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German Personality Panel (GEPP)

Projekt title: Development of the personality trait intellect during the transition from school to work (326775236)

On April 1st, 2018, the above stated DFG project was successfully launched. Based on a specific personality trait - intellect – the DFG project deals with the development of personality and underlying processes. The project is being continued with funding from the Berlin University Alliance. Within this project, a large panel with young adults was established, the German Personality Panel (GEPP).

Within the framework of the project, bachelor and master assignments are regularly offered.


Intellect is an important personality trait that is particularly important for predicting and explaining intellectual performance, such as professional or academic success. Far less is known about the development of intellect. The aim of the study is to investigate changes in intellect during a critical phase: The transition from school to work. The is to conducted in cooperation with the provider of a career guidance test. We established a panel with 1964 individuals, the German Personality Panel (GEPP). First data were collected in 2016 at a time when most panelists were still at school, preparing their first educational or work decision. While previous studies on personality development have mainly focused on the Big Five, the planned study will expand our knowledge on normative changes in personality at the facet level. Focusing on one facet also allows us to investigate specific hypotheses on triggers and moderators of development as well as interindividual differences in developmental trajectories. We consider both selection and socialization effects in relation to a number of traits, including subjective and objective characteristics of education or profession; attitudes towards the changeability of personality; and personality traits beyond intellect, in particular the Big Five and intelligence.


Parties involved in the project

Patrick Mussel

Jantje de Vries

Previous publications

Mussel, P. (2022). Processes underlying the relation between cognitive ability and curiosity with academic performance: A mediation analysis for epistemic behavior in a five-year longitudinal study. Journal of Intelligence.
De Vries, J. H., Spengler, M., Frintrup, A., & Mussel, P. (2021). Personality development in emerging adulthood—how the perception of life events and mindset affect personality trait change. Frontiers in Psychology 12(2162). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.671421

Cooperation partners

Prof. Dr. Matthias Ziegler, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Andreas Frintrup, HR Diagnostics AG

Maik Spengler, HR Diagnostics AG

Further information

Information regarding the funding can be found here: https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/326775236

All data are available via OSF: https://osf.io/7w9yj/

Information on the follow-up project, funded by Berlin University Alliance, can be found here.