Matthias Reitzle no Ciclo de Conferências Doutorais em Estudos da Criança 2012/2013

Integrada no Ciclo de Conferências Doutorais em Estudos da Criança, realiza-se na próxima quinta-feira, 27 de junho,  às 17h, no Auditório do Centro Multimédia do Instituto de Educação, a conferência intitulada “How to promote progress in developmental science – a matter of match” proferida por Matthias Reitzle, Professor in Department of Developmental Psychology Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany. A entrada é livre.


Matthias Reitzle


PD Dr. Matthias Reitzle has a PhD in Psychology and is an Associate Professor (Akademischer Oberrat) at the Department of Developmental Psychology. With more than 30 years of research experience in developmental psychology at the Technical University of Berlin, the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and public opinion research at the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach (Allensbach Institute), he is a substantial as well as a methodological expert with regard to adult development in the context of social change with international publications and a wide array of teaching experiences.


“How to promote progress in developmental science – a matter of match”.

I occasionally ask my students which smashing psychological insights they recall from their studies so far. Usually, this question causes minutes of silence in the classroom. If we are lucky enough, some two students raise their hands after a while, however, in a hesitant rather than convinced fashion. In a similar vein, psychological practitioners are reluctant to refer to research findings because they rarely seem to relate to their everyday problems and experiences. In return, researchers sometimes allege practitioners work in a somewhat arrogant way to be ‘unscientific’. In sum, there seems to be a considerable gap between psychological research on the one hand and applied psychology or even psychological phenomena in common people’s everyday life on the other hand.

One reason for the drifting apart between academic psychology and real life may be the neglect of humans’ psychological complexity, particularly of humans’ development in steadily changing macro and micro contexts. At the same time, one gets the impression that ongoing sophistication of the analytical toolbox is deemed to compensate for this theoretical surrender. Enthusiasm for the seemingly unlimited possibilities of modern statistics have created a buoyant workshop activity. For the empirical researcher, there is an inevitable need to keep up with the latest developments of statistical procedures and statistical software packages. Unfortunately, enthusiasm sometimes turns into preoccupation, method sometimes overshadows content, and sophisticated analyses sometimes replace theoretical depth and sound measurement. At each step of the research process, however, there is a need to check for a logical match, for example, between real life phenomena and the theoretical approach employed, between theory and measures, or between research question, measures and analyses. In my eyes, these matches (or mismatches) are at the core of progress in developmental research.

The present talk is trying to present some conceptual considerations from the perspective of a developmentalist with regard to human nature in general, the conceptualization of development and change, and some measurement issues such as longitudinal and cross-cultural measurement invariance. This talk will definitely not offer ready at hand remedies for omitted or wooly thoughts. Instead, this talk will try to offer alternative perspectives on what we have routinely done over decades with only modest impact on the human condition worldwide.


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