Prof. Dr. Julia Schüler


Hard Facts


  • since 2016: Professor (W3) for Sports Psychology at the Department of Sport Science, University of Konstanz, Germany
  • 2012-2016: Assistance Professor for Sport & Health, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2003-2012: Senior Researcher at the Chair of Motivation (Prof. V. Brandstätter), University of Zurich, Switzerland 
  • 2007: Post-doc Research Fellow at Prof. A. Elliot´s lab (Chair of Social Psychology), University of Rochester, New York, USA
  • 1999-2002: Researcher at the Chair of Motivation Psychology (Prof. H.-D. Schmalt), University of Wuppertal, Germany


  • 2011/2012: Venia Legendi for Psychology (Habilitation) at the University of Zurich/ Venia Docendi for Psychology at the University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2003: PhD (Dr. phil, Psychology), University of Wuppertal, Germany
  • 1999: Diploma in Psychology  at the University of Wuppertal, Germany

My Research & Me

“I am convinced that motivation and willpower (volition) are essential determinants of athletic performance and health-oriented physical activity. As a former gymnast (also on the balance beam), I know that many things in life require a balance - for example between intrinsically motivated behaviour and willpower, both of which are usually necessary to achieve challenging athletic goals. (Not to mention the permanent task of work-life balance ...). Fortunately, the principle applies everywhere: if you are well trained, you usually do well. The most exciting challenge in the balancing act is still to take into account the complexity of psychological and physiological processes and their interactions in sport and exercise and at the same time to derive questions that can be soundly tested in our Lab & Life research ( Work with me on this challenge in the context of research collaborations or student research projects! You are very welcome.”

Bachelor & Masterthesis

Please contact me if you are interested in bachelor and master theses in one of my favorite topics:

Promoting physical exercise in Lab & Life (ProPELL): Topics in this larger interdisciplinary collaborative project include: the value of effort (can effort itself be the reward in strenuous exercise? - PhD student Johanna Stähler), and the implementation of health-promoting physical activity in everyday life. [questionnare studies and lab experiments]

Behavior change: Interventions aimed at achieving health behavior change (more exercise) using behavior change techniques (BCTs) are often moderately successful, expensive, and applicable to few individuals. We therefore focus on proactive BCTs (ProBCTs) that people apply themselves. Here are some questions to answer (Which ones work and why? Which ones don't? How do the regulatory mechanisms work?). [questionnare studies]

Motive-Incentive-Fit: People differ in how strongly they prefer achievement situations (achievement motive) and social situations (affiliation and power motive). When motives and incentives match in the sport situation, motivation is higher and well-being is better. We vary the motive-incentive fit in experiments and analyze the consequences. [questionnare studies and lab experiments]

Serious Gaming: Virtual cycling environments such as bike races or social rides contain different incentives for people with different personalities (e.g., strong achievement or social motives). We want to find out which individuals prefer which game modes and what effects this has on the gaming experience and performance.


Full publication list: click here.


Current courses: click here.

Want to connect & stay up to date?