Lehrstuhl für Methodenlehre und Psychologische Diagnostik


The focus of all our research activities is on the strongly overlapping areas of methods, statistics, psychometrics, and psychological assessment. Our projects vary widely with respect to the emphasis that is placed on more substantive psychological theories and methodological aspects. Some of our research is more applied, other activities are more theoretically-oriented. In any case, the common element is that we strive to combine addressing highly interesting psychological research questions with (the development of) appropriate and up-to-date methods.

If you are interested in our topics, feel free to visit our colloquium. You can find more information about our colloquium here.

Research on Methods and Response Biases

The reliable and valid assessment of psychological characteristics is a cornerstone of both research and practice in psychology. Often, an assessment is based on self-reports of individuals that may be collected in oral form in the context of an interview or in written form as responses to rating scales, for example. The use of self-reports via rating scales is a particularly efficient method to collect information on various states, traits, attitudes, and similar individual characteristics. Alas, it has been consistently shown over many decades of research that rating scales are susceptible to a plethora of response biases, like extreme responding, socially desirable responding, among others.

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Research on Ability Measurement

Ability measurement has a history of more than a century in scientific psychology and it is one of its success stories, both with respect to the quality of assessment procedures as well as its practical utility in almost any domain of human life. Theoretical models (e.g., the Cattel-Horn-Carroll model) and an abundance of intelligence tests have been developed and successfully applied in scientific research and practice. By far the most of such established tests only cover more classic or academic fields of intelligence, like logical thinking, short-term memory, and mental speed, for example. Factors of intelligence that are situated in the interpersonal context (emotions, personality, social relations) are very rarely included. This may be considered to be surprising as most people are convinced that intelligent behavior in interpersonal context does exist and is highly important for almost any aspect of social life. The still largely unresolved methodological, psychometric and conceptual challenges associated with assessing these forms of intelligence have hampered progress. They have also led to the interest of the scientific community to tackle the issue waxing and waning. Particularly, but not exclusively, the research domain of emotional intelligence has established itself in the last 25 years and it looks like that it is here to stay this time around.

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Research on Personality

Typical behavior comprises many human characteristics that – if relatively stable over time and contexts – are ordinarily subsumed under the heading of personality factors. Questions pertaining to the structure of personality factors has attracted a lot of attention in psychological research and beyond. Although there is widespread consensus on the number and type of many broad factors, controversies remain about the completeness of prominent factor structures (e.g., the Big Five), particularly at the so-called facet level, that is, at the level of more specific personality aspects.

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