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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Research Units Developmental Psychology

Explaining and predicting breakdowns and breakthroughs in athlete’s careers.

Developmental Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Psychometrics and Statistics

This PhD project investigatesbreakthroughs and breakdowns in athletic careers. In order to explain these crucial moments, we utilize the idiosyncratic development trajectories predicted by complex dynamic network model. This entails that breakthroughs (and breakdowns) result from positive feedback loops emerging from (constantly changing) dynamically interacting variables that result in upward (and downward) sprials. Therefore, we will investigate how these spirals are triggered in order to be able to explain and predict the processes involved in career breakthroughs and breakdowns.

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology


Courses connected to this project
  • Talent Development and Creativity
Selection of BA and MA student projects
  • Talent Development and Creativity, resilience, mental toughness
  • Talent Development and Creativity, resilience, mental toughness


  • Den Hartigh, R.J.R., Gernigon, C., Van Yperen, N.W., Marin, L., & Van Geert, P.L.C. (2014). How psychological and behavioral team states change during positive and negative momentum. PLOS ONE, 9, e97887.
  • Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Van Geert, P. L. C., Van Yperen, N. W., Cox, R. F. A., & Gernigon, C. (2016). Psychological momentum during and across sports matches: Evidence for interconnected time scales. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38, 82-92.
  • Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Van Yperen, N. W., & Van Geert, P. L. C. (2016, in press). Embedding the psychosocial biographies of Olympic medalists in a (meta-) theoretical model of dynamic networks. Progress in Brain Research, xx, xxx-xxx.
Successful grant proposals and other achievements
  • Partial funding by the Sparkasse Hannover

University's focus areas

  • Healthy Ageing
  • Sustainable Society
Last modified:28 July 2022 4.18 p.m.
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