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

The selection and development of talent

Developmental Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Psychometrics and Statistics

Currently, the question how to select and develop talent is of critical importance in the domains of work, education, music, and sports. This question is very challenging, as many personal and environmental factors underlie talent development. We thus need to unravel how genetic makeup, practice, support from the environment, motivation and other psychological factors, shape talent and let individuals excel in the future. In addition, selection methods should be tailored in such a way that future performance can be optimally predicted. The Developmental Psychology-, Organisational Psychology-, and Psychometrics and Statistics units of the Psychology Department share their forces in a research line that addresses the following questions: - How does talent develop over time? - What mechanisms underlie talent development? - What are the best selection methods to predict future (excellent) performance? - How can we optimally stimulate talent development? The above-mentioned questions are investigated across different achievement domains, including work, sports, and education.

Sub projects

  • Explaining and predicting breakdowns and breakthroughs in athlete’s careers
  • Talent selection in higher education

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology


Courses connected to this project
  • Talent Development & Creativity (PSMOB-7)
  • Talent Development & Creativity in Practice (PSMDB-1)
  • Competence and Motivation (PSMAB-11)
  • Talent Assessment (PSMDB-2)
  • Sport and Performance Psychology (PSB3E-IO11)
Selection of BA and MA student projects
  • The Escape Room as a Procedure to Recruit and Assess Domain-Specific Talent
  • Multitalents
  • Talent Development and Creativity at the Groningen Football Club
  • The Psychology of Success
  • Development of musical talent and the role of improvisational-theatre principles and skills
  • A Dynamic Network Model of Talent Development and Excellence


  • Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Van Yperen, N. W., & Van Geert, P. L. C. (in press). Embedding the psychosocial biographies of Olympic medalists in a (meta-) theoretical model of dynamic networks. Progress in Brain Research.
  • Den Hartigh, R. J., Van Dijk, M. W., Steenbeek, H. W., & Van Geert, P. L. (2016). A dynamic network model to explain the development of excellent human performance. Frontiers in psychology, 7 .
  • Niessen, A. S. M., Meijer, R. R., & Tendeiro, J. N. (2016). Predicting Performance in Higher Education Using Proximal Predictors. PloS one, 11(4), e0153663.
  • Meijer , R. R., & Niessen, A. S. M. (2015). A trial studying approach to predict college achievement. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 887.
  • Van Yperen, N. W. (2009). Why some make it and others do not: Identifying psychological factors that predict career success in professional adult soccer. The Sport Psychologist, 23, 317-329.
  • Van Yperen, N.W. (2016). Competence and the Workplace. In: Elliot, A.J., Dweck, C., & Yeager, D. (Eds.). Handbook of Competence and Motivation (2nd Edition): Theory and Application. New York: Guilford Press.
Successful grant proposals and other achievements
  • Collaborative Research Grant awarded by the Heymans Institute for Psychological Research, University of Groningen, for the project “The Escape Room as a Procedure to Recruit and Assess Domain-Specific Talent”

University's focus areas

  • Healthy Ageing
  • Sustainable Society

More information

Last modified:28 July 2022 4.19 p.m.
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