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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - Personality development

Research

My research concentrates on the following topics:

1) Combining structural and process-oriented approach to personality psychology
An important task of personality psychology is to identify social, cognitive, and emotional processes that give rise to the development, change, and consolidation of personality characteristics. For example, in a study together with Lars Penke, David Schmitt, and Marcel van Aken, I could show that self-esteem is largely dependent on differences in the quality and quantity of interactions with friends.

2) Dynamic-interactionist approaches to lifespan development
Besides describing universal developmental tendencies it is increasingly important to describe and explain individual differences in age-dependent personality changes. For example, using data from the LOGIC study, I, Jens Asendorpf, and Marcel van Aken could show that personality types differ with regard to the developmental trajectories of shyness and aggressiveness. In turn, these differences were shown to be partly mediated by the timing of social roles.

3) Developmental psychopathology
A major assumption of current developmental psychopathology is hat there are no clear boundaries between "normal" and "pathological" development. Personality traits are one of the possible moderating factors that could explain why some people respond to adverse life with successful coping strategies, whereas others develop internalizing or externalizing behavioral tendencies.