Research

I am an associate professor at the section of social and organizational psychology of Leiden University and a member of the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC).

My work focuses on the role of affect in decision-making. Our feelings color our thoughts, but our thoughts also shape our feelings. I examine how these interactions play out in various domains, such as health, legal decision-making, and financial behaviour (and how these interrelate). Some of the questions that I study are how attention influences desire and pleasure, and how this affects (over)consumption and how (and when) our feelings shape moral and punitive judgments. A lot of the work that I do builds on the central premise that our mental capacity is limited, and that this has consequences for what we perceive, feel and think.

Human behaviour is complex, so it pays off to look at it from various angles. In my research I therefore strive to integrate a broad array of methodologies ranging from controlled lab experiments with neurophysiological measures such as EEG, fMRI and eye-tracking, to field studies with behavioral assessments and self-reports. This approach allows me to examine the interplay between emotion and cognition in ‘fundamental’ information processing mechanisms such as attention and (working) memory, but also how these interactions ultimately result in real judgments, decisions and actions. My integrative approach is also reflected in my ongoing collaborations with partners both inside academia (e.g. cognitive neuroscience, criminology, developmental psychology, health psychology) and outside (e.g. various financial and health institutions, the police). See also my funded projects in short bio and phd supervision.

With my (former) colleagues Félice van Nunspeet, Gert-Jan Lelieveld, and Lasana Harris, I have launched the LIBC-social hotspot, in which all LIBC researchers are involved who study brain-behavior relations in a social context. See:

logo-1112574352