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The Individuality of Human Behavior and Experience

Eleven questions for Prof. Dr. Anja Strobel, holder of the Professorship for Personality Psychology and Diagnostics since April 2014

Prof. Dr. Anja Strobel (39) holds the Professorship for Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences since April 2014. In eleven answers, she gives the readers of “University News“ an insight into her career, goals and time in Chemnitz.

What do we actually understand under “personality psychology and assessment“?

This area encloses the description, explanation and prediction of individual uniqueness and individual differences of human behavior and experience. We deal with the question which personality and performance variables characterize people, how we can assess these variables and what practical implications they have.

TU Chemnitz is for me as a professor the right choice, because…

...I feel extremely comfortable in the city and the institute with my colleagues, staff and students, the university with its great application alignment fits perfectly to my work and I can very well arrange my work and family life with this location.

Could you say a few words about your academic career?

After my studies and doctorate at TU Dresden, I have gained experience working at a professorship as a junior professor and two deputy professorships. Initially I have dealt with questions of selection and assessment, concretely with the development and implementation of valid and fair personnel selection tools. After completing the doctorate, my focus was directed on personality traits that should be of a particular relevance in the educational and professional context and now I am dealing with their assessment and practical relevance.

Describe your study time in no more than 15 words.

Having a good time, gaining experience, learning, living, partying with friends, developing enthusiasm, finding an own path...

Did you have role models during your studies who encouraged you to pursue a scientific career?

My supervisor has greatly encouraged me. He never left the slightest doubt that he considers me suitable for this path. This really encouraged me to pursue a scientific career.

What advice would you give to young students and graduates?

Enjoy the study time, work together, engage in issues beyond the straight curriculum and select internships, jobs, etc. not only because these are practical and sound good in your CV, but do something really captivating!

What would you like to achieve in teaching for the future?

I hope that my students get inspired by the subjects that I teach. I would like to foster exchange and critical thinking, no pure memorization. I want to ensure that the students can transfer the learned aspects into practice.

Which impact do you make in the research at TU Chemnitz?

I deal with two main areas that I want to further intensively follow at the TU Chemnitz and with practice partners from the region. Firstly, we are interested in a personality trait which can be described with ”joy of thinking“. We investigate here, for example, how this trait is contributing to academic performance among children and young people, but also to well-being at school and if it could be a potentially important predictor in the school career guidance. Secondly, we deal with the question of what causes moral behavior in organizations and which personality traits of managers and employees are relevant for this.

There are around 45.000 professors at German universities. What sets you apart from others?

In fact I have not thought about it yet – at the moment I am glad to belong to this group :-) and I want to fulfill all the aspects that are connected with my new task .

Which place do you show your guests the most in Chemnitz?

There is more than one place, to name a few: Schlossteich, Rabenstein, the Gunzenhauser Museum or the Industrial Museum. For delicious food I like to take my guests out to ”Janssen“, ”La Bouchée“ or ”Villa Esche“.

How do you play a part in the life of the city?

Hard to say … currently, probably mainly due to my purchasing power ;-). In the future I hope that I can convince visitors that it is worth to stay in Chemnitz for instance by organizing conferences or workshops, so maybe I can help to bring even more life into the city. On the other hand, I would be pleased if the results of our work would be implemented directly in the schools and organizations of Chemnitz and its region.

Further information about professorship at:

(Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos

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