Ricardo Neuner, MA

Box: 10
Phone: +49 7531 88-2490
Office: F 351
Email: ricardo.neuner@uni-konstanz.de


DFG Research Project (run-time 2016-2022) in the context of the Priority Programm «Experience and Expectation. Historical Foundations of Economic Behaviour.»

Ph.D.-Project: The Shaping of Consumer Minds. A History of Behavior Engineering in American Consumer Psychology, 1930-1990. (working title)

My PhD-Project examines how psychologist and social researchers influenced consumer psychology. Their psychoanalytical, gestalpsychological and since the 1960s cognitive approaches not only shaped american consumer culture. On an academic level they also challenged rational modells of economic behavior. A result of this challenge was the rise of Behavioral Economics, which used psychological theories to gain back epistemological controll over the agent of »economic standard theory« which turned out to be irrational. My work is following the theoretical imports of eurpean migrants from advertising and marketing and its development into an independent academic subdiscipline called Consumer Behavior Research. Their cognitive models which analyzed economic actions on the level of individual thought processes appeared no longer as the anti-thesis of economic rationality, but rather an empirical advance of the dominant «micro-foundation» of economic theory in the 1980s. Anomalies and problems in economic behavior became psychological problems which could be resolved by cogntive marketing techniques. 

Research Interests 

The Ph.D.-Project is my experiment to combine history of psychology with social and economic history. 

My additional research interests are:

  • history of knowledge and science in the 20th century
  • social and cultural history of the USA, Europe and South Africa
  • theories and methods of historical research

Archival Research Travels

February-April 2020

Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, Duke University, North Carolina.

February-April 2019

Northwestern University Archives, Evanston Illinois; Michigan University Archives, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, Duke University, North Carolina, Hagley Collections, Wilmington, Delaware. 

Talks at conferences and workshops

28.02.2020 @ DHI Washington 

A Great Persuasion? The Career of Motivation Research, 1930-1970.

23.01.2020 @ University Basel, Chair of Modern History, Cooperative Meeting of Economic History Konstanz, Zurich and Basel

Die Große Verführung?  Zur Karriere der Motivforschung, 1930-1970.

29.11.2019 @ Universiy Erfurt, Max-Weber-Kolleg, Workshop History of Knowledge, 

Die Vermessung des Verbrauchers und die Steuerung von Irrationalität. Der Konsument in der amerikanischen Verhaltensforschung seit 1930.

08.05.2018 @ University Zurich, Research Center for Social and Economic History, Zurich-Konstanz Workshop

Shaping the Mind for the Market. Eine Geschichte psychologischen Wissens vom Marketing zur Verhaltensökonomie.

28.09.2017 @ University Goettingen, Doctoral Workshop DFG Priority Programm »Experience and Expectation«

(Ir)rationalität im Experiment. Das Wissen der Verhaltensökonomie – Vom Experimentalsystem zur Steuerungstechnik.

20.06.2017 @ University Zurich, Research Center for Social and Economic History, Zürich-Konstanz-Workshop

Der ökonomische Mensch im Labor. Eine Denkstilanalyse der Behavioral Economics.

Scientific Career


Visiting Research Fellow at the History Department, Duke University, North Carolina


Doctoral Scholarship German Historical Institute Washington, DC

since 2017

Academic Staff in the Priority Programme of the DFG «Expectation & Experience. Historical Foundations of Economic Behaviour»


Scholar of the Center of Excellence «Cultural Foundations of Social Integration» for the Transition into the Doctoral Phase, as well as Research Assistant for the Chair of Prof. Dr. Laura Rischbieter


Student of the Masterprogramme of the Center of Excellence «Studies in  European Culture» at the University of Konstanz and the University of Pretoria, South Africa


Bachelor of Arts in History, Geography and Philosophy at the University of Münster and Zurich

Awards and Grants


Alvin Achenbaum Travel Grant, Duke University Library.


Max-Dessoir-Award of the German Psychological Society (DGPs) for outstanding papers concerning the history of psychology for the master thesis Schimpansen im Test. Die Geschichte der Intelligenzprüfungen Wolfgang Köhlers auf Teneriffa 1913-1920.


DAAD Exchange Scholarship for a Semester at the University of Pretoria. 


Essay Award of the Centre for Philosophy of Science, Münster (ZfW) for the essay Geschichtsschreibung im postideologischen Zeitalter. Das Ende der Ideologie als Phantasma.