Dr. Fang Zhao

Dr. Fang Zhao

E-Mail: fang.zhao
Tel.: +49 2331 987 - 4303

Research Interest

In my dissertation, I used eyetracking to investigate how students process texts and pictures to understand teaching material and to answer questions. In my current work, I investigate how sequence learning can help to perform two tasks at the same time. Sequence learning can lead to different forms of representation of serial order (i.e., knowing that now it is C because it just was B vs. knowing that now it is C because the third letter is due). These might differentially affect multitasking.


  • 2016–present PostDoc, Psychology, University of Hagen, Germany
  • 2012-2015 Ph.D., Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
  • 2010-2011 M.A., Translation Studies, Durham University, UK
  • 2006-2010 B.A., Linguistics, Henan University, China


  1. Zhao, F., & Mahrt, N. (2018). Influences of comics expertise and comics types in comics reading.International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences. 5(2), pp.218-224. ISSN: 2349-5219 PDF
  2. Bröker, L., Kiesel, A., Aufschnaiter, S., Ewolds, H., Gaschler, R., Haider, H., Künzell, S., Raab, M., Röttger, E., Thomaschke, R., Zhao, F. (Nov 2017). Why prediction matters in multitasking and how predictability can improve it. Frontiers Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02021 PDF
  3. Röttger, E., Haider, H., Zhao, F., & Gaschler. R. (2017). Implicit sequence learning despite multitasking - the role of across-task predictability. Psychological Research. Doi: 10.1007/s00426-017-0920-4 PDF
  4. Schnotz, W., Wagner, W., Zhao, F., Ullrich, M., Horz, H., McElvany, N., Ohle, A. & Baumert, J. (2017). Development of dynamic usage of strategies for integrating text and picture information in secondary school. In D. Leutner, J. Fleischer, J. Grünkorn & E. Klieme (Ed.), Competence Assessment in Education - Research, Models and Instruments (pp. 303-313). Dordrecht: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-50030-0_18
  5. Zhao, F. (2015) Reading strategies in learning (Doctoral dissertation). OPUS. PDF
  6. Zhao, F., Schnotz, W., Wagner, I. & Gaschler, R. (2014). Eye tracking indicators of reading approaches in text-picture comprehension. Frontline Learning Research, 2(4), 46–66. doi:10.14786/flr.v2i4.98 PDF

Research Grant

  • 09.2017 SPP Research Excellence Grant (funded by DFG Schwerpunktprogramm 1772 Multitasking), Proposal "Sequence knowledge in motor control using EMG signals" in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Herrmann Müller, Christine Langhanns at Sport University of Giessen.
  • 02.2017 Innovative International Teaching (funded by FernUniversity in Hagen), Proposal "Cognitive psychology with an on multimedia learning".
  • 10.2016 SPP Research Excellence Grant (from DFG Schwerpunktprogramm 1772 Multitasking), Proposal "Complex timing in multitasking" in collaboration with Habil. Dr. Roland Thomaschke, Stefanie Aufschnaiter at Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg.

Selected symosiums, presentations and posters

  1. Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Risser, L., Bozic, M., zur Kammer, K., Röttger, E. & Haider, H. (March, 2018). Influence of segmentation of subsequence helps sequence learning in multitasking (pp. 303)? 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists, March 11-14th, 2018 in Marburg, Germany.
  2. Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Röttger, E., Haider, H., Thomaschke, R. (Sep, 2017) Influences of timing in after-action effect. Escop Symposium: Timing in Cognitive Multitasking: Different Perspectives and Approaches: Organized by Fang Zhao & Stefanie Aufschnaiter (pp. 70). Postdam, Sep 3-6, 2017.
  3. Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Röttger, E., Haider, H. (19-21 June, 2017). Different forms of sequence representations supporting multitasking. 2017 Aachen SPP Meeting Poster Session, Aachen, Germany.
  4. Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Röttger, E., Haider, H., Thomaschke, R. (26 – 29 April, 2017). Can a predictable timing sequence help multitasking? Teap 2017 Symposium, The Beneficial impact of predictability on human performance: Organized by Laura Bröke (pp. 72), Dresden, Deutschland.
  5. Zhao, F. (17 Feb, 2017). Sequence Learning, Comics Reading, Multimedia Learning. Eye Tracking Seminar at Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
  6. Zhao, F. & Gaschler, R. (April, 2016). Does sequence knowledge help multitasking? University of Freiburg Symposium, Freiburg, Germany.
  7. Zhao, F. & Schnotz, W. (2015). Reading strategy in multimedia learning. Poster präsentiert auf: Promovierendenforum des IPZ mit Postersession. Landau in der Pfalz, Germany.