Max Planck Institute for Human Development


Current Research Results

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

Webportal “History of Emotions – Insights into Research”

History of Emotions

Hayward, R. (2015). Busman's Stomach 1937: Digestive Disorders and the Making of Modern Politics, DOI 10.14280/08241.36
Herzfeld-Schild, M.-L. (2015). "With the harmony of the heart alone" - The Emotionalization of Religion in Heinrich Bone’s Preface to "Cantate!" (1847), DOI 10.14280/08241.38
Harrington, J. F. (2015). The Executioner as Tabloid Author: Conscious and Unconscious Performance of Emotions, DOI 10.14280/08241.40

Since October 2013 we publish on our website "History of Emotions - Insights into Research" contributions to the History of Emotions. Short essays with the use of concrete sources as examples demonstrate the sources and methods as well as the questions and perspectives through which the history of emotions can be explored and its range and knowledge potential can be specified ...

Webportal "History of Emotions--Insights into Research" | ePublishing

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

Cognitive processing and motor execution in the lexical decision task: A developmental study

MPRG "Reading Education and Development (REaD)"

Schroeder, S., & Verrel, J. (2014). Cognitive processing and motor execution in the lexical decision task: A developmental study. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 496-504. doi:10.3758/s13423-013-0509-x

We investigated lexical decision making in children and adults by analyzing spatiotemporal characteristics of responses involving a hand movement. Children’s and adults’ movement trajectories were assessed in three tasks: a lexical decision task (LDT), a pointing task that involved minimal cognitive processing, and a symbol task requiring a simple binary decision.

Cognitive Processing and Motor Execution (Springer) | Journal cover

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

Risk Savy. How to Make Good Decisions

Adaptive Behavior and Cognition

Gigerenzer, G. (2014). Risk savvy: How to make good decisions. New York: Viking Books.
ISBN: 9780670025657

In the age of Big Data we often believe that our predictions about the future are better than ever before. But as risk expert Gerd Gigerenzer shows, the surprising truth is that in the real world, we often get better results by using simple rules and considering less information. ...

Risk Savy (Gerd Gigerenzer) | Cover

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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