Research Interests & Interactive CV

Interactive CV

The purpose of the interactive CV is to serve as a space where I'm able to elaborate in length about what I have done in the past as well as what I'm interested in working on in the future, without the limitations of a maximum number of pages. If you've got time to spare, the toggle sections further below are exactly right for you!

However, if you prefer the standard CV in PDF format, simply click this button:

If I happen to have left any questions of yours unanswered, or if you'd just like to have a chat about a certain research topic, I'd love to hear from you! You can always use the Contact Form, send me an Email, or get in touch via Social Media (see top right for the respective links).

Research Interests

This section was last updated on November 24, 2020

I enjoy learning broadly and drawing from various disciplines and topics to try and find new ways of looking at problems, and ideally, solving them this way! I thus find interdisciplinary fields like Cognitive Science or Human-Computer Interaction most intriguing. Within Psychology, I am curious about the subfields of Differential, Developmental and Cognitive Psychology as well as Psychometrics and statistical methods.

Beneath is a list of select questions I'm currently devoting part of my studies and/or free time to (see also my weekly paper reviews). They are not necessarily (yet) formulated or pursued as well-defined research questions, but rather of explorative nature:

  • In what way can technology be used to support students' learning processes (e.g. AR in math)?
  • In what way can visual stimuli be used in teaching (e.g. illustrations) to improve students' learning?
  • In what way is game-based learning effective?
  • Which aspects of MOOCs (e.g. edX, Khan Academy) are linked to effective learning?
  • In what way are specific action game design elements linked to effective learning?
  • In what way can human intelligence –– more specifically, human learning processes –– be modeled computationally?

A common thread between all these certainly is utilizing knowledge of behavioural sciences and leveraging technological advances to come up with new, more effective ways of learning and teaching. I believe that transforming education is and will continue to be one of the central challenges in coming years and decades.


Education
ZHAW logo

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

About the ZHAW

The ZHAW is one of the leading and one of the largest universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. Its school of Applied Psychology has the reputation of being the nationally leading centre of expertise when it comes to teaching and practicing scientifically-based Applied Psychology.

Admission to the degree programme is competitive as the yearly intake of full-time students is limited to 90 or less. Passing a two-part entrance examination is required to be considered for admission.

My current standing (last updated on October 31, 2020)

I'm currently in the fifth semester of my Bachelor's degree studies and on exchange in Berlin. The degree spans six semesters for a total of 180 ECTS, in accordance with the Bologna process. I expect to graduate in August 2021.

Current GPA: 5.40/6.00, "very good"

Content of studies

During the first four semesters, I acquired knowledge of the theoretical as well as practical fundamentals of Psychology:

The compulsory modules and courses I completed so far include Group Processes, History of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Differential Psychology, Statistics (Quantitative Methods), Experimental and Research Methods, Qualitative Methods, Psychological Diagnostics, Psychology of Emotion and Motivation, Neuro- and Biopsychology, Intervention Methods, Work and Organizational Psychology, Psychopathology, and lastly, Casuistry.

The elective modules and courses I completed so far are Occupational Guidance, Child Guidance, Coaching and Supervision, Practical Applications of CBT and Systemic Therapy, Media Psychology, Traffic Psychology, Alzheimer's Disease, Addiction and Psychosomatics.

The fifth semester (the one I'm currently in) is the mobility window for exchange studies and more elective modules. You can find more information on that in the Humboldt-University of Berlin section right below.

The sixth and final semester is reserved for writing the empirical bachelor thesis as well as the attainment of at least 600 hours of practical experience. You can read more on my upcoming thesis and internships in the Research (To Be) Conducted toggle further below.

The official overview of modules and courses for my degree can also be found here (only available in German).


HU Berlin logo

Humboldt-University of Berlin

I'm completing the fifth and current semester of my Bachelor degree studies abroad at the Humboldt-University of Berlin via SEMP (Swiss-European Mobility Programme; the Swiss equivalent of the ERASMUS programme).

The HU Berlin is one of the most prestigious universities not only in Germany, but also in Europe. Its research is furthermore funded by the German government as part of the excellence initative.

I have enrolled in multiple advanced modules in Neurocognitive, Biological and Developmental Psychology. Additionally, I'm taking two Berlin Perspectives courses which are specifically designed for international students: Philosophy in Berlin as well as Diversity, Citizenship and Politics of Belonging.

I will be updating this section with more detailed information after the completion of my exchange semester in March 2021.

Research (To Be) Conducted
ZHAW logo

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

Despite the "Applied" in the ZHAW's Applied Psychology degree programme title, various research projects make up a core part of its curriculum:

Students start off with the completion of basic experimental training in the third semester, followed by writing a 20 to 25-page literature review (seminar paper) in the fourth semester, leading up to the final 30 to 50-page empirical bachelor thesis in the sixth semester. I have summarized the research that I conducted and will be conducting as part of said projects in the toggles further below.

Depending on the professional aspirations of a student, the 600+ hours of practical experience may also be completed in a research environment. Due to my interest in learning processes, educational outcomes and potential benefits of digital game-based learning, I am very excited to be completing my practical experience hours by assisting the Professorship for Learning Sciences and Higher Education at ETH Zurich as well as the Media Psychology section at the ZHAW as a Research Assistant between March and August 2021!

More details on these employments can be found in the very last toggle of this section as well as in the toggle in the ETHZ section further below.

Basic Experimental Training

The experimental training is a teamwork project (team of four) that consists of planning, conducting and evaluating two psychological experiments as well as the presentation of the corresponding results in form of a poster. The project spans 14 weeks in total and is split into two parts:

In the first part, the "base experiment" phase, all groups are assigned one of the classic experiments in Psychology. Our group was assigned Tversky and Kahneman's Judgment under undercainty, more specifically the availability heuristic. Our task was to then see if we can replicate Tversky and Kahneman's finding with a sample of our own, meaning 1. formulating hypotheses, 2. recruiting a sample, 3. experimental design (instruction, location, control variables, etc.), 4. conducting the experiment, 5. analyzing the statistical data, 6. interpreting the findings, and 7. presenting them in front of the class. Our replication of Tversky and Kahneman's experiment ended up being partially successful.

In the second part of the project, the "extension" phase, we were free to complement the base experiment with hypotheses of our own (based on theoretical literature) and conduct a second experiment. We based our extension experiment hypotheses on the effect of unrequested cognitions. We then went through the same seven steps as mentioned above, eventually presenting our findings in front of the class again.

I'm currently working on a summary of our final poster content in PDF format!

Final grade: 5.50/6.00 (very good)

Literature Review (Seminar Paper)

The aim of the literature review module is to

a) give students the opportunity to research a topic that is of interest to them
b) help them build a solid understanding of research in preparation of the subsequent empirical bachelor thesis

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to publicly share the full seminar paper due to the university's regulations. I will instead provide you with a rough outline of its content:

I investigated a broad range of literature and empirical studies to look into the possible mediating role of motivational factors in the scholastic achievement of gifted students. The conclusion I drew from the evidence is that giftedness is in fact no guarantee for academic achievement, despite this being a rather common conception. However, gifted children and adolescents do tend to perform significantly better than their "non-gifted" peers in terms of grades, even when controlled for various factors such as SES.

There are clear indications that motivational factors do play a role in the academic achievement of both gifted and non-gifted students. Furthermore, for the group of gifted students, the role of these motivational factors seems to be amplified as interest, self-efficacy as well as need for cognition display stronger correlations with academic achievement for them than for non-gifted students.

Both the concept of giftedness as well as the directly linked concept of intelligence are highly controversial, not just among the general public but also within the scientific community. To date, there's an overall lack of consensus in terms of definitions as well as the theoretical framework.

It is to be noted that the research and literature I investigated focused on the population of the European continent, more specifically the german-speaking parts of Europe. Needless to say, no definitive conclusions can be drawn at this point, and further research is very much needed.

Final grade: 5.50/6.00 (very good)

(Upcoming) Empirical Bachelor Thesis

I will be writing my thesis on the cognitive, perceptual and attentional skills of MOBA video game players, supervised by the Media Psychology section of the ZHAW. I am currently in the process of planning and preparing the online setup for the data collection.

Until the data collection phase is wrapped up, I do not plan on releasing any in-depth information on what my study entails on this webpage. I am however looking into making the project open science-conforming.

This page will be updated with more detailed information around the end of January, and you can expect to find the full thesis on here around August 2021!

Research Internship at the ZHAW

Led by Prof. Daniel Suess and Gregor Waller, the Media Psychology section regularly conducts research supported by the Swiss government, in cooperation with key ICT companies like Swisscom, and in collaboration with Swiss universities from the french- and italian-speaking parts of Switzerland.

My tasks between March and August 2021 will consist of extensively parttaking in the section's ongoing research projects, i.e. assisting in data collection, data analysis as well as the presentation and publication of results.

The section's field of expertise includes media use, media education and literacy, problematic aspects of media use as well as brand and advertising psychology with a focus on the Swiss population. The media use of children and adolescents and possibly problematic aspects of such is especially interesting to me. Examples of related studies are the MIKE study and the investigation of mobile phone use in Switzerland.

I will be updating this section with many more details once the internship has come to an end around Summer 2021.


ETHZ logo

Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zuerich (ETHZ)

The ETHZ is the second biggest university in Switzerland. It is internationally known for excellence in its research and teaching and also one of the leading educational institutions in continental Europe. (Source)

The Professorship for Learning Sciences and Higher Education (LSE) is led by Prof. Manu Kapur, who -- among other things -- conceptualized the notion of productive failure. His work has been published in the top journals in the field.

Between March and August 2021, I will be assisting the Professorship for LSE as a Research Assistant. See the toggle right below for more information on what my work at the ETHZ will entail:

Research Internship at the ETHZ

I will be assisting doctoral student Alexander von Bergen with select experiments that are part of his PhD thesis.

The primary goal of Alex' project is investigating the influence of cultural math-gender stereotypes on academic achievement. See also the following abstract written by him (source further below):

Recent studies suggest interesting individual differences between male and female students. In particular, for female students who have internalized the cultural stereotype that math is a male discipline do not perform as well on standardized math achievement tests, as do males who have internalized the same stereotype. In addition, female students who demonstrate the cultural math-​gender stereotype have lower grades in an undergraduate math course, thus suggesting that cultural stereotypes linking math with male can impact math performance in girls. These patterns are important developmentally, because children who have reduced interest in future academic courses and occupations that they perceive as being incompatible with their own academic self-​concept.

I find this an especially interesting and important topic to research, as it also shows some overlap with what I picked up on in my literature review (see the Literature Review (Seminar Paper) section further up).

More information on his project can be found here. As with the other internship, I will be updating this section with a lot more detailed information around Summer 2021!

Extracurricular Activity
ZHAW logo

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

Assessment Group

Between February 2019 and February 2020, I assisted the ZHAW in their assessment of prospective Applied Psychology students.

The assessment consists of two parts, the first being written exams and the second being oral exams as well as face-to-face interviews conducted by psychologists.

The written exams focus on cognitive testing –– examples of covered skills are verbal reasoning, logical reasoning and mathematical ability. Joined by a few other students and under the supervision of a professional, my tasks included the preparation of the examination room and testing material, instruction of test-takers, oversight during the assessment as well as evaluation of test results.

Skills & Knowledge

Languages

  • 99%
    English (First language; Cambridge CPE)

  • 99%
    German (First language)

  • 75%
    French (Second language; DELF B2)


Programming and Software

  • 90%
    IBM's SPSS Software (Quantitative Data Analysis)

  • 80%
    MAXQDA (Qualitative Data Analysis)

  • 80%
    Psytoolkit (Online Experimental Design and Testing)

  • 70%
    CSS3 and HTML5 (Basic Webdesign)


Other

  • 95%
    Organizational and Administrative Skills

  • 80%
    Computer Literacy

Work Experience Unrelated to Research
SEM logo

Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)

I am currently holding a part-time position as a recorder and secretary at the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), assisting with Asylum hearings on a weekly basis.

This engagement exposes me to a broad range of cultural backgrounds, varying lingo, legal questions and descriptions of current political climates in different countries. Despite the hearings usually being attended by a professional translator, my tasks include being able to keep track of terms and names in foreign languages and accurately capturing not only the verbal but also nonverbal aspects of each interview.

The rapid task switching, interconnected thinking as well as sharp observational skills that are required for my work at SEM have transferred well to conducting research and work of any other kind.

I have already previously worked for the SEM, completing a year-long internship as part of obtaining my vocational high school diploma (Berufsmatura). During my time in the administration office of one of the Asylum departments, I replied to enquiries of courts and other authorities regarding asylum procedures, drafted and composed written orders, took care of the pagination and organisation of documents and conducted the triage of the written mail of the head of section. These responsibilities led to the strenghtening of my organisational and writing skills as well as a basic understanding of immigration law and international law.


SEM logo

Civilian Service

During my time in civilian service between October 2016 and January 2018, I assisted three institutions: The State Archive of Bern, the Special Education School of the Thun District (HPS Region Thun) and the Day Care Center (Kindertagesstätte) Laenggasse Bern.

State Archive of Bern

The State Archive of Bern collects, registers and preserves the canton's archival heritage.

During my two months there, I not only received unique insights into the history and culture of my home canton, but also assisted with the digitalization of its heritage. Needless to say, digitalization of various data is of increasing importance, and having taken part in the process as well as seeing how the government tackles this task has refined my eye for detail and helped me develop knowledge of efficient (digital and physical) document structuration and preservation methods.

HPS Region Thun

The HPS Region Thun (website only available in German) is a special education school that is focused on the care and education of children with special needs between the ages of 4 and 18.

I served as a teaching assistant in a class of six children between the ages of 7 and 9, which included teaching in both a class format (e.g. leading the "morning gathering" or "circle time") and one-on-one format (e.g. helping the students with their math homework).

I was challenged to think out of the box in order to support the students' learning processes in speaking, writing, reading, arithmetic, social interaction and their development of autonomy (e.g. going grocery shopping) while always taking their own unique strenghts and weaknesses into account. Many of the lessons included working with media and utilizing modern gadgets such as iPads to enhance learning, which sparked my interest in the potential that lies in educational technology. Besides the educational aspects, the school also offered leisure-time activities such as trips, which I often supervised and helped organize.

My civilian service there spanned a total of seven months, which is equivalent to about two thirds of a school year in Switzerland. I gained a massive amount of perspective on current challenges in education, more awareness of the spectrum of individual fortes and weaknesses and obtained basic but crucial pedagogical skills. During this time, I also started taking up an interest in learning and educational sciences, which partly led me to my next and final deployment:

Kita Laenggasse Bern

The Kita Laenggasse (website only available in German) is a day care center in the city of Bern. It encompasses five separate groups with children between three months and seven years old.

I assisted the Kita as a "Springer", alternating between two of the groups ("red" and "green") on an irregular basis. The green group consisted of toddlers between three months and two years old, and my primary tasks were to help take care of their playtime (e.g. reading to them, help complete puzzles), sleeptime and mealtime.

The red group consisted of 12 kids between the ages of two and five. The majority of my time with them revolved around outside playtime, creative activities (e.g. tinkering, drawing, baking), excursions (e.g. to museums or the woods) and accompanying a few of them to kindergarten.

My time at the Kita Laenggasse was in stark contrast to my previous deployment at the HPS Region Thun: I experienced the habits and quirks of young kids that go through development in a (mostly) regular manner.

Once more I added new approaches to supporting and interacting with children to my repertoire, this time with a greater focus on non-educational aspects. Fascinated with the individual differences in child development and kids' various unique ways of learning, I went on to take the entrance examination for Applied Psychology studies at the ZHAW in January 2018.


Coop logo

Coop Group

Between May 2018 and January 2021, I alternated between full- and part-time work in two supermarkets, one located in Interlaken and the other in Zurich.

Interlaken is known to be a tourist hotspot, resulting in many customer interactions in French and English, providing me with a unique opportunity to widen my language skills and vocabulary. Furthermore, efficient teamwork (e.g. in managing the assortment and customer lines) was absolutely essential in these stores as the run on them was enormous, especially during summer. After having moved to Zurich for my studies in September 2018, my employment was moved to a supermarket in Zurich, where I continued working as a cashier and retail assistant.

My time in retail has made me aware of its vast potential for improvement, especially in terms of Human-Computer Interaction (i.e. at self-service checkout stations) –– many long lines were caused by customers being confused with the computer's instructions due to design shortcomings or receiving error messages for no apparent reason. I have thereafter started taking an interest in HCI theory and applications.


Gamestop logo

GameStop

While being employed by the Coop Group, I also worked part-time at one of GameStop's branches in Schonbühl, Bern, between July and September 2018.

Despite my time there being cut short due to moving for my studies, I took up a range of responsibilities early on: Opening and closing the store, handling the daily cash accounting, providing customer service and redesigning the assortment once new products arrived.

With my passion for video games I very much enjoyed following up on the newest video game and console releases and effectively consulting customers on technical issues as well as game/product purchases.

My horizon was broadened in terms of the latest developments in the game industry, and some of my younger customers' fascination with games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator and Minecraft led me to discover the potential of video games in an educational context.