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Dr. Alexandra Zapko-Willmes, Akademische Rätin

Dr. Alexandra Zapko-Willmes

Dr. Alexandra Zapko-Willmes studies the effects of individual social environments, life contexts, and life experiences on individual differences in broad personality traits and sociopolitical orientations (among others, political attitudes, values, conspiracy mentality). Here, illuminating the interplay of genetic make-up and environment is one particular focus in her research endeavor. Methodologically, she prefers structural equation models of longitudinal and complex twin family data, multi-rater analyses, statistical matching, and network analyses.

Postal address:
Universität Siegen
Lebenswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Department Psychologie
Psychologische Diagnostik und Differentielle Psychologie
Obergraben 23
D-57072 Siegen


  • since 10|2023 Akademische Rätin, Psychological Assessment and Individual Differences, University of Siegen, Germany.
  • 01|2019 – 09|2023 Postdoctoral researcher, Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment, University of Bremen, Germany.
  • 04|2017 – 12|2018 Research assistant, Differential and Personality Psychology, MSB Medical School Berlin, Germany.
  • 09|2015 – 03|2017 Research assistant, Differential Psychology, Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment, Bielefeld University, Germany.
  • 09|2015 – 12|2018 Ph.D. candidate, Bielefeld University, Germany
    Title: Sources of individual differences in sociopolitical orientations: Findings from combining behavior genetic with multi-rater approaches.
  • 10|2011 – 03|2014 Master of Science, Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • 10|2008 – 09|2011 Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of Trier, Germany.

Selected publications

Zapko-Willmes, A., & Theocharis, Y. (accepted). Accounting for the association between socioeconomic status and youth political participation: A twin family study. Political Psychology. Preprint: https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/tgwuh

Grosz, M., Ayaita, A., Arslan, R. C., Buecker, S., Ebert, T., Hünermund, P., Müller, S. R., Rieger, S., Zapko-Willmes, A., & Rohrer, J. (in print). Natural experiments: Missed opportunities for causal inference in psychology. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science. Preprint: https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/dah3q

Deppe*, M., & Zapko-Willmes*, A. (2023). Youth depression symptoms during COVID-19: A longitudinal twin study on resilience factors. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 231, 126-136. https://doi.org/10.1027/2151-2604/a000521 (*geteilte Erstautorenschaft)

Wiechers, Y., Zapko-Willmes, A., Richter, J., & Kandler, C. (2023). The longitudinal and multimodal Age Groups Study of Personality Architecture and Dynamics (SPeADy). Personality Science, 4, 1-24. https://doi.org/10.5964/ps.6421

Kandler, C., Zapko-Willmes, A., & Rauthmann, J. F. (2022). Broad and narrow environmental and genetic sources of personality differences: An extended twin family study. Journal of Personality, 92, 55-72. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12777

Zapko-Willmes, A., Schwartz, S. H., Richter, J., & Kandler, C. (2021). Basic value orientations and moral foundations: Convergent or discriminant constructs? Journal of Research in Personality, 92, 104099. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2021.104099

For a current list of all publications, please visit my GoogleScholar profile (https://scholar.google.de/citations?user=s3JV5DEAAAAJ&hl=de&oi=ao). If publications are not available via Open Access or as preprints at https://psyarxiv.com, reach out to me via email.

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