Research & Publications

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The CBA Research Group is interested in the consequences and the benefits accompanying the introduction of computers to assessment. The Group focuses on the following research areas:

Educational Psychology:

  • Challenges of education in the 21st century
  • Development of transversal thinking skills in school
  • Educational policy


  • Assessment innovation & technology-based assessment
  • Formative assessment
  • Large-scale assessments (PISA, PIAAC, national assessments)

Personality Psychology:

  • Self-concept, motivation, & need for cognition
  • Big 5 & facets of conscientiousness in education
  • Emotions in language learning

Cognitive Psychology:

  • Problem solving (domain-general & domain-specific)
  • Intelligence and general mental ability


  • Structural Equation Modeling & Item Response Theory
  • Process data, “Big data”, (Educational) Data Mining
  • Large-scale, longitudinal data analysis


For the complete list of publications of the CBA Group, please refer here.

Current & Recent Projects

The CBA Research Group is / has been involved in a number of different projects. The below are examples of ongoing projects that the majority of the team are involved in:

Dynamics of Academic Self-Concept in Everyday Life (DynASCEL)

The DynASCEL project proposes to examine state aspects and dynamics in students’ academic self-concepts and their perceptions of instructional quality on a lesson-to-lesson basis by the use of e-diaries (ambulatory assessment/experience sampling).

The role of Conscientiousness skills as enhancers of academic success in secondary education (enhanCe)

The enhanCe project proposes to examine students’ conscientiousness skills and the construction of corresponding short scales.

The Training of Complex Problem Solving (TRIOPS)

The TRIOPS project provides a framework and first software for the training of Complex Problem Solving (CPS), which adapts features from already existing training approaches of neighbouring fields of CPS but also entails new features unique to CPS. The focus of the training framework is on both specific cognitive and metacognitive processes, which are fostered by targeted interventions while also taking differences in student’s proficiency levels into account.

Personality, attitudes, and individual differences regarding the Coronavirus pandemic (PANIC)

The PANIC project proposes to examine the way individuals behave, react, and perceive the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

Selected previous projects

AFM project: Assessing fundamental motivation via self-reports

ASKI21: Assessing skills in the 21st century

CoPUS: Complex Problems in University Selection

DAISSI: Developing an In-Depth Understanding of Complex Problem Solving Skills

LLLIGHT'in'Europe: Lifelong Learning, Innovation, Growth and Human capital Tracks in Europe

PISA validation study

SINQ: Scientific Inquiry

PROFAN: Process indicators: From explaining task success to formative assessment

Educational assessments of the 21st century: Measuring and understanding students’ adaptability in complex problem solving situations

ColPS: Collaborative Problem Solving

OECD Fellowship

Selected Publications

2020 & 2019

Bichler, S., Schwaighofer, M., Stadler, M., Bühner, M., Greiff, S., & Fischer, F. (2020). How working memory capacity and shifting matter for learning. A replication study using worked examples. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112, 1320-1337.

Borgonovi, F. & Greiff, S. (2020). Societal level gender inequalities amplify gender gaps in problem solving more than in academic disciplines. Intelligence, 79, 101422.

Eichmann, B., Goldhammer, F., Greiff, S., Naumann, J., & Brandhuber, L. (2020). Exploring behavioral patterns during complex problem solving. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 36, 933-956.

Möttus, R., […], Greiff, S., […], & Zimmermann, J. (2020). Descriptive, predictive, and explanatory personality research. Different goals, different approaches, but a shared need to move beyond the Big Few traits. European Journal of Personality, 34, 1175-1201

Nicolay, B., Krieger, F., Stadler, M., Gobert, J., & Greiff. S. (2020). Lost in transition. Learning analytics on successfully exploring but not solving a complex problem. Computers in Human Behavior, 115, 106594.

Stadler, M., Herborn, K., Mustafic, M., & Greiff, S. (2020). The assessment of collaborative problem solving in PISA 2015. An investigation of the validity of the PISA 2015 CPS tasks. Computers & Education, 157, 103964.

Krieger, F., Becker, N., Greiff, S., & Spinath, F. (2019). Big-Five personality and political orientation. Results from four panel studies with representative German samples. Journal of Research in Personality, 80, 78-83.

Mustafic, M., Yu, J., Stadler, M., Vainikainen, M. P., Bornstein, M. H., Putnick, D. L., & Greiff, S. (2019). Complex problem solving. Profiles and developmental paths revealed via latent transition analysis. Developmental Psychology, 55, 2090-2101.

Niepel, C., Stadler, M., & Greiff, S. (2019). Seeing is believing. Gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics predicts students’ mathematics self-concept across 23 countries. Journal of Educational Psychology, 111, 1119-1130.

Tong, T., Li, H., & Greiff, S. (2019). Human capital and leadership. The impact of cognitive and noncognitive abilities. Applied Economics, 51, 5741-5752.

Previous years

Fiore, S., Graesser, A., & Greiff, S. (2018). Collaborative problem solving education for the 21st century workforce. Nature Human Behavior, 2, 367-369.

Graesser, A., Fiore, S., Greiff, S., Andrews-Todd, J., Foltz, P., & Hesse, F. W. (2018). Advancing the science of collaborative problem solving. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19, 59-92.

Wetzel, E. & Greiff, S. (2018). The world beyond rating scales. Why we should think more carefully about the response format in questionnaires. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 34, 1-5.

Greiff, S. & Ziegler, M. (2017). How to make sure your paper is desk rejected. A practical guide to rejection in EJPA. European Journal of Psychological Assessment 33, 75-78.

Shute, V., Wang, L., Greiff, S., Zhao, W., & Moore, G. (2016). Measuring problem solving skills via stealth assessment in an engaging video game. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 106-117.

Stadler, M., Becker, N., Gödker, M., Leutner, D., & Greiff, S. (2015). Complex problem solving and intelligence. A meta-analysis. Intelligence, 53, 92-101.

Greiff, S., Wüstenberg, S., Csapo, B., Demetriou, A., Hautamäki, J., Graesser, A. C., & Martin, R. (2014). Domain-general problem solving skills and education in the 21st century. Educational Research Review, 13, 74-83.

For the complete list of publications of the CBA Group, please refer here.



COSA / Computer-Based Assessment (CBA)