Max Planck Institute for Human Development


Current Research Results

Developmental Eye-Tracking Research in Reading

MPRG "Reading Education and Development (REaD)"

Hyönä, J., Schroeder, S., & Liversedge, S. P. (Eds.). (2015): Developmental eye-tracking research in reading [Special Issue]. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 27 (5). Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group.
doi: 10.1080/20445911.2015.1046877

Extending our understanding of the interplay between visual and cognitive processes during reading is essential to understand how reading develops and changes across the lifespan. Monitoring readers’ eye movements provides a fine-grained online protocol of the reading process as it evolves over time, but until recently eye movements have rarely been collected …

Journal of Cognitive Psychology | Cover

Simply Rational: Decision Making in the Real World

Adaptive Behavior and Cognition

Gigerenzer, G. (2015). Simply rational: Decision making in the real world (328 pp.). Oxford University Press. ISBN-13: 9780199390076

Statistical illiteracy can have an enormously negative impact on decision making. This book brings together applied and theoretical research on risks and decision making across the fields of medicine, psychology, and economics. Collectively, the chapters demonstrate why the frame in which statistics are communicated is essential for broader understanding and sound decision making, and that understanding risks and uncertainty has wide-reaching implications for daily life …

Simply rational: Decision making in the real world (Gerd Gigerenzer) | Cover

Civilizing Emotions. Concepts in Nineteenth Century Asia and Europe

History of Emotions

Pernau, M., Jordheim, H., Bashkin, O., Bailey, C., Benesch, O., Ifversen, J., Kia, M., Majumdar, R., Messner, A. C., Park, M., Saada, E., Singh, M., & Wigen, E. (2015). Civilizing Emotions. Concepts in Nineteenth Century Asia and Europe. Oxford University Press, U. K. ISBN 978-0-19-874553-2

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the vocabulary of civility and civilization is very much at the forefront of political debate. Most of these debates proceed as if the meaning of these words were self-evident. This is where Civilizing Emotions intervenes, tracing the history of the concepts of civility and civilization and  thus adding a level of self-reflexivity …

Civilizing Emotions (M. Pernau et al.) | Cover

LIFESPAN: A tool for the computer-aided design of longitudinal studies

Lifespan Psychology

Brandmaier, A. M., Oertzen, T. v., Ghisletta, P., Hertzog, C., & Lindenberger, U. (2015). LIFESPAN: A tool for the computer-aided design of longitudinal studies. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 272. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00272

Researchers planning a longitudinal study typically search, more or less informally, a multivariate space of possible study designs that include dimensions such as the hypothesized true variance in change, indicator reliability, the number and spacing of measurement occasions, total study time, and sample size. The main search goal is to select a research design ...

Lifespan: A tool for the computer-aided design of longitudinal studies | Cover p

The Amplification of Risk in Experimental Diffusion Chains

Adaptive Rationality

Moussaïd, M., Brighton, H., & Gaissmaier, W. (2015). The amplification of risk in experimental diffusion chains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421883112

Understanding how people form and revise their perception of risk is central to designing efficient risk communication methods, eliciting risk awareness, and avoiding unnecessary anxiety among the public. However, public responses to hazardous events such as climate change, contagious outbreaks, and terrorist threats are complex and difficult-to-anticipate phenomena....

The amplification of risk in experimental diffusion chains | Cover of the articl

Kommunikation im Musikleben. Harmonien und Dissonanzen im 20. Jahrhundert

MPRG "Felt Communities? Emotions in European Music Performances"

Müller, S. O., Osterhammel, J., & Rempe, M. (Eds.). (2015). Kommunikation im Musikleben. Harmonien und Dissonanzen im 20. Jahrhundert (312 pp.). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 978-3-525-30070-1

How did musical interactions impact communication and understanding between groups and individuals in the 20th century? This book presents case studies from different musical genres, providing new insights into general as well as genre-specific instances of musical communication. ...

Kommunikation im Musikleben ( S. O. Mueller, J. Osterhammel & M. Rempe) | Cover

Demokratiepädagogik und Schulreform


Edelstein, W. (Author), Beutel, W., Edler, K., & Rademacher, H. (Eds.) (2014). Demokratiepädagogik und Schulreform. Schwalbach/Ts.: Wochenschau-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89974974-8

Based on the finding that a contemporary school reform without democracy educational foundation is unthinkable and democracy education is also a challenge for current school development, the contributions gathered here by Wolfgang Edelstein bundle the various facets of this relationship ...

Demokratiepaedagogik und Schulreform (Wolfgang Edelstein) | Buchcover

100 Years Hellmut Becker (1913-2013)


Kerstin Singer und Ute Frevert: „100 Jahre Hellmut Becker (1913-2013) – Dokumentation der Ausstellung zu Leben und Werk im Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung“, Online-Publikation, Oktober 2014, DOI: 10.14280/08241.29

The year 2013 was of great significance for the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. The Institute celebrated its 50th anniversary. One man holds a special place in the Institute’s history: Founding director Hellmut Becker, was born 100 years ago, on 17 May 1913. To mark the Institute’s anniversary celebrations in autumn 2013, an exhibition (in German) commemorated the life and work of Hellmut Becker. …

Broschüren Cover

Warum dick nicht doof macht und Gen-Mais nicht tötet

Harding Center for Risk Literacy

Bauer, T., Gigerenzer, G., & Krämer, W. (2014). Warum dick nicht doof macht und Gen-Mais nicht tötet. Über Risiken und Nebenwirkungen der Unstatistik (211 Seiten). Frankfurt a. Main: Campus. ISBN 978-3-593-50030-0

Shark attack fatalities double from 2010, women still earn less than men, genetically modified corn is carcinogenic, eating chocolate makes you thin, Poles work harder than Germans: Headlines like these circulate almost daily in the media, where the competition for attention is tough. …

Warum dick nicht doof macht und Genmais nicht toetet | Buchcover

About the Institute

Institute's Brochure 2015 | Cover

How Effective Is Brain-Gaming?

The assertion that older people can improve their general cognitive performance and guard against dementia by playing brain games is not scientifically grounded. More than 70 leading scientists from all over the world have published a statement about this.


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