News & Updates

New position at the UniversitY of zürich

October 22nd, 2021

I have relocated to the University of Zürich where I am now Assistant Professor for Personality, Mental Health, and Culture. We are preparing to embark on the Africa Long Life Study, a longitudinal study of personality and mental health development among emerging adults in Namibia and Kenya (with perhaps other countries to follow).

  • Thanks to the team of collaborators making this happen:
    • Dr. Elizabeth N. Shino, University of Namibia
    • Dr. Stephen Asatsa, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya
    • Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, Clark University, USA
    • Prof. Dr. Luzelle Naudé, University of the Free State, South Africa
    • Prof Dr. Olufemi Fawole, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
    • Prof. Dr. Lynne Cooper, USA
  • PhD Students:
    • Julia Rotzinger, University of Zürich
    • Daniel Hofmann, University of Zürich
    • Selma Uugwanga, University of Zürich
    • Wairimu Murichi, United States International University – Africa, Kenya 

Free membership in the association for research in personality

May 23rd, 2021

As part of ongoing efforts to increase the diversity and inclusivity of the Association of Research in Personality, we will be offering FREE 2-year memberships to all new members who register between May 5 and July 23, 2021. This offer is available to researchers from all institutions and career stages. 

New members can claim this offer by entering the code ARP2021 at checkout when registering at www.personality-arp.org


Symposium: Presenting in the 7th Biennial ARP Conference

April 26th, 2021

I am excited to host an invited symposium on the cross-cultural evidence for the Big Five at this year’s meeting of the Association for Research in Personality. This year’s conference aims to contribute to ongoing discussions about equity and openness in academia to people from BIPOC and other marginalized communities. Please find further information at the homepage for the ARP conference.


Named Eccellenza Awardee and Recruiting PhD Students!

December 15th, 2020

I am very grateful to the Swiss National Science Foundation for awarding me a generous ‘Eccellenza’ fellowship, which will support me for 5 years as an Assistant Professor at the Psychology Department of the University of Zürich, starting Fall 2021. The funding will allow me to pursue three main projects:

(1) A longitudinal study of emerging adults in Namibia could be the first large longitudinal test of psychological development in Africa. 
(2) A 10-country collaboration to assess psychological dimensions of culture and psychological disorder symptoms builds on earlier efforts to refine a global map of psychological variation. It will also assess disorder symptoms with a survey designed to facilitate cross-cultural comparisons with concrete, behavioural items and a response scales in terms of days of the last month, and explore the role of cultural values in the prevalence of symptoms.
(3) Lexical studies of personality in African languages will form a basis for locally adapted research, and allow tests of universal elements of character variation, using the same methodology that built the Big Five model in English. 

For each topic, PhD students will be hired for 3-4 year contracts. I will seek promising junior researchers (with a completed Master’s degree) who have a passion for psychological science and a good sense of adventure. The first will start Fall 2021 (for the longitudinal study); others 2021-2023. Links to apply will be posted here as soon as available. 


Talk: The Cascades Mental Health Assessment:
Inventory Validation in the United States and in Namibia

November 16th, 2020- CARLA Seminar * CePCO conferenceUniversity of Lausanne

Speaker:  Dr. Amber Gayle Thalmayer (University of Lausanne)

An efficient screening inventory for use in a normal adult population was developed with an eye to cross-cultural adaptation. Current measures of psychological disorders focus on a single domain, use vague response scales prone to reference-group effects, are very long, and/or focus on psychiatric-level problems. The CMHA was created to overcome these shortcomings, while providing comprehensive coverage of common problems. Items focus on specific behaviors, and the objective response scale assesses for concrete frequency in terms of days in the last month, to facilitate translation and adaption. Principal components analysis and IRT calibration were used to refine a preliminary version administered to 5,300 employees in the United States. The final 59-item version was administered to another large sample in the United States, and to three samples in Namibia (N = 1,912), including speakers of English, Khoekhoe, and Oshiwambo. It provides an overall assessment, scores on three spectra (Internalizing, Externalizing, and Life Difficulties) and on nine subscales: substance abuse, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, stress, sleep, anger, workplace disengagement, interpersonal conflict. Cross-group comparisons are drawn.


New Blog at Psychology Today

October 19th, 2020

Thanks to a well-timed invitation from Psychology Today I started a blog: 
One World, Many Minds: A global view of personality and mental health. I will write monthly posts, which will be shared to the blog on this website too. Your comments, feedback, and reactions are welcome!  


Two Talks as Visiting Scholar at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

January 9th, 2020 – Dewan Perdana, FSSK


Talk: Personality and Mental Health in Namibia: Findings from the PersoNa project’s first year

September 30th, 2019 – CARLA Seminar * CePCO conferenceUniversity of Lausanne

Speakers:  Dr. Amber Gayle Thalmayer (University of Lausanne)  –  Dr. Elizabeth Shino (University of Namibia)  –  Sylvanus Job Humboldt (University Berlin)


Media: Comprendre les liens entre langage et psychologie

published June 24th, 2019 by Lysiane Christen (Unicom)