Alex Koch studies differences between processing positive and negative information. Positive information is recognized faster, and summarized and generalized more readily than negative information. Negative information is remembered more accurately and carries more weight in decisions and judging others than positive information. Koch explains these differences based on features of the information ecology and has determined that people perceive a great variety of positive things as more similar to one another compared to negative things. In another line of research, he models the dimensions that people spontaneously use to stereotype society-representative categories, such as rich people, immigrants, parents, the military, and alcoholics.
His research has been published in Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He has won dissertation awards from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the Faculty of Human Science of the University of Cologne, and a publication award from the German Society of Psychology.
Koch is an Asness Junior Faculty Fellow at Chicago Booth. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Heidelberg and earned a PhD in psychology from the University of Cologne. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he held a postdoctoral position at the University of Cologne.