Prof. Dr. Henning Plessner

Main Research Areas
Academic Education
Activities in Science Organizations
Editorial Positions
Selected Publications

Bild Henning Plessner


Prof. Dr. Henning Plessner
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft
Im Neuenheimer Feld 720
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0)6221 54-4644

Office: INF 720, Room 115
Office Hours:
During semester: Tue, 14:30 - 16:00
During semester break: by appointment


Main Research Areas

Judgment and decision making in sport
Motivation and sport performance
Social psychology of sport
Psychology of intuition



Since 2010              

Professor for Sport Psychology
Institute of Sports and Sports Sciences, University of Heidelberg                                                                                         

2008 - 2010

Professor for Social Psychology 
Institute of Psychology, University of Leipzig

WS 2004/2005

Theodor Heuss Lecturer
New School University, New York, USA

WS 2003/2004

Deputizing Full Professor for Social and Economic Psychology
Institute of Psychology, University of Göttingen

2001 - 2008

Assistant Professor
Institute of Psychology, University of Heidelberg

1997 - 2001

Research Associate
Institute of Psychology, University of Heidelberg

1992 - 1997

Assistant Lecturer
Institute of Psychology, University of Hildesheim


Academic Education


Habilitation in Psychology University of Heidelberg, Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies                                        


Dr. phil. in Psychology Technical University of Chemnitz-Zwickau

1986 - 1992

Diploma in Psychology Technical University of Braunschweig


Activities in Science Organizations

Since 2016              

Member of the Executive Committee of the Sport Psychology Section within the German Psychological Society (DGPs)  

2011 - 2017

Member of the Task Force Sport Psychology of the European Federation of Psychologists Associations (EFPA)

2011 - 2015

Vice-President of the German Society of Sport Science (dvs)

2008 - 2012

Member of the Ethics Committee of the German Psychological Society (DGPs)

2003 - 2007

Member of the Executive Committee of the Social Psychology Section within the German Psychological Society (DGPs)


Activities in Sports Organizations

Since 2018              

Member of the board of the Sportregion Rhein-Neckar                                                                                                         

Since 2014

Member of the board on Olympic Sports of the German Gymnastics Association (DTB)    

Since 2013

Chairman of the Gymnastic Association (KTG) Heidelberg


Editorial Positions

Since 2016              

Associate Editor                                                                                                                                                                     
Psychology of Sport and Exercise

2016 - 2018

Associate Editor
Revista Iberoamericana de Psicología del Ejercicio y el Deporte

2012 - 2016

Zeitschrift für Sportpsychologie

2012 - 2016

Editorial Board Member 
Social Psychology


Selected Publications

Books and Edited Volumes

Schüler, J., Wegner, M., & Plessner, H. (Hrsg.). (2020). Sportpsychologie – Grundlagen und Anwendungen. Berlin: Springer.

Balafoutas, L., Chowdhury, S. M., & Plessner, H. (Eds.). (2019). Applications of sports data to study decision making [Special Issue]. Journal of Economic Psychology, 75(Part B).

Lau, A. & Plessner, H. (2016). Sozialpsychologie und Sport – Ein Lehrbuch in 12 Lektionen. Aachen: Meyer & Meyer.

Plessner, H., Canal-Bruland, R., Ehrlenspiel, F., Jansen, P., Schüler, J., & Zentgraf, K. (Hrsg.). (2016). Die „Vertrauenskrise“ der empirischen Sozialwissenschaften und deren Bedeutung für die Sportpsychologie. [Themenheft]. Zeitschrift für Sportpsychologie, 23(3).

MacMahon, C., Mascarenhas, D., Plessner, H., Pizzera, A., Oudejans, R. R. D., & Raab, M. (2014). Sports officials and officiating: Science and practice. London: Routledge.

Schweizer, G. & Plessner, H. (Hrsg.). (2012). Sportpsychologie [Themenausgabe]. In-Mind, 2(1).

Bar-Eli, M., Plessner H., & Raab, M. (2011). Judgement, decision making and success in sport. Oxford: Wiley.

Betsch, T., Funke, J., & Plessner, H. (2011). Denken – Urteilen, Entscheiden, Problemlösen. Heidelberg: Springer.

Plessner, H., Betsch, C., & Betsch, T. (Eds.). (2008). Intuition in judgment and decision making. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Plessner, H. (Hrsg.). (2007). Sozialpsychologie und Sport [Sonderheft]. Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie, 38(2).

Raab, M., & Plessner, H. (Hrsg.). (2002). Urteilen und Entscheiden im Sport [Sonderheft]. Psychologie und Sport, 9(4).

Plessner, H., & Banse, R. (Eds.). (2001). Attitude measurement using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) [Special issue]. Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie, 48(2).


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Schütz, L.-M., Schweizer, G., & Plessner, H. (2021). The impact of video speed on the estimation of time duration in sport. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 43, 419-429.

Frenkel, M. O., Giessing, L., Egger-Lampl, S., Hutter, V., Oudejans, R. R. D., Kleygrewe, L., Jaspaert, E., & Plessner, H. (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on European police officers: Stress, demands, and coping resource. Journal of Criminal Justice, 72, 101756.

Giessing, L., Oudejans, R. R. D., Hutter, V., Plessner, H., Strahler, J. & Frenkel, M. O. (2020). Acute and Chronic Stress in Daily Police Service: A Three-Week N-of-1 Study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 122, 104865.

Frenkel, M. O., Georg, A., & Plessner, H. (2020). Achtsamkeit zur Förderung der Selbstregulation bei Jugendlichen in der Schule. Evaluation des Achtsamkeitstrainings "8-sam". Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie, 69, 321-388.

Raab, M., Bar-Eli, M., Plessner, H., & Araújo, D. (2019). The past, present and future of research on judgment and decision making in sport. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 42, 25-32.

Frenkel, M. O., Laborde, S., Rummel, J., Giessing, L., Kasperk, C., Heck, R. B., Plessner, H., & Strahler, J. (2019). Heidelberg Risk Sport-Specific Stress Test: A paradigm to investigate the risk sport-specific psycho-physiological arousal. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 2249.

Labudek, S., Schweizer, G., Roth, A., Pizzera, A., Plessner, H., & Brand, R. (2019). REFS-D: Eine deutschsprachige Skala zur Erfassung der Schiedsrichterselbstwirksamkeit. Zeitschrift für Sportpsychologie, 26, 15-24.

Frenkel, M. O., Brokelmann, J., Nieuwenhuys, A., Heck, R. B., Kasperk, C., Stoffel, M., & Plessner, H. (2019). Mindful sensation seeking: An examination of the protective influence of selected personality traits on risk sport-specific stress. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1719.

Giessing, L., Frenkel, M. O., Zinner, C., Rummel, J., Nieuwenhuys, A., Kasperk, C., Brune, M., Engel, F. A., & Plessner H. (2019). Effects of coping-related traits and psychophysiological stress responses on police recruits’ shooting behavior in reality-based scenarios. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1523.

Frenkel, M. O., Heck, R.-B., & Plessner, H. (2018). Cortisol and behavioral reaction of low and high sensation seekers differ in responding to a sport-specific stressor. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 31, 580–593.

Pizzera, A., Möller, C., & Plessner, H. (2018). Gaze behavior of gymnastics judges: Where do experienced judges and gymnasts look while judging? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 89, 112-119.

Memmert, D., Plessner, H., Hüttermann, S., Froese, G., Peterhänsel, C., & Unkelbach, C. (2015). Collective fit increases team performances: extending regulatory fit from individuals to dyadic teams. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45, 274-281.

Schweizer, G., Plessner, H., & Brand, R. (2013). Establishing standards for basketball elite referees’ decisions. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 25, 370-375.

Kutzner, F. L. W., Förderer, S., & Plessner, H. (2013). Regulatory fit improves putting in top golfers. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 2, 130-137.

Schweizer, G., Plessner, H., Kahlert, D., & Brand, R. (2011). A video-based training method for improving soccer referees’ intuitive decision-making skills. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 23, 429-442.

Plessner, H., Unkelbach, C., Memmert, D., Baltes, A., & Kolb, A. (2009). Regulatory fit as a determinant of sport performance: How to succeed in a soccer penalty shooting. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10, 108-115.

Memmert, D., Plessner, H., & Maaßmann, J. (2009). Zur Erklärungskraft der “Regulatory Focus” Theorie im Sport. Zeitschrift für Sportpsychologie, 16, 80-90.

Unkelbach, C., & Plessner, H. (2007). „Category-Split“ bei Urteilen über Sportler und Sportarten. Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie, 38, 111-121.

Damisch, L., Mussweiler, T., & Plessner, H. (2006). Olympic medals as fruits of comparison? Assimilation and contrast in sequential judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 12, 166-178.

Plessner, H., & Haar, T. (2006). Sports performance judgments from a social cognition perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7, 555-575.

Betsch, T., Kaufmann, M., Lindow, F., Plessner, H., & Hoffmann, K. (2006). Different mechanisms of information integration in implicit and explicit attitude formation. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 887-905.

Friese, M., Wänke, M., & Plessner, H. (2006). Implicit consumer preferences and their influence on product choice. Psychology and Marketing, 23, 727-740.

Mascarenhas, D. R. D., O'Hare, D., & Plessner, H. (2006). The psychological and performance demands of association football refereeing. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 37, 99-120.

Plessner, H., Freytag, P., & Strauss, B. (2006). Fußball verstehen: Beiträge der Sozialpsychologie. Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie, 37, 59-71.

Plessner, H., & Schallies, E. (2005). Judging the cross on rings: A matter of achieving shape constancy. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19, 1145-1156.

Fiedler, K., & Plessner, H. (2004). Die Stichprobenfalle: Läßt sich eine Sensibiliät für metakognitive Probleme beim stochastischen Denken vermitteln? Unterrichtswissenschaft, 32, 23-37.

Betsch, T., Hoffmann, K., Hoffrage, U., & Plessner, H. (2003). Intuition beyond recognition: When less familiar events are liked better. Experimental Psychology, 50, 49-54.

Plessner, H., & Betsch, T. (2002). Refereeing in sports is supposed to be a craft not an art: A response to Mascarenhas, Collins, and Mortimer (2002). Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 24, 334-337.

Fiedler, K., Walther, E., Freytag, P., & Plessner, H. (2002). Judgment biases in a simulated classroom - a cognitve-environmental approach. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 88, 527-561.

Plessner, H., Hartmann, C., Hohmann, N., & Zimmermann, I. (2001). Achtung Stichprobe! Der Einfluss der Informationsgewinnung auf die Bewertung sportlicher Leistungen. Psychologie und Sport, 8, 91-100.

Plessner, H., & Betsch, T. (2001). Sequential effects in important referee decisions: The case of penalties in soccer. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 23, 200-205.

Betsch, T., Plessner, H., Schwieren, C., & Gütig, R. (2001). I like it but I don't know why: A value-account approach to implicit attitude formation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 242-253.

Plessner, H., Freytag, P., & Fiedler, K. (2000). Expectancy-effects without expectancies: Illusory correlations based on cue-overlap. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30, 837-851.

Plessner, H. & Raab, M. (1999). Kampf- und Schiedsrichterurteile als Produkte sozialer Informationsverarbeitung. Psychologie und Sport, 6, 130-145.

Plessner, H. (1999). Expectation biases in gymnastics judging. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 21, 131-144.


Book Chapters

Schweizer, G., & Plessner, H. (2020). Urteilen und Entscheiden im Sport. In J. Schüler, M. Wegner, & H. Plessner (Hrsg.), Sportpsychologie – Grundlagen und Anwendungen (S. 89-114). Berlin: Springer.

Plessner, H. & Roth, P. (2018). Urteilen und Entscheiden. In J. Strohmer (Hrsg.), Psychologische Grundlagen für Fachkräfte in Kindergarten, Krippe und Hort (S. 89-95). Göttingen: Hogrefe

Plessner, H., & Teubel, T. (2015). Sportpsychologie. In A. Schütz, M. Brand, H. Selg, & S. Lautenbacher (Hrsg.), Psychologie - Eine Einführung in ihre Grundlagen und Anwendungsfelder (5. Auflage, S. 517-528). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

Schweizer, G., Plessner, H., & Brand, R. (2013). Training von Schiedsrichterentscheidungen. In K. Zentgraf & J. Munzert (Hrsg.), Kognitives Training im Sport (S. 213-234). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Plessner, H. & MacMahon, C. (2013). The sport official in research and practice. In D. Farrow, J. Baker & C. MacMahon (Eds.), Developing sport expertise (pp. 71-95). London: Routledge.

Plessner, H., (2013). Mannschaften und Kohäsion. In A. Güllich & M. Krüger (Hrsg.), Sport – Ein Lehrbuch für das Sportstudium (S. 577-579). Heidelberg: Springer.

Plessner, H. & Raab, M. (2012). Kognitionen von Sportzuschauern – Urteile, Ursachenzuschreibungen, Vorhersagen und Wetten. In B. Strauß (Hrsg.), Sportzuschauer (S. 140-161). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Schweizer, G., Plessner, H., & Brand, R. (2010). Studying experts’ intuitive decision making online using video stimuli. In A. Glöckner & C. Witteman (Eds.), Foundations for tracing intuition: challenges and methods (pp. 106-122). Hove and New York: Psychology Press.

Unkelbach, C., Plessner, H., & Memmert, D. (2009). "Fit" in sports: Self-regulation and athletic performances. In J. P. Forgas, R. F. Baumeister & D. F. Tice (Eds.), Psychology of self-regulation: Cognitive, affective, and motivational processes (pp. 93-105). Philadelphia: Psychological Press.

Plessner, H., Schweizer, G., Brand, R., & O'Hare, D. (2009). A multiple-cue learning approach as the basis for understanding and improving soccer referees' decision making. In M. Raab, J. Johnson & H. Heekeren (Eds.), Progress in Brain Research: Mind and Motion: The Bidirectional Link between Thought and Action (pp. 151-158). Amsterdam: Elsevier Press.

Unkelbach, C., Plessner, H., & Haar, T. (2009). Soziale Kognitionen im Sport. In W. Schlicht & B. Strauß (Hrsg.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie Band D/V/1: Grundlagen der Sportpsychologie (S. 681-717). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Fiedler, K., & Plessner, H. (2009). Induction: From simple categorization to higher-order inference problems. In F. Strack, & J. Förster (Eds.), Frontiers of social psychology: Social cognition - the basis of social interaction (pp. 93-120). Philadelphia: Psychology Press.

Brand, R., Schweizer, G., & Plessner, H. (2009). Conceptual considerations about the development of a decision-making training method for expert soccer referees. In D. Araujo, H. Ripoll & M. Raab (Eds.), Perspectives on cognition and action in sport (pp. 181-190). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Sciences.

Plessner, H., Betsch, T., Schallies, E., & Schwieren, C. (2008). Automatic online-formation of implicit attitudes towards politicians as a basis for intuitive voting behavior. In H. Plessner, C. Betsch & T. Betsch (Eds.), Intuition in judgment and decision making (pp. 107-118). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Plessner, H., & Czenna, S. (2008). The benefits of intuition. In H. Plessner, C. Betsch & T. Betsch (Eds.), Intuition in judgment and decision making (pp. 251-266). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Unkelbach, C., & Plessner, H. (2008). The sampling trap of intuitive judgments: Can reflection reach beyond sampling constraints? In H. Plessner, C. Betsch & T. Betsch (Eds.), Intuition in judgment and decision making (pp. 283-294). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Brand, R., Plessner, H., & Unkelbach, C. (2008). Basic psychological processes underlying referees' decision-making. In P. Anderson, P. Ayton & C. Schmidt (Eds.), Myths and facts about football: The economics and psychology of the world's greatest sport (pp. 173-190). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Plessner, H. (2006). Urteilen und Entscheiden im Sport. In H. Haag & B. Strauß (Hrsg.), Grundlagen zum Studium der Sportwissenschaft - Band VI: Themenfelder der Sportwissenschaft (S. 389-402). Schorndorf: Hofmann.

Plessner, H. (2006). Die Klugheit der Intuition und ihre Grenzen. In A. Scherzberg et al. (Hrsg.), Kluges Entscheiden (S. 109-120). Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Raab, M., & Plessner. H. (2006). Urteilen, Entscheiden und Problemlösen. In B. Strauß und M. Tietjens (Hrsg.), Handbuch Sportpsychologie (S. 71-78). Schorndorf: Hofmann.

Fiedler, K., & Plessner, H. (2006). Induktives Schließen: Umgang mit Wahrscheinlichkeiten. In J. Funke (Hrsg.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie Band C/II/8: Denken und Problemlösen (S. 265-328). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Plessner, H. (2005). Positive and negative effects of prior knowledge on referee decisions in sports. In T. Betsch, & S. Haberstroh (Eds.), The routines of decision making (pp. 311-324). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Betsch, T., Plessner, H., & Schallies, E. (2004). The value-account model of attitude formation. In G. R. Maio & G. Haddock (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives on the psychology of attitudes (pp. 252-273). Hove: Psychology Press.



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