Cognitive Development

For the development of learning, change processes at different time levels play a crucial role. Our lab investigates the multivariate dynamics of such processes with empirical studies on the intraindividual variability of cognitive performance and emotional wellbeing, as well as relevant determinants, in everyday and school contexts.


Cognitive, socio-emotional, motivational, and volitional processes show dynamics at different time-scale levels, ranging from short-term fluctuations, over day-to-day variation, to long-term changes across the lifespan. We are convinced that research on developmental and educational processes can benefit immensely from investigating the interrelation of such processes (e.g., is cognitive performance related to momentary affect?) and their connection across time-scale levels. This way, we aim at understanding how individual differences in long-term psychological and educational outcomes are produced by complex and individually differing dynamics. The Cognitive Development Lab investigates such dynamics with intensive longitudinal study designs that are embedded in the real-life environments of children and adults. We develop self-report instruments and cognitive tasks for ambulatory assessment studies as well as statistical models for (connecting) short-term dynamics and longer-term change processes. We identify individual differences in the short-term dynamics to develop and evaluate individualised interventions that are applicable in everyday life contexts. Furthermore, we are interested in social embeddedness in the real and digital world and use the smartphone both as a tool for intensive self-report collection and as an object of analysis.


Education and Human Development

The department analyses individual and differential developmental processes in both formal and non-formal learning environments, adding an individual perspective to the DIPF’s scope of research.


Prof. Dr. Florian Schmiedek



Gabriele Naumann-Dietzsch