Ralf Wölfer

Juliana Cuyler Matthews Junior Research Fellow (Psychology)
MSc PhD Berlin


I studied psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin from 2003 to 2008, before I received a predoctoral scholarship from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (LIFE Research School). After my doctoral degree, I worked as a research scientist in Berlin and since 2013 at the University of Oxford.


I regularly give tutorials in social psychology. My teaching also contributes to the Social Block Practicals (undergraduate program) and the course Statistical Theory & Methods (graduate program) in the Department of Experimental Psychology. In addition, I am supervising library dissertations and research projects.

Research Interests

The core interest of my work is to understand how social relationships form behavior and vice versa. In particular, I am investigating the occurrence, development, and prevention of aggressive behavior (including ostracism, bullying, and intergroup conflict) from a social perspective. For this purpose, I utilize a combination of different methodological approaches with a special emphasis on social network analysis.

Selected Publications

Wölfer, R., & Hewstone, M. (in press). Intra- versus intersex aggression: Testing theories of sex differences using aggression networks. Psychological Science.

Wölfer, R., Faber, N. S., & Hewstone, M. (2015). Social network analysis in the science of groups: Cross-sectional and longitudinal applications for studying intra- and intergroup behavior. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 19, 45-61.

Vezzali, L., Hewstone, M., Capozza, D., Giovannini, D., & Wölfer, R. (2014). Improving intergroup relations with extended and vicarious forms of indirect contact. European Review of Social Psychology, 25, 314-389.

Wölfer, R., & Scheithauer, H. (2014). Social influence and bullying behavior: Intervention-based network dynamics of the fairplayer.manual bullying prevention program. Aggressive Behavior, 40, 309-319.

Wölfer, R., Schultze-Krumbholz, A., Zagorscak, P., Jäkel, A., Göbel, K., & Scheithauer, H. (2014). Prevention 2.0: Targeting cyberbullying @ school. Prevention Science, 15, 879-887.

Wölfer, R., & Scheithauer, H. (2013). Ostracism in childhood and adolescence: Emotional, cognitive, and behavioral effects of social exclusion. Social Influence, 8, 217-236.

Wölfer, R., Bull, H. D., & Scheithauer, H. (2012). Social integration in youth: Insights from a social network perspective. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 16, 138-147.

Wölfer, R., Cortina, K. S., & Baumert, J. (2012). Embeddedness and empathy: How the social network shapes adolescents’ social understanding. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 1295-1305.