I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Psychology at Tilburg University. I am interested in how we understand others and develop empathy for them, particularly by means of perspective-taking. In my work, I seek to understand the mechanisms underlying these social cognitions, and what their consequences are, for example, for social and economic decision-making, for organizational behaviors, or for mental health & well-being.

I also investigate emoji as a means to non-verbally communicate in digital text-based communication from the vantage point of social theories of emotion. I found that in low-stakes social conversations with friends, emoji are functionally very similar to offline facial expressions of emotion. I also investigate their perception in work and organizational settings, such as workplace communication, and economic contexts, such as online customer-brand interactions, seeking to uncover when it is appropriate to use emoji and when it is not.


I mainly conduct experimental research using behavioral and psychophysiological methods to uncover the mechanisms underlying social cognitions, behaviors, and decisions.

My research has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the European Association for Social Psychology (EASP), and Prolific Academic. I am also a member of a research network sponsored by the DFG that investigates processes involved in understanding others. To follow our activities, visit us here:

For example, we are currently guest editing a special issue on the topic of "Understanding others in moments of crisis" soon to appear in the journal Social Psychology,  see:



At Tilburg University, I have taught courses in the Work Group Psychology, Experimental Research Design, and Social Cognition.

At my previous institutions, I have taught courses on Implicit Social Cognition, Attitudes and Persuasion, Research Methods, Empathy & Perspective-Taking, Intercultural Competence, and Communication & Rhetoric.

At all institutions, I have also supervised theses at all levels (Bachelor, Master, Research Master). I am currently also the master thesis coordinator at our department, so feel free to direct questions about the completion of your master thesis to me.



I am also the lab manager at our department. If you have a lab request (lab space, equipment, etc.), contact me or my lab team at: 

Recent publications

  1. Motivations underlying self-infliction of pain during thinking for pl…

    Eder, A. B., Maas, F., Schubmann, A., Krishna, A., & Erle, T. M. (2022). Motivations underlying self-infliction of pain during thinking for pleasure. Scientific Reports, 12(1), [11247].
  2. Emojis as social information in digital communication

    Erle, T. M., Schmid, K., Goslar, S. H., & Martin, J. D. (2022). Emojis as social information in digital communication. Emotion, 22(7), 1529-1543.
  3. Strength‐is‐weakness - The (ir)relevant relation between resources an…

    Wissink, J., Cantiani, A., Ven, N. V. D., Pronk, T., Erle, T. M., & Beest, I. V. (2022). Strength‐is‐weakness: The (ir)relevant relation between resources and payoffs in coalition formation. European Journal of Social Psychology.
  4. Did my heart just leap or sink? - The role of personality for the rel…

    Erle, T. M., Mitschke, V., & Schultchen, D. (2021). Did my heart just leap or sink? The role of personality for the relation between cardiac interoception and well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 170, [110493].
  5. On the relationship of interoceptive accuracy and attention - A contr…

    Schultchen, D., Schneider, C., Berberich, G., Zaudig, M., Erle, T. M., & Pollatos, O. (2021). On the relationship of interoceptive accuracy and attention: A controlled study with depressed inpatients and a healthy cohort. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, [597488].

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