Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Lebenswissen­schaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Psychologie

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Lebenswissen­schaftliche Fakultät | Institut für Psychologie | Forschung | Schwerpunkte | Human Developmental Dynamics: Individuals, Groups, and Organizations

Human Developmental Dynamics: Individuals, Groups, and Organizations


In Western countries the population is aging. The percentage of individuals 65 and older is projected to be 32% in 2050 compared to 21% in 2014 (Statistisches Bundesamt). At the same time, people are expected to live longer and stay active longer as well. The media describes this trend as problematic; something that is echoed in politics as well. Only occasionally are positive aspects highlighted such as the notion that the large number of retired older but active individuals can be an economic boost (PBS, 2015) or as a group that can relieve the child care system.  

The research group “Developmental Dynamics” wants to set a different accent and focus on the older population not as a threat but as a challenge and resource. The research focus is twofold, first on the potential of the elderly to remain an active and productive part of the social fabric and second, on the ways that can facilitate this process and the means to overcome potential hindrances. In this sense, questions arise such as how to keep experienced employees active in the workplace – but also how to overcome traditional organizational policies that hinder this process. Other topics relate to aspects of wellbeing and health at the workplace from a prospective perspective starting in midlife. These issues include stress management, health behaviors, including appropriate nutrition, and positive intergenerational interactions. The research group aims at gaining a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of human developmental dynamics across individuals, groups, and organizations, as well as different timescales. This not only involves the development of new research designs and methods, but also a deeper understanding of the human communication process as well as personality development, including development of cognitive competencies, across the life span.

This research challenge can only be addressed by a multidisciplinary team, which works with a strong common focus and contributes facets of understanding that will allow us to develop an integrative vision of the ways that an aging population can be considered an enrichment rather than a burden and how aging can be viewed as a process of discovering and maintain resources rather than a simple loss of resources.


PBS. (2015). Baby, it’s you: Why boomers are an economic boon. Retrieved from:

Statistisches Bundesamt (Producer). (May 21, 2015). Bevölkerungspyramide. Retrieved from


Human Developmental Dynamics (HDD) …
  • ... of Adaptation to Major Life Events (Annette Brose)

  • ... across the Lifespan / in Aging (Denis Gerstorf)

  • ... in Human Interaction and Communication / Social and Organizational Psychology (Ursula Hess)

  • ... in Organizational and Health Behavior (Annekatrin Hoppe)

  • ... Psychological Methods of HDD (Manuel Voelkle)

  • ... and Psychological Diagnostics / Individual Differences in HDD (Matthias Ziegler)

  • ... Personality in Human Developmental Dynamics (N.N.)


Central activities

Aging in Context: Linking Co-Regulation to Variability (CoReAge)

Grant proposal German Research Foundation (DFG) Collaborative Research Center/TRansRegio


Interaction Dynamics in EverydAy Life: From individual decisions to adaptive systems (IDEAL)

Grant proposal German Research Foundation (DFG) Excellence Initiative


Self-Regulation Dynamics Across Adulthood and Old Age: Potentials and Limits

Structured graduate program


Berlin Aging Study-II