Prof. Dr. Samuel Greiff

Samuel Greiff

Full professor

Faculty or Centre Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Department Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Postal Address Université du Luxembourg
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette
Campus Office MSH, E03 25-340
Telephone (+352) 46 66 44 9245

Prof. Dr. Samuel Greiff, Full Professor (Educational Assessment) and ATTRACT fellow as well as member of the CBA research group.

Professional Summary

Samuel Greiff is head of research group, principal investigator, and Full Professor of Educational Assessment and Psychology at University of Luxembourg. He joined the institution in 2012. He holds a PhD in cognitive and experimental psychology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. His research focuses on educational psychology, psychological assessment, personality psychology, cognitive psychology, and psychological methodology.

He has been awarded several national and international research funds by diverse funding organizations such as the German Ministry of Education and Research and the European Union (overall funding approx. 9.3 M €), was fellow in the Luxembourg research programme of excellency, and has published articles in national and international scientific journals and books (>150 contributions in peer-reviewed journals; many of them leading in their field).

Samuel has been working for several years on the assessment of transversal skills such as problem solving and collaboration and their role in the classroom, at work, and in private life. He also takes strong interest into the use of log file data and learning analytics for summative and formative assessment purposes. He and his team are dedicated at increasing the understanding, the measurement, and the application of cognitive and non-cognitive skills that shape our lives.

Personal Statement

“I enjoy doing research because I feel that I can help students and society to make the best of their potential and, even if only a little bit, I want to contribute to a better society.”

Professional Profiles


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Last updated on: Wednesday, 04 November 2020

Research Interests

Educational Psychology

  • Challenges of education in the 21st century
  • Development of transversal thinking skills in school
  • Educational policy


  • Assessment innovation & technology-based assessment
  • Formative assessment
  • Large-scale assessments (PISA, PIAAC, national assessments)

Personality Psychology

  • Self-concept, motivation, & need for cognition
  • Big 5 & facets of conscientiousness in education
  • Emotions in language learning

Cognitive Psychology

  • Problem solving (domain-general & domain-specific)
  • Intelligence and general mental ability


  • Structural Equation Modeling & Item Response Theory
  • Process data, “Big data”, (Educational) Data Mining
  • Large-scale, longitudinal data analysis


  • Dynamics of Academic Self-Concept in Everyday Life (DynASCEL): The DynASCEL project proposes to examine state aspects and dynamics in students’ academic self-concepts and their perceptions of instructional quality on a lesson-to-lesson basis by the use of e-diaries (ambulatory assessment/experience sampling).
  • The role of Conscientiousness skills as enhancers of academic success in secondary education (enhanCe): The enhanCe project proposes to examine students’ conscientiousness skills and the construction of corresponding short scales.
  • The Training of Complex Problem Solving (TRIOPS): The TRIOPS project provides a framework and first software for the training of Complex Problem Solving (CPS), which adapts features from already existing training approaches of neighbouring fields of CPS but also entails new features unique to CPS. The focus of the training framework is on both specific cognitive and metacognitive processes, which are fostered by targeted interventions while also taking differences in student’s proficiency levels into account.
  • Personality, attitudes, and individual differences regarding the Coronavirus pandemic (PANIC): The PANIC project proposes to examine the way individuals behave, react, and perceive the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020.


For the full list of projects, please refer here.

Last updated on: 04 Nov 2020

Borgonovi, F. & Greiff, S. (2020). Societal level gender inequalities amplify gender gaps in problem solving more than in academic disciplines. Intelligence, 79, 101422.

Stadler, M., Herborn, K., Mustafic, M., & Greiff, S. (2020). The assessment of collaborative problem solving in PISA 2015. An investigation of the validity of the PISA 2015 CPS tasks. Computers & Education, 157, 103964.

Krieger, F., Becker, N., Greiff, S., & Spinath, F. (2019). Big-Five personality and political orientation. Results from four panel studies with representative German samples. Journal of Research in Personality, 80, 78-83.

Mustafic, M., Yu, J., Stadler, M., Vainikainen, M. P., Bornstein, M. H., Putnick, D. L., & Greiff, S. (2019). Complex problem solving. Profiles and developmental paths revealed via latent transition analysis. Developmental Psychology, 55, 2090-2101.

Niepel, C., Stadler, M., & Greiff, S. (2019). Seeing is believing. Gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics predicts students’ mathematics self-concept across 23 countries. Journal of Educational Psychology, 111, 1119-1130.

Tong, T., Li, H., & Greiff, S. (2019). Human capital and leadership. The impact of cognitive and noncognitive abilities. Applied Economics, 51, 5741-5752.

Fiore, S., Graesser, A., & Greiff, S. (2018). Collaborative problem solving education for the 21st century workforce. Nature Human Behavior, 2, 367-369.

Graesser, A., Fiore, S., Greiff, S., Andrews-Todd, J., Foltz, P., & Hesse, F. W. (2018). Advancing the science of collaborative problem solving. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19, 59-92.

Wetzel, E. & Greiff, S. (2018). The world beyond rating scales. Why we should think more carefully about the response format in questionnaires. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 34, 1-5.

Greiff, S. & Ziegler, M. (2017). How to make sure your paper is desk rejected. A practical guide to rejection in EJPA. European Journal of Psychological Assessment 33, 75-78.

Shute, V., Wang, L., Greiff, S., Zhao, W., & Moore, G. (2016). Measuring problem solving skills via stealth assessment in an engaging video game. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 106-117.

Stadler, M., Becker, N., Gödker, M., Leutner, D., & Greiff, S. (2015). Complex problem solving and intelligence. A meta-analysis. Intelligence, 53, 92-101.

Greiff, S., Wüstenberg, S., Csapo, B., Demetriou, A., Hautamäki, J., Graesser, A. C., & Martin, R. (2014). Domain-general problem solving skills and education in the 21st century. Educational Research Review, 13, 74-83.


For the complete list of publications, please refer here.

Last updated on: 04 Nov 2020


  • Editor-in-Chief for European Journal of Psychological Assessment (2017 -) and for German Journal of Educational Psychology (2018 - 2019)
  • Associate Editor for Journal of Educational Psychology (2020 -), Intelligence (2019 -), Psychological Test Adaptation & Development (2019 -), Thinking  Skills  &  Creativity (2016-2018),  and Technology,  Knowledge,  &  Learning (2014 -)
  • Several guest editorships including Journal of Educational Psychology and Computers in Human Behavior
  • Several past associate editorships, 11 editorial board memberships (e.g., Personality Science, Journal of Intelligence, International Journal of Testing), reviewing for > 90 journals (e.g., Nature, Educational Research Review, PLOS ONE, BMC Medicine, Learning & Instruction, Metacognition, Assessment), funding institutions, and conferences


  • Over a decade of regular teaching and supervision (Bachelor, Master, PhD level) activities on a variety of topics:
  • Vice-Head of the Department of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences at University of Luxembourg (research staff: approx. 100 FTE) (since 2020)
  • Member of the ethics review panel at University of Luxembourg (since 2019)
  • Vice-Head of the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Luxembourg (since 2017)
  • Exceptional innovation award by the OECD (2014)
  • Active participation in international large-scale assessments such as PISA and PIAAC in various roles including framework development, expert group chairing, item development, sub-contracting, reporting

Last updated on: 04 Nov 2020

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Last updated on: 04 Nov 2020