Navigation auf


Department of Psychology Individual Differences and Assessment

Alexander Stahlmann

Alexander Stahlmann, Dr.

  • Postdoktorand:in / Postdoctoral Researcher
+41 44 635 7530
Binzmühlestrasse 14/7, CH-8050 Zürich
Room number
Working hours
Mo, Mi–Fr; 9:00–18:00 Uhr (MEZ) / Mon, Wed–Fri; 9am–6pm (CET)


Current Research Interests:

Personality and civic engagement across the lifespan

Civic engagement—e.g., through volunteer work, blood donation, and participation in elections and referendums—is a cornerstone of healthy democracies. Swiss citizens are diversely engaged, but there are individual differences in the type and extent of this engagement. Previous research has shown that gender and maturation processes can partially explain these differences. However, personality differences could play an even greater role. In this research project funded by the SNF, we are examining for the first time the relationship between personality and civic engagement in Switzerland. The basis for this is a high-quality person survey that covers the German-, French-, and Italian-speaking populations. The results of this project offer added value for the Swiss population, as they will reveal which personality traits are particularly relevant for the development of civic engagement. These insights can be used to steer the personality development of Swiss youth in a favorable direction—e.g., in schools, universities, or in the Swiss Army.


Character strengths in the context of personality research

The positive psychology movement has led to a renaissance of qualities such as morality, character, and virtue. However, it has not effectively integrated them into contemporary personality research. Models like Peterson and Seligman's VIA classification exist outside of standardized trait hierarchies, such as the Big Five. Therefore, their position and role within the field of personality psychology are unclear. This ambiguity is unfortunate, considering the attention that models like the VIA classification have garnered since 2004. These qualities matter to researchers and laypeople alike, and almost everyone wants to become wiser, more honest, or more compassionate. In my work, I try to (re-)integrate character strengths—one of the major topics of positive psychology—into the canon of modern personality research. For this purpose, I primarily rely on the psycho-lexical approach—one of the most influential paradigms in personality research. In doing so, I hope to lend credibility to character strengths and the field of positive psychology that they deserve, and to establish a solid foundation for research on corresponding personality changes.

Further interests:

  • Personality and worldviews ("Primal world beliefs")
  • Personality, sustainability, and veg*ism
  • Innovative statistical methods in personality research