Department

Psychological Aging Research


Projects

Projects

Dynamic interactions between personality traits and social relationships: Short- and medium-term processes in everyday life taking into account other individual characteristics and factors of the social context  

2019-2021, funded by the DFG, project management: Prof. Dr. Cornelia Wrzus, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. David Richter, German Institute for Economic Research and Free University Berlin 

The project addresses short- and medium-term dynamics within and especially between social relationships in everyday life, whereas up to now individual relationship types (e.g. friendships) have often been studied statically, e.g. in terms of the number or average frequency of contacts. The influence of personality traits (e.g. extraversion, affiliation motive) on relationship dynamics is studied multivariately and in connection with factors of the social context (e.g. social network, population density). 


EMIL - Emotional reactivity and emotion regulation in old age

A multi-period approach linked to the ILSE project  2017-2020, funded by the DFG, project management: Prof. Dr. Oliver Schilling, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Ute Kunzmann, University of Leipzig, and Prof. Dr. Denis Gerstorf, Humboldt University of Berlin 

In this project, stress reactivity and emotion regulation in old and very old age, their antecedent resilience or vulnerability factors and longer-term effects on physical and psychological functionality are investigated. The study is linked to the Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Adulthood (ILSE): Former ILSE participants are examined in a 7-day outpatient assessment and a controlled laboratory study, which are conducted in parallel at the two ILSE survey centres in Heidelberg and Leipzig. The project aims to fill research gaps in the field of emotional ageing and to gain new insights into the strengths and weaknesses of emotional regulatory skills in an age range that is increasingly affected by the risk of loss 


KommmiT - Communication with intelligent technology

2015-2020, funded by the BMBF, project management: Dr. Michael Doh, Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Wahl 

The project includes the scientific monitoring of a model project in Stuttgart on digital neighbourhood and participation in old age. Older people with an affinity for technology will be trained as everyday and technical companions in order to teach older target groups who are technology and participation-averse how to use a tablet PC and a neighbourhood app. Research is guided by questions on the effects of mediatisation in the everyday lives of about 200 older project participants and on possible protective factors for healthy ageing, such as social participation, mobility, health and autonomy. 


Short- and Long-term Processes of Personality Development in Adulthood

2015-2018, funded by the DFG, Project Management: Prof. Dr. Cornelia Wrzus 

The aim of the project is to better understand personality development in young and old adulthood by investigating age and contextual effects and everyday processes. To this end, a Measurement-Burst study was carried out with 382 young (18-30 years) and older adults (60-75 years) over two years. Personality traits were surveyed by means of questionnaires, implicit measures and assessments of acquaintances. In addition, everyday situations and behaviour were recorded for up to 50 days. 


Experts in personality development? An "extreme group approach" with psychotherapists

2014-2016, JGU Research Funding, Project Management: Prof. Dr. Cornelia Wrzus

The project investigates reflexive processes of personality development in prospective and practising psychotherapists in comparison to medical doctors. 279 persons (age M = 32.9, SD = 11.5; 80% female) were repeatedly examined over five months in their everyday life with regard to various personality traits and everyday experiences. Of these, 103 were psychotherapists in training, 55 practicing therapists and 97 physicians or medical students.