Social behaviour and serotonin:

Some unexpected findings

While an acute decrease in brain serotonin may have few effects on social behaviour, a longer-term increase in serotonin in individuals at risk for depression improves mood and alters social behaviour. This Thursday, February 4, 2016, Koen Hogenelst defends his dissertation, in which he explains the relevance of his research findings for the effectiveness of serotonergic medications for depression.

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Foreign news, nearby consequences: How media portrayals of distant situations affect local group relations

This Thursday, Thijs Bouman will defend his doctoral thesis in which he explains the influence of foreign news on how we perceive groups within our nearby surroundings. Generalizations from global to the local situations seem to specifically occur for negative news and rely on often trivial and unconscious associations between the foreign and nearby groups.

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How beer automatically attracts attention

and the relation with adolescent substance use

Did you ever find yourself drinking another beer when you actually had to stop at the previous one? Then you can imagine how this automatic behavior might be involved in the development of substance abuse and addiction. Illuminating this relationship is the very reason Madelon van Hemel-Ruiter started her PhD research.

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Are Exams Killing Learning?

Is the way we assess learning in higher education killing its very central aim: learning? It is, if Eric Mazur from Harvard University is to be believed and he makes a very convincing case in the talk he gave in Groningen a few weeks ago. Read on to see what students and staff from our department think about it.

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Duo-Interview: Perspectives on Social Coordination

People tend to coordinate their actions, feelings, and thoughts with others in social situations. But how does this work? We asked two experts of our department, Dr. Ralf Cox (Developmental Psychology) and Dr. Pontus Leander (Organizational Psychology), who examine this intriguing topic from two different perspectives.

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