sacrifice. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41.

Bouwmeester, S., Verkoeijen, P. P. J. L., Aczel, B., Barbosa, F., Bègue, L., Brañas-Garza, P., ... Wollbrant, C. E. (2017). Registered Replication Report: Rand, Greene, and Nowak (2012). Perspectives on Psychological Science: A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 12(3), 527–542.

Open Science Collaboration (2015). Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science. Science, 349(6251).

Other Articles

Rahal, R.-M., & Heycke, T. (2020). Hoarding in science, no thanks. Openness and transparency in crisis mode and beyond. MetaArXiv.

Steinhardt, I., Fischer, C., Heimstädt, M., Hirsbrunner, S. D., Ikiz-Akıncı, D., Kressin, L., … Rahal, R.-M. … & Wünsche, H. (2020). Das Öffnen und Teilen von Daten qualitativer Forschung: eine Handreichung. (Opening up and sharing data from qualitative research: A primer) Weizenbaum Series, 6.

Rahal, R.-M., & Havemann, J. (2019). Science in Crisis. Is Open Science the Solution? MetaArXiv.

Working Papers

Rahal, R.-M., Hoeft, L., & Fiedler, S., Eyes on Morals: Investigating the Cognitive Processes underlying Moral Decision-Making via Eye-Tracking.

Engel, C., & Rahal, R.-M. (2020). What the Judge Argues is Not What the Judge Thinks - Eye Tracking Evidence about the Normative Weight of Conflicting Concerns in a Torts Case, MPI Discussion Paper 2020/3.

Work in Progress

Rahal, R.-M., Fiedler, S. & De Dreu, C.K.W., Staying Blind to Stay Fair: Inequality-Averse Decision-Makers Avoid Group Membership Information and Ingroup Favoritism

Rahal, R.-M., Siebers, T., Sleegers, W. W. A., & van Beest, I. Your Lies Leave Me Cold: Thermal Imaging Reveals Decreased Finger Temperatures When Observing Lies – in preparation.

Rahal, R.-M., & van Beest, I., Warm Glow or Guilt Aversion? Investigating Affective Drivers of Giving via Thermal Imaging


  • Social Cognition
  • Relationship between Psychology and Economics
  • Experimental Psychology
Go to Editor View