PhD supervision 

Minou van der Werf studies real-life financial decision-making (e.g. saving, budgeting) and how this is affected by financial stress (i.e. due to having debts or a low income). Minou’s research is supported by various institutions, such as the Delta Lloyd Foundation, and the Dutch Banking Association (NvB), and is embedded in her work for the NIBUD, the Dutch Institute for Family Finance Information.  Together with Minou and prof. Wilco van Dijk, I am also involved in several projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, for example on facilitating ‘wise’ student loans, and a longitudinal study of financial behavior among intermediate vocational education students.

Hilmar Zech is interested in approach and avoidance behaviour, the most basic motivational tendencies that all species share. Hilmar studies this behaviour mostly in the domain of health and food but also in social contexts. He is developing a mobile approach/avoidance app which allows us to study people’s momentary motivations in daily environments. For his research Hilmar already won the best thesis award of the Leiden Psychology Institute and the best poster award of the Association for Researchers in Psychology and Health 2017 conference.

I am also involved in the phd project of Zef Faassen, at the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology of Leiden University. Zef has familiarised himself with empirical research methods and statistical analyses to study how emotions affect legal professionals’ decisions to criminalise behaviour.

Post-doc Researchers

Floor van Meer is interested in food (over)consumption. During her PhD (Utrecht University) she examined the neuropsychological determinants of food choice in normal and overweight children and adults. Her current research, funded by an ORA grant, involves behavioural neuroimaging studies that examine the neuropsychological mechanisms of hedonic compensation – why we consume more of especially rewarding substances when we are distracted, focusing specifically on the potential roles of taste perception and working memory processes .

Junior Researchers

Marsida Hysaj and Simone Kruit are both involved in our collaborative project funded by the Police on the use of visualisations during interrogations. Luuk Snijders is involved in my research on associative learning of taste (with Marieke Jepma) and our collaborative project on hedonic compensation funded under the Open Research Area scheme.


Rowena Blokker – PhD candidate at the VU University Amsterdam
Frank Doolaard – PhD candidate at Leiden University
Milly Lang – PhD candidate at King’s College London
Inga Roesler – PhD candidate at Utrecht University
Lukas Snoek – PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam
Reine van der Wal – assistant professor at Utrecht University