People

Prof. Dr. Gerben van Kleef studies the social dynamics of human behavior. He is particularly interested in the role of emotions, power, and norm violations. He obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam (2004, cum laude). He also worked at the University of California at Berkeley and at Columbia University in New York. Between 2012 and 2016 he held an extraordinary professorship in prosocial behavior on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is currently professor and chair of the social psychology department of the University of Amsterdam. Click here for more information.

Prof. Dr. Frenk van Harreveld studies the experience of uncertainty and how this impacts on perceptions and behaviour. He holds the chair “Social cognition and behavioural change in relation to sustainability and safety”, sponsored by the National Institute for Public Health and the environment (RIVM). He obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam. Subsequently he worked for the world’s largest consulting firm Accenture, after which he returned to the UvA. He has worked as a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Click here for more information.

Bojana Većkalov is a PhD researcher at the psychology department of the University of Amsterdam, where she is investigating psychological distance to science as a determinant of science scepticism under the supervision of Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens and Prof. Dr. Frenk van Harreveld. Before joining the UvA, she completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s studies in psychology at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. She is interested in how belief systems such as science scepticism and conspiracy beliefs are formed and in the consequences they have for individuals and society. Click here for more information.

Dr. Marc Heerdink is an Assistant Professor specializing in emotional group processes, group-based social influence, and polarization. He is experienced in large-scale data analysis (‘big data’), for instance using data from social media, as well a smaller-scale, explanation-focused quantitative research. He obtained his degrees from the University of Amsterdam, and worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom). Click here for more information.

Dr.  Eftychia Stamkou is a social and cultural psychologist. She earned her PhD from the University of Amsterdam, where she is currently an Assistant Professor. She has been a visiting scholar at Columbia Business School, Columbia University and visiting professor at Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Her primary research interests revolve around culture, social hierarchies, norm violations, and artistic impact. Eftychia is currently studying how art can be a catalyst for social change using novel methods like art experiments and computational models. Click here for more information.

Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens (PhD 2012) is an Assistant Professor at the psychology department of the University of Amsterdam. His research interests are in social and cultural psychology, within which he focuses on the psychology of belief systems and worldviews. Most of his research targets the psychology of science, and investigates topics such as vaccine skepticism, science denial, and the relation between science, ideology, and religion. Click here for more information.

Maria Zwicker, MSc., is doing her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Frenk van Harreveld and Dr. Cameron Brick. Her project concerns consumer attitudes and behavior towards climate change, in particular looking at bio-based plastics. She investigates what causes consumers to experience a sense of urgency to combat climate change and how their environment can be modified to make the translation of this sense of urgency into behavior most likely. Prior to her PhD, she completed a Research Master in Social Psychology at the VU Amsterdam and received her Bachelor degree (BSc Hons) in psychology from the University of Stirling, UK. Click here for more information.

Shiva Pauer, MSc, is a PhD researcher at the psychology department of the University of Amsterdam who focuses on the psychological determinants and barriers of attitudinal and behavioral change in the context of societal challenges. He is supervised by Prof. Dr. Frenk van Harreveld and Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens and funded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. Before, he investigated behavioral change as a research assistant at the University of Hamburg after completing a Research Master in Cognitive Science at the University of Vienna and the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Click here for more information.

Dr. Birga M. Schumpe is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. She earned her doctoral degree at the Helmut-Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany. Before joining UvA, she gained international experience working at New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE and Booth School of Business in Chicago, USA. Her main interests are persuasion and behavioural change.  Click here for more information.

Dr. Nils Jostmann is an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology specialized in human motivation. He studies how people can motivate themselves and others effectively in a healthy and sustainable way. Feedback is a key factor in my work. Questions that he address are: What makes feedback effective? How can people deal with feedback and criticism? What are the benefits and downsides of positive feedback? His work includes lab and field research, teaching at all academic levels, as well as consultancy, lectures and workshops. Click here for more information.

Dr. Giel Dik has a background in social cognition and did his PhD on the topic of goal contagion (i.e. unintentionally copying the social goal of another) at he University of Utrecht. He has worked for TNO (Prevention, Work, and Health) as an applied researcher, and as a lecturer in research methods and psychology at the Wageningen University and the Radboud University Nijmegen. Currently he does most of his teaching for the Social Influence MSc track, on topics of behavioral change and research methodology.  Click here for more information.

Roeland Voskens, MSc., develops and teaches bachelor and master courses in psychology at the UvA. His main interests are the fundamentals of(scientific) reasoning and decision making, applied (social) psychological processes in advertising and social influence,and the role of technology in human cognition and interaction. Click here for more information.

Dr. Natalia Zarzeczna is a research associate at the psychology department of the University of Amsterdam. She is interested in belief systems, stereotypes, and prejudice. Currently, she is working with Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens on a project to examine the role of psychological distance in science scepticism. She obtained her PhD at Cardiff University (UK) and subsequently worked as a research fellow at the University of Birmingham (UK) before joining the UvA. Click here for more information.

Dr. Cameron Brick is an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology. His core interest is how individuals react to collective problems such as climate change. Human flourishing depends on continuously reconciling short- vs. long-term motivations and individual vs. collective interests. He builds models predicting social and political behavior from cognitions, individual differences, and social context. He is also interested in communication effectiveness, both for supporting informed decisions (i.e., communicating harms and benefits) and for behavior change (persuasion). He is available for consultancy and external talks. Click here for more information.

Dr. Allard Feddes is an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam who conducts research on societally based issues including radicalisation and terrorism, populism, migration, integration, intergroup conflict and cooperation, prejudice and hate crime against minorities. He has wide experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods and impact evaluation of interventions. He holds an MA degree in Social and Organisational Psychology of the University of Groningen (2004) and a PhD degree in Social Psychology of the Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena (2007). He has also worked and studied at universities in Maynooth, Vancouver, Lisbon, and Milan. Click here for more information.

Former Members

Dr. Hannah Nohlen is a social psychologist and behaviour scientist. She was assistant professor in social psychology at the University of Amsterdam. In her research, she investigated the effect of evaluative conflict on choice processes and emotion and looked at determinants of attitude and behaviour change. She completed her MSc in Behaviour Science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, her PhD at the University of Amsterdam (2015), and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. She now works at the Competence Centre for Behavioural Insights at the European Commission. Click here for more information.