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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Nadin Beckmann, Dipl-Psych., Dr. rer. nat., FHEA

Associate Professor, Director of Education in the School of Education

Contact Dr Nadin Beckmann

Affiliate of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education

Completed Supervisions

Exploring the Role of Psychological Capital and Academic Hope in High School Students: How they interact With Their Cognitive Strategies to Influence Learning Outcomes?

The Power of the Situation: Variability and Stability in Chinese University Students’ Willingness to Communicate in English Classrooms

The Traveller Has Many a Tale to Tell: Personal Change and Language Development as a Result of a Year Abroad.


I am a psychologist and Associate Professor at the School of Education, Durham University. In my research I adopt a dynamic view on psychological constructs, such as ability and personality. A dynamic view builds upon the premise of change and malleability, which can be understood in terms of responses to interventions (feedback and training) as well as development and maturation.

My current research projects focus on the dynamic, process-oriented approaches to personality and individual differences in work and educational contexts. Within this broader framework, I am interested in how our daily experiences shape who we are at a given moment in time and who we become in the future. Fundamentally, in my work I conceptualise the person as an adaptable and flexible being with a potential to change and grow. Studying change and development allows going beyond selection, e.g. based on current personality and other traits. For example, a person may choose a particular job or be selected into a particular role based on their personality traits, e.g. extraversion may be conducive to a leadership position. In the role, they may then have extra opportunities to further develop their trait extraversion; such that they ultimately change and become more extraverted over time. I am interested in both, the short-term underpinning dynamics and the longer-term person changes associated with such trajectory/development. There are many interesting questions to be answered, such as: How promptly does personality change happen; is it sustained; how does it relate to outcomes of interest at school, work and beyond; How do people differ in their readiness to change and why; How can short-term fluctuations and dynamics be best conceptualised and measured; Do short-term dynamics predict longer-term change; amongst other questions. Related Special Issues that I have edited and co-edited for Frontiers in Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology ( and Personality and Individual Differences ( can be found here. Other research interests of mine include psychometric assessment, feedback processing, and technology-based learning.

I have received a doctoral degree in natural sciences (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Institute of Experimental Psychology at Heinrich-Heine-University of Duesseldorf, Germany, and am an Alumna of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, I have completed a five-year degree in psychology (Dipl-Psych., equivalent to BSc psychology, MSc psychology) at Leipzig University, Germany, majoring in educational psychology and clinical psychology, with a minor in work and organizational psychology. Prior to my position at the School of Education I held an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Accelerated Learning Laboratory at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. I also worked in research positions at the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise (PACE Center), Yale University, USA, and the Institute of Differential Psychology and Psychological Assessment at Leipzig University, Germany. 

Fellowships, Awards & Grants

  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP160103335, 2016-ongoing, International Partner Investigator): Task Contingent Units of Personality and Adaptive Performance
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP0987584, 2009-2012): Integrating Between-Person and Within-Person Approaches to Personality in the Workplace 
  • Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007–2011, Australian Research Council Linkage Project, LP0669552): Flexible Expertise in Senior Executives
  • Best paper award at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois (2009)
  • Dissertation Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)
  • Dissertation Scholarship of the Saxonian Government, Germany

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

I welcome postgraduate research supervision proposals that are broadly concerned with the cognitive and non-cognitive determinants, correlates and/or outcomes of learning and development in both educational and work contexts. Areas of interest include: personality and individual differences & learning and performance, personality change and malleability, personality dynamics, psychometric assessment of cognitive and non-cognitive attributes, and technology-based communication & learning. 

Research Groups

School of Education

Research Projects

School of Education

Research Interests

  • Personality and Individual Differences
  • Personality Dynamics
  • Trait Change and Malleability
  • Experience Sampling Methods
  • Learning Processes and Outcomes
  • Psychometric Assessment
  • Technology-based Learning

Selected Publications

Edited book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Conference Paper

  • Wood, R.E., Ren, S., Guan, B. & Beckmann, N. (2021), Negative but productive: Trait neuroticism, situation contingent emotionality, and performance, 81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM). USA, virtual conference.
  • Beckmann, N. (2021), Personality dynamics as individual differences, Biennial Conference of the German Psychological Society, Personality Psychology & Psychological Diagnostics (DPPD) Section. Germany, virtual conference.
  • Beckmann, N., Birney, D.P., Beckmann, J.F., Wood, R.E., Sojo, V. & Bowman, D. (2019), Inter-individual differences in intra-individual variability in personality within and across contexts, Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID). Florence, Italy.
  • Birney, P.D., Beckmann, J.F. & Beckmann, N. (2019), What does within-individual variability in performance trajectories tell us about intelligence?, Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID). Florence, Italy.
  • Beckmann, N., Wood, R.E., Birney, D.P., Beckmann, J.F. & Minbashian, A. (2018), Contingent units of personality at work – A reconciliation of stability and change, 19th European Conference on Personality (ECP19). Zadar, Croatia.
  • Birney, D.P. Beckmann, J.F. & Beckmann, N. (2017), Individual Differences in Success: Too soon to give up on intellect!?, 16th Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences (ACPID). Sydney, Australia.
  • Beckmann, N., Wood, R.E. & Minbashian, A. (2015), Task-contingent units of personality at work, European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (EAWOP) Small Group Meeting (SGM) “Studying work as it is: Capturing dynamics in workplace relationships”. Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.
  • Minbashian, A., Beckmann, N. & Wood, R.E. (2014), Emotional knowledge moderates affective mediation of task contingent conscientiousness, Symposium: Interplay of Stable Individual Differences and Mood, 29th Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP, APA Division 14). Hawaii, USA, Hawaii HI.
  • Tymms, P., Beckmann, N., Beckmann, J.F., Elliott, J. & Merell, C. (2013), Does schooling have an impact on short-term memory?, 15th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Learning and Instruction. Munich, Germany, European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Munich.
  • Fisher, C., Minbashian, A., Wood, R.E. & Beckmann, N (2011), Appraisals, goal orientation, and emotions while working, Academy of Management Annual Meeting. San Antonio, Texas, USA, San Antonio TX.
  • Bowman, D.B., Beckmann, N. & Birney, D.P. (2010), A matter of framing? Frame-of-reference effects in personality assessment, 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP). Melbourne, Australia, Melbourne.
  • Beckmann, N., Minbashian, A. & Wood, R.E. (2010), The lost individual: On the structure of personality at the within- and between-person levels of analysis, 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP). Melbourne, Australia, Melbourne.
  • Beckmann, N., Beckmann, J.F. & Elliott, J.G. (2009), Accuracy feedback in dynamic testing, European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Amsterdam.
  • Bowman, D.B. & Beckmann, N (2009), Frame-of-reference effects in the measurement of personality: Evidence from self- and peer ratings in a management sample, 8th Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences (ACPID). Sydney, Australia, Sydney.
  • Beckmann, N., Wood, R.E. & Minbashian, A. (2009), It depends how you look at it – on the relationship between conscientiousness and neuroticism, 8th Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences (ACPID). Sydney, Australia, Sydney.
  • Beckmann, N., Beckmann, J.F. & Elliott, J.G. (2008), Accuracy feedback in cognitive ability testing, Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA). Singapore.
  • Minbashian, A., Beckmann, N & Wood, R.E. (2008), The effects of work-related situational cues on intra-individual variation in the emotional and motivational states of managers, 29th International Congress of Psychology (ICP). Berlin, Germany, Berlin.


  • Robinson-Smith, Lyn, Menzies, Victoria, Cramman, Helen, Wang, Yuqian (Linda), Fairhurst, Caroline, Hallett, Sarah, Beckmann, Nadin, Merrell, Christine, Torgerson, Carole, Stothard, Sue & Siddiqui, Nadia (2019). EasyPeasy: Learning through play. Evaluation Report. Education Endowment Foundation.

Show all publications


Indicators of Esteem

  • Associate Editor: Frontiers in Psychology / Personality and Social Psychology
  • Fellow: Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Institutional responsibilities and citizenship: Deputy Director Research; Impact Officer
  • Invited Assessor for Research Councils: Australian Research Council (ARC); Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); Medical Research Council (RCUK MRC); Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)
  • Keynote: Dynamic Personality – How does it work at work? Keynote presented at the European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (EAWOP) Small Group Meeting (SGM) “Personality Dynamics at Work” at the Universität zu Lübeck, Germany, in 2019.
  • Member of Editorial Board: International Journal of Educational Research
  • Partner Investigator on an Australian Research Council funded project administered by The University of Melbourne: (AUS$423,456)
  • Reviewer for various journals: e.g., Learning and Individual Differences, Personality and Individual Differences, Learning and Instruction, British Educational Research Journal, International Journal of Educational Research, British Journal of Educational Psychology, Computers in Human Behavior, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Task Contingent Units of Personality and Adaptive Performance (£21291.98 from Australian Research Council)
  • 2009: Australian Research Council Discovery Project: Integrating between-person and within-person approaches to personality in the workplace, Chief Investigator together with R.E. Wood, and A. Minbashian (DP0987584)