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Melissa Gussmann
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Melissa Gussmann

Member of the Realistic Depictions lab

Melissa Gussmann has been working as a researcher and a PhD student in the Realistic Depictions lab at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) since June 2016. In her dissertation project, she investigates the impact of the awareness of being at a place with National Socialist history on affective and cognitive processes. In cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History München-Berlin and the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, she also investigates the perception of an authentic location and its propagandistic staging during the time of National Socialism. The research includes field studies as well as experimental studies in the lab. A broad spectrum of methods is used, ranging from mobile eye tracking and reaction time measurements to open question formats, which entails qualitative and quantitative data analyses.

Her research interests include the topics environmental psychology (human-environment interactions) and visitor studies (e.g. knowledge transfer in museums, memorial places and documentation centers). Melissa Gussmann studied Psychology at the University of Tübingen (diploma 2013), with the elective subject Empirical Culture Science.


The visitors’ view on Obersalzberg: cognitive psychological analyses of the perception of an authentic location and its propagandistic staging during the time of National Socialism

Chapters in Edited Books

Gussmann, M., Merkt, M., & Schwan, S. (2019). Zur Wahrnehmung und Wirkung historischer Orte. Eine kognitionspsychologische Perspektive. In A. Drecoll, T. Schaarschmidt, & I. Zündorf (Eds.), Authentizität als Kapital historischer Orte? (pp. 175-187). Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag.

Conference Contributions

Gussmann, M., Merkt, M., & Schwan, S. (2018, September). Authentic places: Does knowing about the history of a place influence the emotional impact of place-related pictures? International Conference on Spatial Cognition (ICSC). Rom, Italy. [Poster]

Gussmann, M., Merkt, M., Schwan, S. (2017, November). Wirkung authentischer Orte auf die Wahrnehmung von Bildmaterialien. Lernen mit Sachquellen in Gedenkstätten und Museen. Celle. [Vortrag]

Schwan, S., Gussmann, M. & Merkt, M. (2017, März). Zur Wahrnehmung eines authentischen Ortes. Das Beispiel Obersalzberg. Authentizität als Kapital historischer Orte. Dachau. [Vortrag]

Software Development

Lott, L., Gussmann, M., Lachmair, M., Gerjets, P., & Schwan, S. (2018). Touch-Paradigma Obersalzberg (BA-Arbeit). Tübingen: Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien.


Melissa Gussmann

Melissa Gussmann

Schleichstraße 6
72076 Tübingen
Room 6.309
phone: +49 7071 979-203
fax: +49 7071 979-115