A brief overview of research I'm involved in. Please don't hesitate to reach out in case of questions or requests!

Current Projects

Children's Construction and Deployment of Conceptual Knowledge
Until recently, I was a Visiting Research Scholar in the Bonawitz CoCoDev Lab at Harvard University to write my master's thesis on children's acquisition and mobilization of conceptual knowledge about matter and its properties.

Misconceptions about the material world develop already in early childhood; for example, young children believe that air is nothing (see, e.g., Carey, 2009) and that tiny objects, like single grains of rice, weigh nothing at all (Bascandziev & Carey, 2022). The process of later replacing such misconceptions with accurate, scientific theories can be long and difficult (see, e.g., Shtulman, 2021). Not seldomly, learners’ misconceptions persist into adulthood, making the acquisition of related concepts more difficult while also opening the door to further misconceptions along a student’s educational path (Shtulman, 2017).

Among other things, I examined the structure of young children’s conceptions of which entities are material, occupy space, and have weight, and asked to what extent children’s individual differences in five domain-general cognitive resources relate to their varying progress in acquiring and mobilizing a theory of matter.

Related manuscripts are in the works—stay tuned!

Past Projects

Children's Epistemic Development
Scholars such as Weinstock et al. (2020) propose that children's understanding of the nature and acquisition of knowledge may follow broader stages, starting with an absolutist/realist viewpoint and later shifting from dualist to multiplist to evaluativist.

I assisted with analyzing data on ~160 seven- to eight-year old children's epistemic understanding and their reasoning about contexts in which two people seeing the same thing reach different conclusions.
Development of Scientific Reasoning during Childhood
In recent decades, the child development literature has brought forward an increasing number of accounts of children's remarkable hypothesis testing, experimentation, and evidence evaluation skills (see e.g., Gopnik, 2012; Lapidow & Walker, 2021, for reviews).

The research group of Prof. Beate Sodian, which I joined at the beginning of 2022, has recently completed a longitudinal study as well as multiple experimental studies on the development of such knowledge seeking processes in children between the ages of 4 and 8. I conducted extensive analyses on a) the extent of children's explicit understanding of experimentation and data interpretation, and b) in what way (recursive) theory of mind and parental epistemology promote children’s scientific reasoning abilities in their early school years.

The related manuscripts are still in preparation, but you can see my related conference poster here or visit the project website below to read more!
Social Learning and Imperfect Advice
Building on the work of Natalia Vélez & Hyowon Gweon (see this paper), I designed and ran an online experimental study investigating whether and to what extent people show flexible strategy shifts when making decisions given imperfect knowledge and imperfect advice

The project was supervised by Prof. Christopher Donkin. We're currently thinking about possible further iterations of the experiment; more information will follow soon!
Self-Regulated Learning in a Science Museum
Between November 2021 and August 2022, I assisted with a research project at TUM that investigates how German high school students' self-regulated learning in a museum context can be supported with instructional prompts of various kinds.

The project is conducted in collaboration with Deutsches Museum, one of the largest museums of science and technology worldwide! You can click the link below to read more.
Improving the Need for Cognition Scale
The Need for Cognition (NFC) scale measures people's tendency and desire to engage in difficult cognitive activity. Caccioppo et al.'s (1984) 18-item scale is quite well established. Coelho et al. (2018) have recently proposed and tested a 6-item version.

As part of a graduate class on factor and item analysis, a few fellow students and I set out to improve the wording and structure of the items in said scale.

More information will follow once our analyses have been concluded!
(Digital) Media Use of Children in Switzerland
The Media Psychology Group at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) conducts nationwide research on the (digital) media use of local school children with their biennial MIKE- and JAMES-studies.

During my research internship with the group, I analysed data from one of its most recent studies conducted with elementary school students.

You can read a summary of the findings by following the link(s) below!
Math Achievement & Math-Gender Stereotypes
During my research internship at ETH Zurich, I worked on a project investigating the link between math achievement and math-gender stereotypes in Swiss elementary school students.

The results of the study are not yet published, but you can find more information through the links below.
Cognitive, Perceptual, and Attentional Skills of Gamers
League of Legends (LoL) counts among the most popular video game titles in the world. Not only does its rapid pace and action-filled content make for fun game play, it also places a high demand on the players’ cognition, perception and attention. For my undergraduate thesis, I investigated in what way playing such a game is associated with increases in select cognitive, perceptual, and attentional skills. Over 300 people ended up participating in my study, and the data did indeed show LoL players outperforming non-gamers in visual search as well as simple and complex reaction time.

However, perhaps the biggest question on the (cognitive) benefits of video game play is to what extent they generalize beyond computerized tasks and tests. If you are curious to read more, Bediou et al. (2018) and Sala et al. (2018) might be good place to start.

Furthermore, you can find a (quite old) PDF with a summary of my bachelor thesis below.