Children compensate lack of concentration through creativity

Children compensate lack of concentration through creativity

Children have a hard time with tasks requiring concentration, but are often good at discovering hidden "tricks" to make the task easier. Spontaneous strategy changes help them to achieve this. The study on learning behavior in children by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin was published in the journal PloS ONE.

Long Night of the Sciences 2022

Long Night of the Sciences 2022

After a three-year break, the Max Planck Institute for Human Development finally opened its doors again on July 2, 2022 as part of the Long Night of the Sciences 2022 (#LNDW22). More than 600 visitors, from toddlers to seniors, attended the many booths, lectures, hands-on activities, and guided tours. The event was a great success for the Institute.

Wolfgang Edelstein Memorial Lecture

Wolfgang Edelstein Memorial Lecture

In memory of Director Wolfgang Edelstein, who passed away in 2020, the "Wolfgang Edelstein Memorial Lecture" took place on June 24. The event was hosted by Ute Frevert, Deputy Managing Director of the MPI for Human Development. The memorial speech was held by Heinz-Elmar Tenorth, Professor of Historical Education at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Jürgen Baumert Festive Symposium

Jürgen Baumert Festive Symposium

On the occasion of Jürgen Baumert's 80th birthday, a symposium was held at the Harnack-Haus in Berlin in June 2022. Director of the Research Center Lifespan for Psychology, Ulman Lindenberger, Olaf Köller (IPN), and Simon Sommer (Jacobs Foundation) invited to the festivities. The Minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger honored Jürgen Baumert's life's work with a laudation. In a lively discussion around the topic of "Digitization of Education" areas for action were uncovered.
 

Media Library

Media Library

Would you like to get an insight into our Research? Browse through our Media Library and discover exciting videos and podcasts in which our Researchers have been involved.

We welcome the Max Planck Research Group Biology, Social Disparities and Development to our Institute

We welcome the Max Planck Research Group Biology, Social Disparities and Development to our Institute

Laurel Raffington’s research group examines how social disparities affect child and adolescent development and lead to differential outcomes in education, health, and well-being across the life span. We warmly welcome the new group to the Institute and are looking forward to working with them.

Voluntary Social Year in Research

Voluntary Social Year in Research

The Lise Meitner Group for Environmental Neuroscience offers a Voluntary Social Year in Research for the second time. Research Group Leader Simone Kühn is currently accepting initiative applications for the next round.

People with less memory loss in old age gain more knowledge

People with less memory loss in old age gain more knowledge

Do cognitive abilities change together, or do they change independently of each other? An international research team from the USA, Sweden, and Germany involving the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has presented new findings now published in Science Advances.

Safely simulating risks in a pandemic

Safely simulating risks in a pandemic

Is it possible to conduct experiments about risk-taking during pandemics without endangering participants? To safely investigate the effectiveness of public health interventions and simulate the dynamics of virus transmission, researchers from the University of Plymouth, UK, the IESE Business School in Spain and the MPI for Human Development have developed a game-based experiment.

Woman in front of a screen

Rethinking infectious disease control 

Physical distancing policies and particularly stay-at-home work mandates have proven highly effective at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But these measures have had numerous unwanted consequences, including dramatic reductions in economic productivity. Are there alternative methods that have the potential to simultaneously contain pandemic spread while also minimizing negative economic effects?

Young smiling couple wearing disposable masks standing in the supermarket mall, with trolley carts full of vegetables, buying food and groceries, looking for healthy products.

Naturally healthy: How much do adolescents know about food?

How natural a food product is plays a key role in how healthy it is perceived to be—not only by nutrition experts, but also by adolescents and young adults. At the same time, there is considerable variability in adolescents’ ratings of food products. These are the results of a new study conducted by researchers at the MPI for Human Development and Aarhus University, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

How the brain’s blue spot helps us focus our attention

How the brain’s blue spot helps us focus our attention

How can we shift from inattentiveness to highest attention? The locus coeruleus, the “blue spot,” is a tiny cluster of cells at the base of the brain. As the main source of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline, it helps us control our attentional focus. Researchers at the MPI for Human Development have now developed a framework describing the way the blue spot regulates our brain’s sensitivity to relevant information in situations requiring attention.

Well-dosed emotions

Well-dosed emotions

Emotions have a bad reputation in the political sphere. According to traditional dogma, political decisions should be rational and sensible, but under no circumstances should they be emotional. Reality, however, has always been somewhat different. The impact that feelings had and continue to have on political events and the rise and fall of leaders is the primary field of interest for Ute Frevert and her team at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Read more about this topic in the MaxPlanckResearch periodical.

Caution – toxic green!

Caution – toxic green!

Some plants produce toxins that can make us sick – or even kill us. Thus, a wariness of plants makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, especially for infants and toddlers. Annie Wertz is investigating which behaviors protect children from dangerous plants and how they learn from adults which plants are safe to eat. Read more about this in the current MaxPlanckResearch.

Fluid Feelings

Fluid Feelings

Gender and emotions are all too often thought of in stereotypical images. Against such a background, this issue deals with ambiguities and deviations, that is, with the dynamic interplay of gender and emotion. In five contributions, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development conceive neither gender nor emotion as consistent categories, but rather as phenomena in motion that are constantly being created anew.

The Institute

Our Research
The Max Planck Institute for Human Development is dedicated to the study of human development and educational processes across the lifespan and historical time. Researchers from diverse disciplines—including psychology, sociology, history, computer and information science, medicine, mathematics, and economics—work together on interdisciplinary projects. An overview of all research centers and groups can be found here.

Our Staff
Are you looking for a specific contact? Some 350 people from over 30 countries work at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. The institute comprises four research centers, three Max Planck Research Groups, one Emmy Noether Group, one Lise Meitner Research Group, and several service departments. The contact details of all staff members are listed here.

Study Participation
Are you interested in participating in a study? We are always looking for men, women, and children of various ages who are interested in participating in psychological or neuroscience studies. Here you can find out which projects are currently looking for participants and read up on the conditions for participation and study methods used.

Current Research Results


Feeling Political.
Zur Zukunft der Demokratie
Fluid Feelings
Klick
Sex - right!
feeling different: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Federal Republic.
Deliberate Ignorance: Choosing Not to Know
The long-term proficiency of early, middle, and late starters learning English as a foreign language at school
Classification in the Wild
Mächtige Gefühle
Body, Capital, and Screens: Visual Media and the Healthy Self in the 20th Century
original
Tech-fear
Shared responsibility in collective decisions
Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India
Taming Uncertainty
Sequential replay of non-spatial task states in the human hippocampus
Encounters with emotions: Negotiating cultural differences since early modernity
Kapitalismus, Märkte und Moral
An Integrated Model of Action Selection: Distinct Modes of Cortical Control of Striatal Decision Making
Looking for a Different Medicine. Psychosomatic Medicine in the 20th Century.
The politics of humiliation: A modern history.
Lost dynamics and the dynamics of loss: Longitudinal compression of brain signal variability is coupled with declines in functional integration and cognitive performance

News

News

Children have a hard time with tasks requiring concentration, but are often good at discovering hidden "tricks" to ...

Is it possible to conduct experiments about risk-taking during pandemics without endangering participants? To safely ...

Physical distancing policies and particularly stay-at-home work mandates have proven highly effective at slowing the ...

Events

Seminar: Molly Crockett

Molly Crockett
Dec 6, 2022 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)

Seminar: Cultural evolution in the digital age

Alberto Acerbi, Brunel University London
Aug 30, 2022 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Room: Small Conference Room

Equal Opportunities
The Max Planck Institute for Human Development is committed to promoting equal opportunities for women and men. We take both organizational and personnel measures to facilitate the reconciliation of work and family life and to promote women’s careers. Our aim is to ensure a positive environment that promotes and supports excellence.

Research Schools
The MPI for Human Development provides several working opportunities for Predocs.
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