Activism: A very personal project of change

How does an ordinary citizen become an activist? What is it that powers their transformation from a passive citizen into an active one? These questions sat at the heart of my PhD research, which explored the changes in identity that people go through as they become activists. Findings indicated that activism may change individuals in a fundamental way, similarly as religion.

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A true learning experience. Acting outside the classroom!

Last summer, students, refugees, academics, and practitioners from different nations and disciplines came together to explore the complexity of migration, the problems around it, and alternatives to current practices in policy and society at the RUG. The summer school ‘Migration Matters’ resulted in three concrete student initiatives to improve the lives of refugees.

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Too bad to be true? An antidote to PosPos (Positivist Philosophy of Science) and the Crises in Social Psychology

We all know that we test theories by subjecting them to experimental test, allowing us to potentially falsify hypotheses. But where do theories come from? A realist philosophy of science, and the method of retroduction, allows us to use empirical evidence, even from “failed” experiments, to generate as well as test theory.

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Working on the environment: How to motivate people who don’t really care.

Organizations increasingly aim to reduce their ecological footprint and to encourage pro-environmental behaviour at work. This Thursday, November 24, Angela Ruepert will defend her PhD-thesis showing that although strong environmental values predict pro-environmental behaviour, employees with weaker environmental values also act pro-environmentally when the work context makes them focus on the environment.

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There is life after retirement

Compulsory retirement prevented me from continuing my empirical research. At the same time, it provided me with the opportunity to study other issues that over the years aroused my curiosity, such as the relation between age and scientific productivity, the association between gun availability and homicide, and the validity of student evaluations in teaching. In this blog I briefly discuss a few of my post-retirement pursuits.

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How to cure an overdose of individualism in psychology: A relational perspective on what moves and motivates us

In many ways, psychology suffers from an overdose of individualism. This is problematic because this dominant view conceptualizes social relationships as external to the isolated individual. In his new book, Martijn van Zomeren develops an essentially relational theory of motivation, which assumes that, in essence, we are moved and motivated by others.

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Psychology starts 5 new international master’s tracks

In September 2016, the Department of Psychology starts five new international master’s tracks. These tracks link psychological knowledge to particular fields of application, to prepare students in the best possible way for the job market in their respective fields. All tracks seem promising, but how do you pick the track that is right for you?

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