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Dr. Sonja Heintz


"This is interesting to know about Psychological Assessment in my home country …“

In Switzerland, Psychological Assessment is widely applied using many different methods. Thus, the interplay between research and application is vital, which is for example facilitated by the Assessment Group of the SDBB/CSFO, the Swiss service center for vocational training and counseling, course guidance, and career planning advice.

“Currently I am working on…”

The assessment of individual differences in humor (with a focus on humor/comic styles, humor behaviors, and well-being) and character strengths.

“The persons I am looking forward to see on the next ECPA conference…”

I always find it interesting to meet people who develop new assessment and statistical methods. This allows discussing potential benefits and applications to other constructs and thus improving the research in the area. Overall, every conference provides great opportunities to meet new participants as well as established researchers in the field.

“The main problems I currently see in research on Psychological Assessment…”

In my view, the most important issue is to ensure a high quality of research and applications of Psychological Assessment. This includes proper development, validation, adaptation, and usage of measures and associated methods and statistical techniques.

“My favorite paper within the topic of Psychological Assessment within the last 5 years…”

One of the papers that I found most useful, especially for my reviews, was Rex Kline's "The Mediation Myth" (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01973533.2015.1049349). I often review manuscripts that interprete mediations causally without the appropriate design (usually based on cross-sectional correlations). This paper, among others, highlights the importance of correctly interpreting advanced statistical analyses.

“The best ECPA conference ever I attended was in …. and why?”

The best conference for me was the ECPA13 in Zurich in 2015, as I was the treasurer and part of the organization team. Although I didn't have much time to attend the sessions, I could learn a lot about the inner workings of a scientific conference and received mostly positive feedback from the participants.

“If I could give out a prize for outstanding work in the domain of PA, I would give it to…”

I would have given an award to Jacob Cohen for his groundbreaking work on effect sizes and power analyses in psychological research as well as for his discussions of statistical significance and null hypothesis testing, long before the current replication "crisis" / renaissance.