Sonja Utz is head of the research group Social media. She studied psychology at the Catholic University Eichstätt (diploma 1996), where she also received her PhD (1999) with a thesis on identification with virtual communities. 2000-2001 she was a post-doc at VU University Amsterdam, Department of Social Psychology, financed by a DFG grant. From October 2001 through March 2004, she was assistant professor at Chemnitz Technological University, Department of Economic, Organizational and Social Psychology. In April 2004, she moved to the Department of Communication Science at VU University Amsterdam, first as assistant professor, later as associate professor. From November 2011 till march 2013 she also worked two days a week as associate professor for social media and reputation management at NHL Leeuwarden. In April 2013, she joined IWM in Tübingen.

Ana Levordashka was working as a researcher and a doctoral candidate at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM; Knowledge Media Research Center) from November 2013 – October 2017. As part of the “Informational benefits” subproject, she investigated how people get informational benefits from social media use. Ana studied integrated social and cognitive psychology at Jacobs University Bremen and did a research master in social psychology at VU Amsterdam.

Ruoyun Lin was investigating the emotional benefits of social media use. From January 2014 until December 2017, she worked in the group “Social Media” at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM; Knowledge Media Research Center) as a research scientist and a doctoral candidate. She studied Bio-Engineering at Zhejiang University in China (BEng, 2011), and Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology (MSc, 2013). In addition, she is working as editorial assistant for the International Journal of Internet Science (IJIS) since September 2012.

Christoph H. Maaß joined the team in May 2017. His work in this project had a methodological focus; he mainly was working on the analysis of the longitudinal study. He studied Political Science, Sociology and Public Law at the University of Heidelberg, where he received his PhD degree in Political Science (Dr. rer. pol.) in 2009. His dissertation is located in international comparative conflict research. From 2012 to 2016 he worked as a research associate at the University of Tübingen in the empirical religious education research project “Confirmation Work in Europe”.

Johannes Breuer was part of the ReDefTie team until April 2017.
Chao Zhang was part of the ReDefTie team until September 2013.