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Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology
Research Projects of Educational and Differential Psychology at TU Dortmund University

Topic: Cognitive development at school age

Pupils sit in a class and write in notebooks sitting in front of them a teacher at a desk. © Monkey Business2​/​

Cognitive development is a highly relevant topic at the interface between developmental psychology and educational psychology. At our chair, we investigate school-related and individual determinants of cognitive development at school age. As school-related determinants, we examined schooling duration and schooling quality; with respect to individual determinants, we study investment traits in particular. These are motivational orientations and personality traits that determine the frequency and persistence with which cognitively challenging tasks are completed. Different investment theories assume that high expressions in these traits have a positive effect on cognitive development. In a project funded by the German Research Foundation (grant number: BE 6825/3-1 | STE 1931/6-1), we investigate to what extent investment traits predict cognitive development at primary school age and thus to what extent the above-mentioned assumption of investment theories holds. In this way, the project serves to deepen our understanding of cognitive development. In addition, it opens up the prospect of developing and implementing interventions that can be used to provide indirect support for cognitive development in childhood and adolescence in a way that is both time- and cost-efficient, yet effective in the long term.

Contact persons: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bergold and Prof. Dr. Ricarda Steinmayr