Prof. Dr. Stefan Münzer

Prof. Dr. Stefan Münzer
Professorship of Education Psychology
University of Mannheim
School of Social Sciences
A 5, 6
Building B – Room B 206
68159 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
By appointement. Please contact us:
  • Research

    My focal research themes are about learning processes in applied contexts that are supported by digital media.

    • Digital media can provide dynamic and interactive visualizations. Those visualizations are important for fostering understanding in multimedia learning. For instance, focused animations can support the understanding of spatial structures by showing spatial transformations explicitly (such as rotation, zoom-in/zoom-out, spatial perspective taking). The design of visualizations may interact with individual differences in spatial abilities.
    • Wayfinding in real environments is another example. Assistance systems provide dynamic visualizations that help us to navigate successfully. However, acquisition of spatial knowledge beyond the traveled route can be impeded when using navigation assistance. This affects spatial orientation.
    • In my research, I take a use-inspired, theory-based and experimental approach. For example, visualizations for navigation assistance systems are designed and experimentally varied. These variations are thought to support the formation of specific mental representations of environmental space in human memory. These mental representations are derived from spatial cognition theories.

    Visit the research page to learn more.

  • Biographic Information

    • Study of Psychology at the J.W. Goethe Universität in Frankfurt / Main, Germany, and at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany (Diploma in Psychology 1998). Study course for Popular Music and Jazz at the Conservatory of Hamburg, Germany (1990) und Study of Music (Piano) at the Conservatory of Vienna, Austria (1993 – 1994, not completed).
    • Doctoral Dissertation 2002 in Psychology at the University of Leipzig, Germany about The processing of verbal and tonal information in the working memory of musicians and non-musicians.
    • Postdoctoral research fellow and project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute Integrated Publication and Information Systems in Darmstadt, Germany (2001 – 2004). Postdoctoral research fellow at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany (2005 – 2011). Stand-in professor for Educational Psychology at the University of Augsburg, Germany (2009 – 2010).  
    • Habilitation (postdoctoral lecture qualification) 2011 in Psychology about Spatial learning – dynamic visualizations and inter-individual differences.
    • Full professor for Psychology of Education at the University of Mannheim since 2012.
  • Publications

    Selected publications in scientific journals with peer-review:

    Münzer, S., Lörch, L., &  Frankenstein, J. (2019). Wayfinding and acquisition of survey knowledge with navigation assistance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. DOI: 10.1037/xap0000237

    Kühl, T., Navratil, S. D., & Münzer, S. (2018). Animations and static pictures: the influence of prompting and time of testing. Learning and Instruction, 58, 201–209.

    Münzer, S., Fehringer, B.C.O.F., & Kühl, T. (2018). Specificity of mental transformations involved in understanding spatial structures. Learning and Individual Differences, 61, 40–50.

    Kühl, T., Moersdorf, F., Römer, M., & Münzer, S. (2018) Adding emotionality to seductive details – Consequences for learning? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 1–14.

    Kühl, T., Stebner, F., Navratil, S., Fehringer, B.C.O.F., & Münzer, S. (2018). Text information and spatial abilities in learning with different visualizations formats. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(4), 561–577.

    Anacta, VJ; Schwering, A; Li, R; Münzer, S. (2017): Orientation information in wayfinding instructions: evidences from human verbal and visual instructions. GeoJournal, 82, 567–583.

    Münzer, S., Fehringer, B.C.O.F., & Kühl, T. (2016a). Standardized norm data for three self-report scales on egocentric and allocentric environmental spatial strategies. Data in Brief, 8, 803–811.

    Münzer, S., Fehringer, B.C.O.F., & Kühl, T. (2016b). Validation of a 3-factor structure of spatial strategies and relations to possession and usage of navigational aids. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 47, 66–78.

    Park, B., Münzer, S., Seufert, T., & Brünken, R. (2016). The role of spatial ability when fostering mental animation in multimedia learning: An ATI-study. Computers in Human Behavior, 64, 497–506.

    Münzer, S., & Zadeh, M. V. (2016). Acquisition of spatial knowledge through self-directed interaction with a virtual model of a multi-level building: Effects of training and individual differences. Computers in Human Behavior, 64, 191–205.

    Münzer, S. (2015). Facilitating recognition of spatial structures through animation and the role of mental rotation ability. Learning and Individual Differences, 38, 76–82.

    Münzer, S. (2012). Facilitating spatial perspective taking through animation: Evidence from an aptitude-treatment-interaction. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 505–510.

    Münzer, S., Zimmer, H. D., & Baus. J. (2012). Navigation assistance: A trade-off between wayfinding support and configural learning support. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 18, 18–37.

    Münzer, S., & Stahl, C. (2011). Learning routes from visualisations for indoor wayfinding: Presentation modes and individual differences. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 11, 281–312.

    Münzer, S. & Hölscher, C. (2011). Entwicklung und Validierung eines Fragebogens zu räumlichen Strategien (Development and validation of a self-report measure of spatial orientation). Diagnostica, 57, 111–125.

    Münzer, S., Seufert, T. & Brünken, R. (2009). Learning from multimedia presentations: Facilitation function of animations and spatial abilities. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 481–485.

    Münzer. S., & Holmer, T. (2009). Bridging the gap between media synchronicity and task performance: Effects of media characteristics on process variables and task performance indicators in an information pooling task. Communication Research, 36, 76–103.

    Münzer, S., & Borg, A. (2008). Computer-mediated communication: Media synchronicity and compensatory effort. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 663–683.

    Münzer, S., Zimmer, H. D., Schwalm, M., Baus, J., & Aslan, I. (2006). Navigation assistance and the acquisition of route and survey knowledge. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 26, 300–308.

    Berti, S., Münzer, S., Schröger, E., & Pechmann, T. (2006). Different interference effects in musicians and a control group. Experimental Psychology, 53, 111–116.

  • Teaching and Supervision of Bachelor theses and Master theses

    Teaching. Students enrolled in programs for the teaching degree for secondary schools at the University of Mannheim (Lehramt Gymnasium, Bachelor of Education, Master of Education) attend my lectures and seminars in Psychology of Education. My courses focus on psychological foundations of learning and memory (including skill acquisition and expertise), inter-individual differences, quality of instruction, instructional methods, development of competences of teachers, and the quality of the school system. Furthermore, I am involved in teaching Psychology for students enrolled in M.Sc. Psychology (e.g., the lecture Educational Psychology together with Prof. Dr. Oliver Dickhäuser, as well as research-oriented courses with small groups).

    Supervision of Bachelor theses and Master theses. I supervise and examine B.Sc. and M.Sc. theses in Psychology as well as Master theses in the Master of Education program.

    Development of Curriculum and Quality. I work together with the University’s center for teacher education and innovation in teaching (Zentrum für Lehrerbildung und Bildungsinnovation, ZLBI) to adapt the curriculum according to current challenges for schools (e.g., heterogeneity of learners in secondary school classrooms). We develop course formats that combine working for and within the society with learning and reflection in the seminar (Service Learning).