Aspo Newsletter May 2016
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Some time ago a journalist asked me to comment on the current situation in Heumensoord, a refugee camp that is located just 400 meters from my office in Nijmegen. With the ‘bed, bath, and bread’ (three b’s) policy in mind, I figured that my knowledge of social-psychological theory could contribute something valuable to the debate. So I told the journalist that basic human well-being requires more than the three b’s, such as a sense of autonomy, relatedness, and competence. And I told him that, based on this knowledge, relatively small adjustments in how the camp is organized may very well increase the refugees’ well-being. For example, increase the residents’ involvement in the daily preparation of supper.

The next morning I went to my local supermarket to buy some croissants for breakfast. At the counter I almost fainted when I saw the headline shouting from the newspaper’s frontpage: “Refugeecamp Heumensoord INHUMANE”, says Johan Karremans, socialpsychologist. Within a few hours a stream of messages had entered my e-mailbox, mostly encouragements and compliments about my contribution…(to be sure: I’m using irony here). Fortunately, I already had plans to spend the weekend in Antwerp with friends, and when I returned home a few days later my contribution seemed forgotten.

Social psychology is the science of everyday life, and we have solid knowledge about human behaviour and well-being that is desperately needed to inform public opinion and policy makers, perhaps particularly in a heated society.  Yet, as recognised at the last ASPO jaarvergadering, many of us seem hesitant to voice this knowledge (with some notable exceptions). Perhaps experiences like the one described above put many of us in a prevention focus when our opinion is asked for. Perhaps the ‘crisis’ in our field in the past few years has made some of us reluctant to speak up. Perhaps we underestimate how much we know more than the average opinion maker. I don’t know. But I do know that our contribution is valuable, and that it’s therefore time to get back into a promotion focus. To facilitate this, the ASPO steering committee’s plan is to organize an annual symposium on a timely and societally relevant topic, where social psychologists and practitioners in the field are invited to build bridges between science and practice. It's called: ASPO NU! Our opinion matters; if you support this initiative, don’t hesitate to contribute or attend!

The first meeting will be organized in November, and the first theme we have chosen is “the refugee crisis”. More information about the meeting can be found in this newsletter.

Johan Karremans, member ASPO steering committee 
In this newsletter

General Aspo news
Appointments, moves and retirements; recent promotions; grants; valorization; conferences and courses

New Yearly Aspo-event: ASPO NU!

Featured theme: Aspo members and "current societal issues"

General Aspo News
Appointments, moves, and retirements 

University of Amsterdam
Kai Jonas will leave the UvA per September 1st to start as UHD at the Maastricht University, section Applied Social Psychology, Dept. of Work and Social Psychology.

In November 2015 YongQi Cong started her PhD project titled “What causes differences in emotion communication across cultures,” which is funded by an NWO research talent grant. Her supervisors are Dr. Disa Sauter and Prof. Agneta Fischer.

VU Amsterdam
Niels Köbis will start from September onward a Post-Doc at the UvA under supervision of Dr. Shaul Shalvi.

Maastricht University
On April 8 2016 Gerjo Kok officially retired as professor of Applied Psychology with a valedictorian lecture on Social Psychology Applied: Politics, Theories and the Future. A copy of the lecture can be requested from Mrs. Mariella Muermans ( To give tribute to his enormous career and impact in the domains of public health and applied social psychology, a symposium was organized that gave evidence of the fact that Gerjo made sure that there is a next generation of researchers that will continue his work ( Although now emeritus professor, Gerjo will stay around and keep involved in the work of the section Applied Social Psychology in Maastricht.

Utrecht University
Loek Brinkman has started as a post-doc In January. Loek will be working with Ron Dotsch on the reverse correlation method, with a focus on the method’s application in schizophrenia in a project with Henk Aarts, Neeltje van Haren (UMCU), and Ron Dotsch.

Janina Steinmetz (formerly University of Cologne and Chicago Booth) started as assistant professor in Utrecht. Together with Madelijn Strick, she is setting up and teaching in the new minor "Social Sciences" at the Utrecht School of Economics.

University of Twente
Marco van Bommel started as an assistant professor at the Department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk, and Safety at the University of Twente, in October 2015. 

Marielle Stel started as an associate professor at the Department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk, and Safety at the University of Twente, in February 2016.

Stijn de Laat will start his PhD. Project ‘Time to care! Using sensor technology to dynamically model social interactions of health care professionals’ under the supervision of Maaike Endedijk, Elze Ufkes, Reinout de Vries, and Maurice van Keulen at the University of Twente, in June 2016.

Lisanne van den Berg will start her Ph.D. project on ‘Design and implementation of ICT-based communication systems in victim-offender mediation’ under the supervision of Sven Zebel, Ellen Giebels, Boudewijn Haverkort, and Marielle Stoelinga at the University of Twente, in June 2016.
Recent promotions

University of Tilburg
On January 20th 2016, Anna van 't Veer successfully defended her thesis "Effortless morality — cognitive and affective processes in deception and its detection​​" at Tilburg University. She was supervised by Marielle Stel and Ilja van Beest.

University of Twente
On February 19th 2016, Sabine Strofer successfully defended her thesis "Deceptive intent: Physiological reactions in different interpersonal contexts" at the University of Twente. She was supervised by Elze Ufkes, Mathijs Noordzij, and Ellen Giebels.

Utrecht University
On Friday April 8 Robert Renes successfully defended his thesis “On the Inference of Agency in Operant Action: An Examination of the Cognitive and Neural Underpinnings in Health and Schizophrenia”. He was supervised by Henk Aarts and René Kahn.

Radboud University Nijmegen
Barbara Oude Grote Beverborg - Müller obtained an EASP seedcorn grant of 2000 euro to finance two studies of her new research line, and to travel to Prof. Greifeneder (University of Basel) and Prof. Glock (University of Wuppertal).

University of Amsterdam
Kai Jonas has obtained a grant from the AIDS Fonds on "PrEP among MSM in the Netherlands: Attitudes, intentions, modes of acquisition and sexual risk taking" for a PhD student for 4 years.

Leiden University
Ilona de Hooge (WUR, Marketing and Consumer Behavior; Principal Investigator) and Marijke Leliveld (RUG, Marketing) received a research grant from Kennis Instituut Duurzaam Verpakken on "Creating the perfect and sustainable gift experience: Consumers’ (un-)packaging experience of online purchases" (192.800 Euro).

University of Twente
Sven Zebel and Elze Ufkes received a WODC grant "Evaluatie cursussen in het kader van herstelgerichte detentie”.

Peter de Vries, Ellen Giebels, Mirjam Galetzka, and Joris van Hoof received a WODC grant “Haalbaarheidsstudie beleidsexperiment lokale veiligheid: Hoe kunnen inzichten uit de gedragspsychologie worden gebruikt om experimenten te ontwikkelen die uitgaansgerelateerde overlast kunnen verminderen’.

Ellen Giebels and Paul Taylor received a follow-up grant for their project "Sensemaking and Error Recovery in Protracted Suspect Interactions: Developing an ‘Experiment Led’ Training Framework" from the High Value Detainee Group (HIG), FBI, U.S. department of Justice. 

University of Amsterdam
Gerben van Kleef published a new book on emotions with Cambridge University Press (May, 2016). The book is titled “The Interpersonal Dynamics of Emotion: Toward an Integrative Theory of Emotions as Social Information”.

Agneta Fischer edited a volume together with Ursula Hess: Emotional mimicry in Social Context (Cambrige University Press).

Tilburg University
On April 20th 2016, Tila Pronk gave a lecture for the ‘Universiteit van Nederland’, a virtual university that broadcasts lectures given by scientific experts. The topic of the lecture was love, and the lectures will be broadcasted in September. For more information, see

Utrecht University
Madelijn Strick gave interviews for Eigen Huis Magazine and Psychology Magazine about psychological pitfalls when buying a house
Conferences and courses

Tilburg University
The 15th TIBER Symposium on Psychology and Economics will be held on August 26, 2016 at Tilburg University. The goal of this series of symposia is to establish contact and discussion between Economists, Psychologists, Marketing researchers and others who work on Behavioral Decision Making. Keynotes are Dan Goldstein from Microsoft Research and Lise Vesterlund of the University of Pittsburgh. If you would like to contribute to TIBER by presenting your research, please submit an abstract of max. 250 words before June 1st through the website.
Summer school “Dealing with Cultural Diversity: Theory and Practice” (July 15-July 28 at Tilburg University). The course deals with this diversity from two perspectives. First, it gives an overview of the most influential models of cross-cultural differences and intercultural communication. Second, it adheres to “learning by doing” by using cross-cultural negotiation sessions during the course; students play an international negotiation game and get feedback on their performance. More information on the summer school as a whole can be found on this website: Interested students can contact course coordinator (
Two-day course in cross-cultural research in psychology and culture: “Cross-cultural Research Methods“ (October 8 and 9 2016).
The course combines a conceptual and a statistical approach and focus on two main themes conducted by three renowned scholars in their respective fields: Prof. Fons van de Vijver, PhD., Michael Bender, PhD, and Prof.  Michael Minkov, PhD.
A full course description, including readings can be acquired through the Hofstede centre; Tilburg University.
A new yearly Aspo-event: ASPO NU!
(The following text is in Dutch as the language during the event will also be Dutch. The reason is that we want to optimize the accessibility for practitioners)

ASPO organiseert een nieuw event: ASPO NU!

ASPO NU! = Een avond over een actueel maatschappelijk vraagstuk waar sociaal psychologen hun wetenschappelijke perspectief kunnen belichten. Het idee is om samen met andere academici, studenten, journalisten en professionals uit de praktijk een discussie te voeren over het thema. Het doel van de avond is om sociaal psychologische inzichten meer naar buiten te brengen en een brug te slaan tussen wetenschap en praktijk.

Dit jaar is er gekozen voor het thema: vluchtelingencrisis

Wanneer? donderdagavond 3 november

Wij zijn nog op zoek naar:

1. Sociaal psychologen die een bijdrage willen leveren aan het publieke debat over het vluchtelingen-vraagstuk. Misschien heb je onderzoek gedaan naar dit specifieke thema, of misschien kun je op basis van bredere theoretische en empirische kennis een bijdrage leveren. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan wetenschappelijke kennis over welbevinden en emoties, intergroepsrelaties, onderhandelingen, cultuurverschillen, acculturatie, sociale dilemmas, enzovoorts.

2. Enthousiaste (PhD) studenten die mee willen helpen deze avond te organiseren

Ideeën en bijdragen kunnen gestuurd worden naar Mocht je mee willen helpen met het organiseren van ASPO NU! kun je een mailtje sturen naar ditzelfde e-mailadres.

Organisatoren namens het ASPO bestuur zijn Johan Karremans, Radboud University Nijmegen, en Yvette van Osch, Tilburg University
Featured theme: Aspo members and "current societal issues"

University of Amsterdam
Bastiaan Rutjens gives a talk about the acceptance of scientific findings (such as climate change) at the next ISPP in July:
Furthermore, several news channels picked up his recent work on the reputation of scientists, see for example

VU Amsterdam
Nils Köbis (VU) and Christopher Starke (University of Münster) conducted research on the short-term effects of media use and European identity on Islamophobia in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo. In an online survey (n=219) conducted only days after the attack on the French satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo, they investigated whether media use in the aftermath of this attack a) increased anti-Muslim sentiments and b) whether this link was mediated by European Identity. They found statistical support for the former yet not the latter. Hence, consumption of media coverage in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo seemed to have increased anti-Muslim sentiments, possibly due to the hostile media content. The results provide novel insights into how media use corresponds with both in-group and out-group perceptions and will be presented at the annual meeting of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), the largest European conference for Communication Research.

University of Groningen
Nina Hansen is coordinating an international Summer School "Migration Matters" at the University of Groningen (July 3-8, 2016;
The summer school offers new and multidisciplinary insights in the complex phenomenon of migration as well as training in innovative methods to study migration. Several guest speakers from both academia and practice will share their knowledge and experience with the participants. 

Tilburg University
Niels van de Ven was part of the advisory board for the development of a Financial Awaraness Monitor (with Aegon), with the aim to develop a financial IQ measure to better understand the financial decision making of the Dutch population.