This study examined personality similarity between teachers and their students and its impact on teacher judgement of student achievement in the domains of
reading comprehension and mathematics. Personality similarity was quantified
through intraclass correlations between personality characteristics of 409 dyads of German teachers and their students. This similarity index was combined with teachers’ global and task-specific judgements of student achievement. Personality
similarity has a significant effect on global judgement in both domains under study. Students who are similar to their teacher are judged more positively than students who are dissimilar, even when students’ test performance is controlled. This effect could not be verified for task-specific judgements. Results indicate
that impact of potential sympathy bias in social judgements differs between different types of judgement. That is, global judgements are more likely to be biased than more specific judgements. Theoretical and educational relevance of
the findings are discussed.
The German Rectors’ Conference has recommended integrating information literacy (IL) courses into curricula and enhancing the role of libraries in order to create new information structures. This short report gives an overview of the IL activities of German university libraries. It analyses the results of the national IL statistics, presents the work of the IL networks in Germany and shows best practice at university libraries.
Empirical evidence suggests that sibling structure
influences children’s educational outcomes:
While the negative effect of the number of siblings
is quite consistent, there are mixed findings
for birth order and birth spacing. According to the
resource dilution hypothesis, differences between
siblings occur because siblings have to share family
resources. Having a larger number of siblings,
being a later-born child as well as narrow age
gaps between siblings can affect the parental resources
available for each child, which may thus
negatively affect educational outcome. To study
the effects of sibling structure, we use longitudinal
data from the BiKS-8-14 study at the end of
elementary school, focusing on children’s vocabulary
Our results indicate an expected negative effect
for increasing number of siblings particularly
when children originate from families with a lower
educational background. Regarding birth order,
we also find differential effects by parents’ education,
as only children from less educated families
suffer from being a later-born child. No effects
can be identified for children’s birth gaps in
relation to younger siblings as soon as number of
siblings is being considered, whereas longer spacing
between a child and his/her older siblings is
positively related to vocabulary competences.
With respect to possible changes across time, sibling
effects appear to be rather stable at the end of
It may be fun to perceive illusions, but the understanding of how they work is even
more stimulating and sustainable: They can tell us where the limits and capacity of
our perceptual apparatus are found—they can specify how the constraints of perception
are set. Furthermore, they let us analyze the cognitive sub-processes underlying our
perception. Illusions in a scientific context are not mainly created to reveal the failures of
our perception or the dysfunctions of our apparatus, but instead point to the specific power
of human perception. The main task of human perception is to amplify and strengthen
sensory inputs to be able to perceive, orientate and act very quickly, specifically and
efficiently. The present paper strengthens this line of argument, strongly put forth by
perceptual pioneer Richard L. Gregory (e.g., Gregory, 2009), by discussing specific visual
illusions and how they can help us to understand the magic of perception.
The present study challenges the notion that judgments of artistic quality are based on stable aesthetic standards. We propose that such standards are a delusion and that judgments of artistic quality are the combined result of exposure, elaboration and discourse. We ran two experiments using elaboration tasks based on the Repeated Evaluation Technique (RET) in which different versions of the Mona Lisa had to be elaborated deeply. During the initial task, either the version known from the Louvre or an alternative version owned by the Prado was elaborated; during the second task, both versions were elaborated in a comparative fashion. After both tasks, multiple blends of the two versions had to be evaluated concerning several aesthetic key variables. Judgments of artistic quality of the blends were significantly different depending on the initially elaborated version of the Mona Lisa indicating experience-based aesthetic processing, which contradicts the notion of stable aesthetic standards.
Processing fluency plays a large role in forming judgments, as research repeatedly shows. According to the Hedonic Fluency Model, more fluently processed stimuli are rated more affectively positive than less fluently processed stimuli. Most research documenting such findings uses neutral or positive stimuli with low complexity, thus any potential impact of initial stimulus valence cannot be tested. In the present study, 60 IAPS stimuli ranging from very negative to very positive valence were rated on liking by participants. Processing fluency was manipulated through perceptual priming (7 ms). Results of Experiment 1 (N = 35) support the prediction of the Hedonic Fluency Model, but only for stimuli with an initially positive valence. However, when negative stimuli were processed more fluently, they were rated as more negative than when processed less fluently. Experiment 2 (N = 39) showed that enhancing the accessibility of the stimulus content (via prolonging the prime duration to 100 ms) cannot account for the results of Experiment 1, since Experiment 2 failed to replicate the findings obtained in Experiment 1. Potential factors influencing affective evaluation of negative stimuli are discussed. A model is offered for the reinterpretation of processing fluency as an amplifying factor for evaluative judgment.
People’s sketches of human faces seem to be systematically distorted: The eyes’ position is always higher than in reality. This bias was experimentally analyzed by a series of experiments varying drawing conditions. Participants either drew prototypical faces from memory (studies 1 and 2: free reconstruction; study 3: cued reconstruction) or directly copied average faces (study 4). Participants consistently showed this positioning bias, which is even in accord with facial depictions published in influential research articles by famous face researchers (study 5). We discuss plausible explanations for this reliable and stable bias which is coincidentally similar to the morphology of Neanderthals.