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Experimental and Theoretical Psychology

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DYNAMIS Research Groups

Since its beginning in 1984, the DYNAMIS Approach has been used by different groups within as well as outside from Germany. Here comes a list of groups together with some publications.

Bayreuth Team

From the Bayreuth team, DYNAMIS-versions called LINAS, LINAS-1 and LINAS-2 have been developed and used in research by Walburga Preußler, Wiebke Putz-Osterloh and Wolfgang Schoppek:

  • Preußler, W. (1996). Zur Rolle expliziten und impliziten Wissens bei der Steuerung dynamischer Systeme [On the role of explicit and implicit knowledge in controlling dynamic systems]. Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie, 43, 399-434.
  • Preußler, W. (1997). Effekte des Kontexts auf den Wissenserwerb bei der Steuerung eines dynamischen Systems [Effects of context on the acquisition of knowledge in controlling a dynamic system]. Sprache & Kognition, 16, 48-59.
  • Preußler, W. (1998). Strukturwissen als Voraussetzung für die Steuerung komplexer dynamischer Systeme [Structural knowledge as a precondition of controlling complex dynamic systems]. Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie, 45, 218-240.
  • Putz-Osterloh, W. (1993). Strategies for knowledge acquisition and transfer of knowledge in dynamic tasks. In G. Strube & K.-F. Wender (Eds.), The cognitive psychology of knowledge (pp. 331-350). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.
  • Putz-Osterloh, W. (1993). Unterschiede im Erwerb und in der Reichweite des Wissens bei der Steuerung eines dynamischen Systems. Zeitschrift für Experimentelle und Angewandte Psychologie, 40, 386-410.

Dortmund Team

Wolfram Rollett (now at Institut für Schulentwicklungsforschung) as former part of Potsdam Team worked on strategies. His work with BIOLOGY LAB has been published in the following book:

  • Rollett, W. (2007). Strategieeinsatz, erzeugte Information und Informationsnutzung bei der Exploration und Steuerung komplexer dynamischer Systeme. Unpublished Dissertation, Fakultät für Geistes- und Erziehungswissenschaften der TU Braunschweig.

Bonn Team

Horst Müller worked during his time at the Bonn University on different DYNAMIS systems. His work with the system HORMUL (respective SAB) has been published in the following book:

  • Müller, H. (1993). Komplexes Problemlösen: Reliabilität und Wissen [Complex problem solving: Reliability and knowledge]. Bonn: Holos.

Erfurt Team

Stephan Kröner from Erfurt University has developed his MULTIFLUX system according to DYNAMIS principles. His rationale and a system description can be found in the following book:

  • Kröner, S. (2001). Intelligenzdiagnostik per Computersimulation [Measuring intelligence by means of computer simulations]. Münster: Waxmann.
  • Kröner, S., Plass, J. L., & Leutner, D. (2005). Intelligence assessment with computer simulations. Intelligence, 33, 347-368.

Helsinki Team Team

Markku Niemivirta from the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies has used DYNAMIS and published his results here:

  • Niemivirta, M. (2002). Motivation and performance in context: The influence of goal orientation and instructional setting on situational appraisals and task performance. Psychologia, 45, 250-270.

Leipzig Team

Jens Beckmann has developed a DYNAMIS system called KIRSCHBAUM" (cherry tree) for which also an abstract version called MASCHINE exists. these systems are descibed in the following book:

  • Beckmann, J. F. (1994). Lernen und komplexes Problemlösen. Ein Beitrag zur Konstruktvalidierung von Lerntests [Learning and complex problem solving. A contribution to the validation of learning tests]. Bonn: Holos.

Potsdam Team

Regina Vollmeyer is using a DYNAMIS-system called BIOLOGY LAB which can be found in different papers:

  • Burns, B. D., & Vollmeyer, R. (2002). Goal specificity effects on hypothesis testing in problem solving. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55A, 241-261.
  • Görn, A., Vollmeyer, R., & Rheinberg, F. (2001). Effects of motivational orientation and perceived ability on performance. Psychologische Beiträge, 43, 153-171.
  • Vollmeyer, R., & Burns, B. D. (1996). Hypotheseninstruktion und Zielspezifität: Bedingungen, die das Erlernen und Kontrollieren eines komplexen Systems beeinflussen. Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie, 43, 657-683.
  • Vollmeyer, R., & Rheinberg, F. (1998). Motivationale Einflüsse auf Erwerb und Anwendung von Wissen in einem computersimulierten System. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 12, 11-23.
  • Vollmeyer, R., & Rheinberg, F. (2005). A surprising effect of feedback on learning. Learning and Instruction, 15, 589-602.
  • Vollmeyer, R., Rollett, W., & Rheinberg, F. (1998). Motivation and learning in a complex system. In P. Nenninger & R. S. Jäger & A. Frey & M. Wosnitza (Eds.), Advances in motivation (pp. 53-67). Landau: Verlag Empirische Pädagogik.
  • Vollmeyer, R., Burns, B. D., & Holyoak, K. J. (1996). The impact of goal specificity on strategy use and the acquisition of problem structure. Cognitive Science, 20, 75-100.

St. Gallen Team

Annette Kluge who started her work at RWTH Aachen has run experiments with a DYNAMIS version named ColorSim. A description of her experiments can be found here:

  • Kluge, A. (2004). Wissenserwerb für das Steuern komplexer Systeme [Knowledge acquisition for the control of complex systems]. Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.
  • Kluge, A. (2007). Experimental learning methods, simulation complexity and their effects on different target groups. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 36, 323-349.
  • Kluge, A. (2008). What you train is what you get? Task requirements and training methods in complex problem-solving. Computers in Human Behavior, 24, 248-308.
  • Kluge, A. (2008). Performance assessments with microworlds and their difficulty. Applied Psychological Measurement, 32, 156-180.

Heidelberg Team

Joachim Funke has published different systems based on the DYNAMIS approach. One of the earliest systems was OEKOSYSTEM published in

  • Funke, J. (1985). Steuerung dynamischer Systeme durch Aufbau und Anwendung subjektiver Kausalmodelle [Control of dynamic systems by building up and using subjective causal models]. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 193, 435-457.

Recently, this study has been replicated successfully:

  • Blech, C., & Funke, J. (2006). Zur Reaktivität von Kausaldiagramm-Analysen beim komplexen Problemlösen [On the reactivity of causal diagram assessments in complex problem solving]. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 117, 185-195.

Later, a series of experiments with the system SINUS have been published, see the review on different experiments with this system in the book chapter

  • Funke, J. (1993). Microworlds based on linear equation systems: A new approach to complex problem solving and experimental results. In G. Strube & K.-F. Wender (Eds.), The cognitive psychology of knowledge (pp. 313-330). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.

A diploma thesis with an experiment on strategies and the use of analogies has been written:

  • Schulz, C. A. (2003). Strategien zum komplexen Problemlösen. Eine experimentelle Analyse der Rolle von Analogien beim Wissenserwerb in komplexen, dynamischen Systemen. Unpublished Diplomarbeit, Psychologisches Institut der Universität, Heidelberg. [online available via ]

A recent review on DYNAMIS research is found in Chap. 5 from

or in the following papers

  • Blech, C., & Funke, J. (2005). Dynamis review: An overview about applications of the Dynamis approach in cognitive psychology. Heidelberg University: Unpublished manuscript. [Download as PDF]

  • Funke, J. (2001). Dynamic systems as tools for analysing human judgement. Thinking and Reasoning, 7, 69-89.
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Last modified on 04.06.2008 by JF.