New Publications

Advances in Motivation Science (Vol.7)

The Functional Architecture of Human Motivation: Personality Systems Interactions Theory

Kuhl, J., Quirin, M. & Koole, S.L. (2020)

This chapter offers a broad and detailed meta framework of the Personality Systems Interactions (PSI-) Theory. The authors contribute to existing literature by explaining human motivation and personality functioning as a whole and support their theoretical statements by neuroscientific evidence. This overview and reflection of PSI Theory allows for a multi-faceted view of people’s motivational dynamics and key contributions to motivation science.

Current Psychology

Ego-depletion or invigoration in solving the tower of Hanoi? Action orientation helps overcome planning deficits

Kazén M. & Kuhl, J. (2020)

In this recent study of our research partners Miguel Kazén and Julius Kuhl, action and state oriented individuals were compared in their performances in two tasks which both required concentration, planning and problem solving abilities. Action oriented people showed better performance, therefore less ego depletion, in the second task than state oriented people due to their self -regulation ability which is associated with invigoration in performing difficult tasks. By using a seldom two task paradigm this study contributes to and strengthens existing evidence on the connection between personality and ego depletion.

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Personality and Individual Differences

When tough gets you going: Action orientation unfolds with difficult intentions and can be fostered by mental contrasting

Friederichs, K.M., Kees, M.-C., & Baumann, N. (2020)

Now more than ever, we are in a time where we have to learn how to overcome new challenges and get going although the going gets tough. Facing new challenges, some get invigorated and get going without hesitation, while others struggle to take action.

Today, we are happy to share new research from Katja M. Friederichs, Marie-Christine Kees, and Nicola Baumann, which not only demonstrates individual differences in the face of difficulty but also how to overcome difficulty by the means of practicing affective change.

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We learn,
we impact,
we collaborate,
we grow

Motivational Psychology Colloquium (MPK)

October 10-12, 2019, Berlin, Germany

We enjoyed this years MPK in Berlin, where we learned so much about motivation and met great people that advance research in motivation. Thank you to the University of Hamburg and NYU for hosting this event and a special thanks to Dr. Timur Sevincer and Dr. Gabriella Etmektsoglou for the great event organisation. We are already looking forward to the next MPK in Switzerland.


November 1–3, 2019, Bodensee, Switzerland

We enjoyed our intimate research get together of PSI-focused researchers from Osnabruck, Trier, Munich and Zurich. A great weekend to exchange up to date research outcomes and questions. We are already looking forward to next year!


October 12–14, 2018, Koblenz, Germany

Annually, we participate in the research colloquium of the PSI-Family. Mostly these are researchers from the University of Trier (TR) and the University of Osnabruck (OS) whose research impacts and focuses on the Personality Systems Interaction Theory of Prof. Julius Kuhl.

For three days, we could share our current research endeavors and were updated on the latest research outcomes of the research circle around the PSI-Theory. We very much enjoyed our annual intimate PSI-Family gathering and took a lot of new input back into our research projects and practical work.

51. DGPs Congress 2018

September 15–20, 2018, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Members of the Liesenfeld Research Institute mingled among the researchers and practitioners at the conference of the German Psychology Association. Under the slogan Shaping Psychology, the conference’s focus was on how research psychology can contribute to mastering individual and societal challenges of today.

Katja M. Friederichs contributed a presentation of her research outcomes on self-regulation and intention enactment at the symposium Personality Trait Change through Intervention under the chair of Prof. Nicola Baumann.

5th International Coaching Congress ‘Organisation, Digitisation and Design’ Coaching Meets Research 2018

June 11-14, 2018, Olten, Switzerland

Proudly, Liesenfeld Research Institute made its debut at the Coaching Meets Research conference. We learned a great deal about how artificial intelligence (AI) may be taking over the coaching market in the future and how much it already contributes in the present.

Katja M. Friederichs talked about how difficulties may encourage intention implementation and presented first findings from her research. We were grateful for a great organized and informative conference. We engaged with a lot of interesting researchers and practitioners from all over the world that are as passionate about personality development. We are looking forward to the next Coaching Meets Research Conference in Switzerland.

Learning and the Brain – Educating Mindful Minds

April 19–21, 2018, New York City, USA

We enjoyed taking part in the Learning and the Brain Conference. During the conference we engaged with educators, researchers and practitioners alike. We were especially interested in the newest research of how stress is impacting the brain and how the concept of resilience is looked at nowadays.

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