I regret that I can’t describe ongoing projects in further detail, but hope to update this page as things progress.

Self-control at work

With: Erik Dietl (Loughborough U)
The numerous benefits of trait self-control are well-documented, but the actual exertion of self-control within situations has some major open questions. We ran an experience sampling study with the aim of pitting two conflicting assumptions against each other.
A secondary aim of the project was to test the effects of state mindfulness on self-control within situations.

Room atmosphere

With: Erik Dietl (Loughborough U) and Anna Steidle (U Ludwigsburg)
Our first manuscript on the effects of room atmosphere on performance is currently looking for a home, so hopefully I’ll be able to update this space once that has been achieved.
I am also working on a related follow-up study to investigate the person-environment fit of room atmosphere and personality traits using response surface analyses.


With: John Rauthmann (U Bielefeld)
We aim to answer a host of questions surrounding the surprisingly understudied construct of self-fulfillment.

Authenticity and the Dark Tetrad of personality

With: John Rauthmann (U Bielefeld)
Authenticity is generally associated with subjective well-being, while the “dark” sub-clinical personality traits of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism evince “positive” correlations with more aggressive behavioural tendencies. My master’s thesis project explored some situations in which these variables could be related. However, considering the complex study design and high number of tests and interactions (and the danger of false positives), I am currently running a pre-registered streamlined follow-up in order to determine the replicability of the findings. As this project is neither funded nor relevant to my current research, the data collection may take a while to achieve the statistical power that I am aiming for.

Positive interventions

With: Albert Liau (U Otago)
My undergraduate thesis project was concerned with “positive” (behavioural/cognitive) interventions meant to increase happiness and decrease depressive symptoms (as opposed to the classical approaches that focused on fixing deficits). The one-week gratitude- and strengths-based interventions that I conducted showed positive effects across two post-intervention assessments in comparison to a control group. Looking at the project as an outsider, I would be more critical about the fact that the control group wasn’t given a placebo intervention (although to be fair, it was an undergraduate project without an overarching research programme or any funding). This limitation is slightly offset by the observation that the control group recorded decreasing happiness and increasing depressive symptoms across the course of the semester, suggesting that the intervention groups (consisting of students who were part of the same cohort) may have benefited from a buffer of sorts. Having said that, a lot of the existing studies on positive interventions have even poorer study designs and drastically oversell many of the findings, which is why I am glad to continue to review manuscripts that address such interventions (+ related topics) for multiple journals whenever I am asked despite not actively working on projects of my own at the moment.
If my lack of “faith” in this area of research hasn’t quelled your interest, here’s a 2012 TEDx talk by Dr. Liau, in which he also cites our work together.