Robert Tobias

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


Tel.: +41 44 635 72 72

Fax.: +41 44 635 72 79

Brief of the academic career

  • 2015–current Senior research assistant at the University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2009–2015 Senior scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Switzerland
  • 2008–2009 Post-doctoral scientist at the Arizona State University (USA)
  • 2006 PhD in Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2000–2008 Scientific assistant at University of Zurich and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Switzerland
  • 2000 MS in Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1993–1996 employed as geotechnical engineer at Heierli AG (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • 1989 MS 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, and optimal selection of behavior-change techniques
  • Risk perception and heuristic decision making: Effects of trust and affective evaluations on decisions, and of communication forms and contents on trust and affect
  • Communication and cooperation: Problem solving and cooperation in groups with communication, virtual vs. face-to-face communication, collective actions, immoral cooperation
  • Methods for investigating individual change: Questionnaire-based data gathering, gathering of time-series 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 in developing countries
  • Climate change