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Prof. Dr. Sarah Diefenbach

Prof. Dr. Sarah Diefenbach


Wirtschafts- und Organisationspsychologie
[Economic and Organisational Psychology]
Department Psychology
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich
Leopoldstrasse 13
80802 Munich / GERMANY

Room: 3203
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 5202
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 6347

Office hours:
By appointment per e-mail on Tuesdays in room 3203

Short Vita

Sarah Diefenbach is professor for market and consumer psychology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich (Germany). Since 2007 she is engaged in research on user/consumer experience in the field of interactive products. Before her position at the LMU she worked in interdisciplinary research teams (psychology, design, computer science) at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg and the University of Koblenz-Landau. In her dissertation she explored the relevance of hedonic and pragmatic qualities for product experience and choice. In several BMBF-funded projects with industry partners (e.g., proTACT – User Experience Prototyping for Tangible Interaction, "Fun-ni – Fun of Use with Natural Interactions") Sarah Diefenbach developed methods for user experience design and evaluation (e.g., interaction vocabulary) which are widely applied in research and practice.

Research Topics


Academic teaching (since 2007) in the fields of market and consumer psychology, psychological product design and human-computer interaction at different universities (LMU München, JMU Würzburg, Folkwang UdK Essen, TU Darmstadt, University of Koblenz-Landau).

Courses at the LMU:

  • Teaching research project "Market, Consumer and Economic Psychology".
  • Seminar "Intervention at company and market level".
  • "Corporate and Market Intervention
  • Seminar "Market and Economic Diagnosis
  • Lecture "Market, Consumer and Economic Psychology
  • Seminar "Market, Consumer and Economic Psychology".

Selected articles and interviews

  • Article Frontiers Blog, 02/17 [Link]
  • Interview Wirtschaftswoche, 01/17 [Link]
  • Interview Tages-Anzeiger, 12/16 [Link]
  • Article Münchner-Uni Magazin, 11/16 [Link]
  • Article Süddeutsche Zeitung, 09/16 [Link]
  • Interview Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 05/16 [Link]

Selected Publications

 Prof. Diefenbach has published several books, e.g.:

digitaleDepression Diefenbach, S., & Ullrich, D. (2016). Digitale Depression: Wie neue Medien unser Glücksempfinden verändern. München: MVG. [Link] nutzerzentrierteProduktgestaltung Diefenbach, S. & Hassenzahl, M. (2017). Psychologie in dernutzerzentrierten Produktgestaltung. Mensch – Technik – Interaktion – Erlebnis. In: F. C. Brodbeck, E. Kirchler, R. Woschee (Eds.) Die Wirtschaftspsychologie. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. [Link]

as well as over 100 articles in academic journals and conference proceedings. Her research is taken up in national and international media (e.g. Frankfurter Allgemeine, Süddeutsche, Zürcher Tagesanzeiger, Wirtschaftswoche, Vogue Business, talk show Markus Lanz). Prof. Diefenbach is co-editor of i-com - Journal of Interactive Media. In the German UPA, professional association of German usability and user experience professionals, Prof. Diefenbach is particularly involved in the implementation of the annual industry report.

  • Diefenbach, S. & Müssig, A. (2018). Counterproductive effects of gamification: An analysis on the example of the gamified task manager Habitica. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.09.004 [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. (2018). The potential and challenges of digital well-being interventions: Positive technology design in light of the bitter-sweet ambivalence of change. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 331. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00331 [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., Jung, S., Diller, T., Franze, C. & Maciejczyk, S. (2018). The secret of self-made: The potential of different types of consumer participation in the product production process. Social Sciences, 7(4), 52. doi:10.3390/socsci7040052 [Link]
  • Montag, C. & Diefenbach, S. (2018). Towards Homo Digitalis: Important Research Issues for Psychology and the Neurosciences at the Dawn of the Internet of Things and the Digital Society. Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 415. doi:10.3390/su10020415. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. (2018). Positive Computing – a powerful partnership between positive psychology and interactive technology. A discussion of potential and challenges. Journal of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, 2 (1), 1-22. [Link]
  • Lenz, E., Hassenzahl, M., & Diefenbach, S. (2017). Understanding Aesthetic Interaction as fit between interaction attributes and experiential qualities. New Ideas in Psychology. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. & Hassenzahl, M. (2017). Combining model-based analysis with phenomenological insight: a case study on hedonic product quality. Qualitative Psychology. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., & Christoforakos, L. (2017). The Selfie Paradox: Nobody Seems to Like Them Yet Everyone Has Reasons to Take Them. An Exploration of Psychological Functions of Selfies in Self-Presentation. Frontiers in Psychology, 8. doi=10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00007. [Link]
  • Niess, J., & Diefenbach, S. (2016). Communication Styles of Interactive Tools for Self-Improvement. Psychology of Well-Being, 6(1), 1-15. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., Hassenzahl, M., Eckoldt, K., Hartung, L., Lenz, E., & Laschke, M. (2016). Designing for well-being: A case study of keeping small secrets. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1-8. DOI:10.1080/17439760.2016.1163405. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., & Ullrich, D. (2015). An experience perspective on intuitive interaction: central components and the special effect of domain transfer distance. Interacting with Computers, 27(3), 210-234. [Link]
  • Hassenzahl, M., Wiklund-Engblom, A., Bengs, A., Hägglund, S., & Diefenbach, S. (2015). Experience-oriented and product-oriented evaluation: psychological need fulfillment, positive affect, and product perception. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 31(8), 530-544. [Link]
  • Hurtienne, J., Klöckner, K., Diefenbach, S., Nass, C. & Maier, A. (2015). Designing with Image Schemas: Resolving the Tension Between Innovation, Inclusion, and Intuitive Use. Interacting with Computers, 27(3), 235-255. [Link]
  • Laschke, M., Diefenbach, S., & Hassenzahl, M. (2015). “Annoying, but in a Nice Way”: An Inquiry into the Experience of Frictional Feedback. International Journal of Design, 9(2), 129-140. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., Kolb, N., & Hassenzahl, M. (2014). The 'Hedonic' in Human-Computer Interaction – History, Contributions, and Future Research Directions. Proceedings of the DIS 2014 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (pp. 305-314). New York: ACM Press. [Link]
  • Hassenzahl, M., Eckoldt, K., Diefenbach, S., Laschke, M. & Lenz, E. (2013). Designing moments of meaning and pleasure – Experience Design. International Journal of Design, 7 (3), 21-31. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., Lenz, E. & Hassenzahl, M. (2013). An Interaction Vocabulary. Describing The How Of Inter-action. In Proceedings of the CHI 2013 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Extended abstracts (pp. 607-612). New York: ACM Press. [Link]
  • Hassenzahl, M., Heidecker, S., Eckoldt, K., Diefenbach, S., & Hillmann, U. (2012). All you Need is Love: Current Strategies of Mediating Intimate Relationships through Technology. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 19 (4), Article 30, 1-19. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. & Hassenzahl, M. (2011). The Dilemma of the Hedonic - appreciated, but hard to justify. Interacting with Computers, 23, 461-472. [Link]
  • Hassenzahl, M., Diefenbach, S. & Göritz, A. (2010): Needs, affect, and interactive products – Facets of user experience. Interacting with Computers, 22 (5), 353-362. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. & Hassenzahl, M. (2009). The "Beauty Dilemma": Beauty is valued but discounted in product choice. In Proceedings of the CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1419–1426). New York: ACM Press. [Link]

Other publications:

 Selected Functions

  • Project ProFI - Targeted Prototyping for Increased Innovation, funded by BMBF, Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
  • Project Kommunikado - Support of corporate communication and customer relations of SMEs through interactive products. Supported by BMBF, Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
  • Editorial Board and support of the "Usability Professionals Forum" in the "i-com - Journal of Interactive Media ":
  • Co-Chair Program Committee Man & Computer Conference 2015:
    Implementation of the annual industry report UX/Usability on behalf of the German Usability Professionals' Association:
  • Organization team World Usability Day Darmstadt: