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Welcome to the Department of Developmental Psychology!

Our research concerns three interrelated themes: Intergroup relations, personality, and (anti-)social behavior. We use an interdisciplinary, developmental perspective, examining short- & long-term changes and stability in social, personality, hormonal, and behavioral processes throughout the lifespan.






11.05.2023 - We are looking for a research intern (m/f/d)!

For our international research project "Together for Tolerance" we are looking for research interns starting immediately or at any time with flexible working hours!

The tasks are varied and depend on the desired internship period. Contact us so that we can find out together how you can best contribute your knowledge and strengths to the project.

Please send your application in a PDF document to Wilma Middendorf (wilma.middendorf[at] with the subject Research Internship_YourName.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

18.03.2023 - We have a new publication!

Kauff, M., Kotzur, P. F., Van Assche, J., Schäfer, S., van Zalk, M. H. W., & Wagner, U. (in press). A longitudinal test of secondary transfer effects of negative intergroup contact and mediating processes. European Journal of Social Psychology.

17.01.2023 - We have a new publication!

Back, M. D., Branje, S. J. T., Eastwick, P. W., Human, L. J., Penke, L., Sadikaj, G., Slatcher, R. B., Thielmann, I., van Zalk, M. H. W., & Wrzus, C. (2023). Personality and social relationships: What do we know and where do we go. Personality Science, 4, 1-32.

22.12.2022 - We have a new publication!

De Moor, E. L., Cheng, T.-Y., Spitzer, J. E., Berger, C., Carrizales, A., Garandeau, C. F., Gerbino, M., Hawk, S. T., Kaniušonytė, G., Kumru, A., Malonda, E., Rovella, A., Shen, Y.-L., Taylor, L. K., van Zalk, M., Branje, S., Carlo, G., Padilla-Walker, L., van der Graaff, J. (2022). What should I do and who’s to blame? A cross-national study on youth’s attitudes and beliefs in times of COVID-19. PLOS ONE, 17(12), Article e0279366.

01.07.2022 - We have a new publication!

Padilla-Walker, L. M.,  Van der Graaff, J., Workman, K., Carlo, G. , Branje, S., Carrizales, A., Gerbino, M., Gülseven, Z., Hawk, S. T., Kanacri, P. L., Mesurado, B., Samper-García, P., Shen, Y. L., Taylor, L. K., Trach, J., van Zalk, M. H. W., Žukauskienė, R. (2022). Emerging adults’ cultural values, prosocial behaviors, and mental health in 14 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 46(4), 286–296.

23.05.2022 - We have a new publication!

Humberg, S., Dufner, M., Schönbrodt, F. D., Geukes, K., Hutteman, R., van Zalk, M. H. W., Denissen, J. J. A., Nestler, S., & Back, M. D. (2022). The true role that suppressor effects play in condition-based regression analysis: None. A reply to Fiedler (2021). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 123(4), 884–888.

13.12.2021 - We have a new publication!

Friehs, M. T., Kotzur, P. K. Böttcher, J., Zöller, A. C., Lüttmer, T., Wagner, U., Asbrock, F., van Zalk, M. H. W. (2022). Examining the structural validity of stereotype content scales – A preregistered re-analysis of published data and discussion of possible future direction. International Review of Social Psychology, 35(1), 1.

10.11.2021 - Research interns wanted!

In our project "CoCo" we are currently offering a research internship. You can start as soon as possible. As an alternative, you can also apply now for a later start of the internship.
If you are interested, you can learn more about the project here: 
Coping with Corona

Applications should be sent to Applications are possible until the end of the project period (31.08.2023). We look forward to hearing from you! 

20.07.2021 - Funding from the Landespräventionsrat Niedersachsen!

Maarten van Zalk and the Verein Niedersächsische Bildungsinitiativen received funding for the project "Together for tolerance: Miteinander füreinander" from the Landespräventionsrat Niedersachsen.

Total: 60.000 €
van Zalk: 22.500 €

04.07.2021 - Funding received from the VW Foundation: "Inclusivity"!

Prof Eva Jaspers (University Utrecht), Prof Marcin Bukowski (Jagiellonian University), Prof Miranda Lubbers (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Prof Oliver Christ (FernUniversity Hagen) and Prof Maarten van Zalk received funding for the project "Inclusivity norms to counter polarization in European societies (INCLUSIVITY)" in the Challenge for Europe call by the VW Foundation

Total: 1.488.800 €
van Zalk: 436.700 €

05.04.2021 - Funding received from the DFG: "Coping with Corona"

Prof. Maarten van Zalk (Osnabrück University), Prof. Mitja Back (WWU Münster) and Prof. Markus Bühner (LMU München) received funding for the project "Coping with Corona (CoCo): Understanding individual differences in well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic" by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Total: € 1.416.250
van Zalk: € 347.750