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IPN2027 / PSY2027, the Research Practical

Thanks for visiting the course page of the Research Practical (IPN2027/PSY2027) 2022-2023. This is where you will be able to find lots of  course-related information in the coming weeks and months. 

Dates & deadlines IPN2027 / PSY2027 2022-2023

Thu. 9 March 2023
16:25 hrs

Descriptions available.
Application form (10 preferences) available


Thu. 16 March 2023
23:59 hrs

Deadline to submit your preferences
Tue. 21 March 2023

Preliminary allocation available
List as Excel    List as PDF v001 of 21-03-2023 


Tue. 22 March 2023 11:30 until Fri. 24 March 2023
11:00 hrs

Possibility to switch groups with a fellow student.
Switching list , version 1 0f 22-03-2023

Both (!)  students email psy2027-fpn@maastrichtuniversity.nl.
Mandatory title of the mail:
        switching [your studentnr] [the other student nr]

Write in the mail:
• Your studentnr and name, your currently assigned group,
• Other studentnr and name, his.her currently assigned group
• The text that both agree to switching

Note: the tutorial group for Statistics will also change after publication of the timetable, as these are connected.

Fri. 24 March 2023Final allocation to project groups


Conditional course booking possible

This course has two entry requirements: a pass for Statistics I and a pass for Methods and Techniques. Another course in this period, Statistics II, also has Statistics I as an entry requirement.

Given the current circumstances, the Board of Examiners (BoE) decided to allowed conditional course bookings: while waiting for the outcome of the resit for Statistics I, you can already take part in Statistics II and/or Research Practical this academic year.  Students that might benefit from this arrangement have been contacted by email.


The Dutch and English programmes will be mixed and all groups and assignments will be in English.


You can contact the coordinators via PSY2027-FPN@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Project Descriptions

[ 01 ] [ 02 ] [ 03 ] [ 04 ] [ 05 ] [ 06 ] [ 07 ] [ 08 ] [ 09 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ]
[ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ] [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [ 21 ] [ 22 ] [ 23 ] [ 24 ] [ 25 ] [ 26 ] [ 27 ] [ 28 ] [ 29 ] [ 30 ]
[ 31 ] [ 32 ] [ 33 ] [ 34 ] [ 35 ] [ 36 ] [ 37 ] [ 38 ] [ 39 ] [ 40 ] [ 41 ] [ 42 ] [ 43 ] [ 44 ] [ 45 ] [ 46 ] [ 47 ]  




Group 1 - Context and memory

Tutor: Arjan Blokland

Memory is closely connected to context. The type of context can have a great effect on how good your memory is. An emotional context can lead to a better memory then a neutral context. The famous Baddeley experiment with the divers is a great example (https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1978-22375-001). However, this effect could not be replicated in a recent study (https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rsos.200724). Is context important for memory? That's what we can find out.



Group 2 - Why do students do this unhealthy behavior?

Tutor: Louk Peters

Social-psychological research can be used to inform educational interventions that intend to modify people’s behavior, e.g. to promote a certain healthy behavior. After all, such interventions need to be based on insight into the behavior itself and into why people do or do not perform it. In this practical you will conduct research among your fellow students to identify which underlying factors of a (self-chosen but tutor-approved) health behavior are most important in explaining why students act in a healthy or unhealthy way.

  • Kok , G., Schaalma , H., De Vries , H., Parcel, G., & Paulussen, T. (1996) Social psychology and health education. European Review of Social Psychology, 7(1), 241-282. https://doi.org/10.1080/14792779643000038
  • McEachan, R., Taylor, N., Harrison, R., Lawton, R., Gardner, P., & Conner, M. (2016). Meta-analysis of the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to understanding health behaviors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 50(4), 592-612. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-016-9798-4
  • Varol, T., Schneider, F., Mesters, I., Ruiter, R. A., Kok, G., & ten Hoor, G. (2021). Facilitating informed decision making: Determinants of university students’ COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Vaccines, 10, 704. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10050704



Group 3 - Why do students do this unsustainable behavior?

Tutor: Louk Peters

Description: Social-psychological research can be used to inform educational interventions that intend to modify people’s behavior, e.g. to promote a certain sustainable behavior. After all, such interventions need to be based on insight into the behavior itself and into why people do or do not perform it. In this practical you will conduct research among your fellow students to identify which underlying factors of a (self-chosen but tutor-approved) sustainability behavior are most important in explaining why students do or do not perform this behavior.




Group 4 - Itsy bitsy spider...

Tutor: Pauline Dibbets

You need to escape this virtual room, but a hidden spider prevents your from exploring all options. Can we help you to overcome your fear and solve the room?




Group 5 - Social Psychology: Love, Dating & Mating

Tutor: Fleurie Nievelstein

The phrase “I'm in love” is very telling. It refers to the initial period of a romantic relationship when it is possible to love and appreciate everything about the other person, whereas, after a while, feelings might change. What does love mean in a relationship and what determines whom we fall in love with? What are different types of relationships? What is the influence of dating sites and apps like Tinder on how love is perceived? This study focuses on getting insight in today’s perspective on love and relationships…

  • Fincham, F. D., & May, R. W. (2017). Infidelity in romantic relationships. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 70-74.
  • Sumter, S. R., Vandenbosch, L., & Ligtenberg, L. (2017). Love me Tinder: Untangling emerging adults’ motivations for using the dating application Tinder. Telematics and Informatics, 34, 67-78.
  • Hidden brain pod-cast: Dating and Mating / When Did Marriage Become So Hard? The Lonely American Man



Group 6 - Tragedy of the commons - Do we go extinct?

Tutor: Svea Meier

In his famous essay Hardin stated that common resources will always be exploited by self-interested individuals. A common resource is a resource everyone depends on but some might profit more from it by exploiting it. The depletion of natural resources is one example of a common resource problem. Our fisheries are being exploited and the rivers, sea and air are being polluted. Does this mean our species will go extinct or do we find a solution to the most pressing problems of our time? Is the tension between public and private benefit too extreme? Ostrom challenged Hardin´s approach and showed examples of cooperation that found solutions to the problem of the commons. Additionally, evolution has shown that the most adapted of a species will survive. Can we identify parameters that will influence the cooperative behavior of humans? With the public goods game it is possible to study mutual cooperation of participants. In this practical we will create a study that investigates cooperative decision making in the broader context of an evolutionary psychological framework.

  • Bereczkei, T. (2000). Evolutionary psychology: a new perspective in the behavioral sciences. European Psychologist, 5(3), 175–190. https://doi.org/10.1027//1016-9040.5.3.175
  • Buunk, A. P., & Massar, K. (2012). Intrasexual competition among males: competitive towards men, prosocial towards women. Personality and Individual Differences, 52(7), 818–821.
  • Gong, X., Sanfey, A. G., & Xia, C.-Y. (2017). Social rank and social cooperation: impact of social comparison processes on cooperative decision-making. Plos One, 12(4), 0175472. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175472 Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. the population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality. Science (New York, N.y.), 162(3859), 1243–8.
  • Ostrom, E., & National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change. (2002). The drama of the commons. National Academy Press. Retrieved February 16, 2022, from INSERT-MISSING-URL. Rankin, D. J., Bargum, K., & Kokko, H. (2007). The tragedy of the commons in evolutionary biology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 22(12), 643–51



Group 7 - Beliefs and perceptions of in-group favoritism and how they affect our behaviors.

Tutor: Yikang Zhang

Group is one of the fundamental aspects of human life, drawing the line between “us” and “them”. Decades of research in social psychology and behavioural decision-making has shown that compared with outgroups, people give more positive appraisals to their ingroups (Madi, 2002), allocate more resources to ingroup members (Tajfel et al., 1971), and are more cooperative to ingroup members when material interests are at stake (for a meta-analysis, see Balliet et al., 2014). This tendency to give favorable treatment to individuals who share group identity with us is called ingroup favoritism. Of all the aspects people show ingroup favoritism, ingroup favoritism in cooperation is such a prevalent and substantial phenomenon which makes examining it is not only essential to fully understand human nature but also of practical importance in solving intergroup conflicts across levels of social organizations.
The current project will be a replication & extension of my Master thesis where I examined how normative beliefs of ingroup favoritism shape people’s behavior toward in/outgroups.



Group 8 - Neuropsychology: How common are sensory integration difficulties in the student population?

Tutor: Andrea Smitten

How common are sensory integration problems?
What happens if the signals coming from our senses are too weak? Or too strong? Or if our brain over or under reacts to the signals? Or if the brain can’t make sense of those signals? The individual will experience sensory integration difficulties and this may be evident in their behaviour. Some individuals may experience the sensory inputs as overwhelming and upsetting, leading to ‘sensory overload’. Individuals may be over sensitive to sensory input, under sensitive, or both. Because sensory integration difficulties can co-occur with other diagnoses (including autism, ADHD, OCD, genetic syndromes and learning disabilities), as well as with no other diagnosis at all, it’s difficult to put an exact figure on the prevalence. In this practical you will design a study to investigate the sensory processing of your fellow students.

  • Ben-Sasson A, Carter AS, Briggs-Gowan MJ. Sensory over-responsivity in elementary school: prevalence and social-emotional correlates. J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2009 Jul;37(5):705-16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-008-9295-8. PMID: 19153827; PMCID: PMC5972374.
  • Green D, Chandler S, Charman T, Simonoff E, Baird G. Brief Report: DSM-5 Sensory Behaviours in Children With and Without an Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2016 Nov;46(11):3597-3606. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-016-2881-7. PMID: 27475418.
  • Gemma Pastor-Cerezuela, Maria-Inmaculada Fernández-Andrés, Pilar Sanz-Cervera, Diana Marín-Suelves, The impact of sensory processing on executive and cognitive functions in children with autism spectrum disorder in the school context, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Volume 96, 2020, 103540, ISSN 0891-4222, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2019.103540



Group 9 - What’s in a name? – The effect of contextual information on decision-making

Tutor: Lotte Slootmaekers

In January 2016 Brock Turner, a varsity swimmer at Stanford University, was sentenced to only six months in county jail after sexually assaulting a 22-year-old unconscious woman. During his trial, Turner was described as a star athlete and an Olympic hopeful for the U.S. swimming team and media outlets described him as having a “baby-face”. It seems clear that the university someone attends or the speed at which they swim 200 metres does not change the crime they committed, but could it affect the decisions made by the judge or jury? For this practical, we will create a study that looks at the effect of contextual information on decision-making.

  • Dror, I. E., Charlton, D., & Peron, A. E. (2006). Contextual information renders experts vulnerable to making erroneous identifications. Forensic Science International, 156, 74-78.
  • Kamorowski, J., Ask, K., Schreuder, M., Jelícic, M., & De Ruiter, C. (2022). ‘He seems odd’: the effects of risk-irrelevant information and actuarial risk estimates on mock jurors’ perceptions of sexual recidivism risk. Psychology, Crime & Law, 28(4), 342-371.
  • Page, M., Taylor, J., & Blenkin, M. (2012). Context effects and observer bias—implications for forensic odontology. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57(1), 108-112. DOI: 1 0.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01903.x
  • Spino, J., & Cummins, D. D. (2014). The ticking time bomb: When the use of torture is and is not endorsed. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 5, 543-563.


Group 10 - Learning a language from scratch: Mapping sounds to letters

Tutor: Yuewei Cao and Francesco Gentile

One of the main mechanisms involved in learning to read is to bind a visual symbol to a specific sound. In this context, the specific (visual and auditory) features of those two components play a special role. In this study, the process of learning the letter-speech sound correspondences of pre-readers will be investigated. In particular, learning a new language will be simulated by training the association between artificial symbols and syllable pairs. The resulting learning curve could reveal crucial differences and commonalities of typical and dyslexic readers during the initial phase of reading. 

  • Jones, M. W., Kuipers, J. R., Nugent, S., Miley, A., & Oppenheim, G. (2018). Episodic traces and statistical regularities: Paired associate learning in typical and dyslexic readers. Cognition, 177, 214-225.
  • Karipidis, I.I., Pleisch, G., Röthlisberger, M., Hofstetter, C., Dornbierer, D., Stämpfli, P., Brem, S., 2017. Neural initialization of audiovisual integration in prereaders at varying risk for developmental dyslexia. Hum. Brain Mapp. 38, 1038–1055.
  • Karipidis, I.I., Pleisch, G., Brandeis, D., Roth, A., Röthlisberger, M., Schneebeli, M., et al., 2018. Simulating reading acquisition: the link between reading outcome and multimodal brain signatures of letter–speech sound learning in prereaders. Sci. Rep. 8, 7121.
  • Litt, R. A., & Nation, K. (2014). The nature and specificity of paired associate learning deficits in children with dyslexia. Journal of Memory and Language, 71(1), 71-88.


Group 11 - Goal Rigidity & Flexibility: ""Low mood and the art of giving up"

Tutor: Andreas Bär

We are often being told to never give up in order to reach our goals in life - no matter the cost. This is a classic message conveyed in movies, work environments and love. However, giving up on unrealistic goals and being flexible in adjusting them may have great benefits for your mood and mental health. A positive mood can, in turn, lead to increased activity and productivity regarding newly formulated goals. Likewise, low mood may result from being too rigid concerning ones goals or even not being able to give them up. This is especially relevant in clinical disorders such as depression, which is characterised by low mood, loss of motivation and the absence of positive emotions.
In the present project, we will create a study to investigate the relationships between mood and rigidity/flexibility concerning current personally relevant goals.

  • Hanssen, M. M., Vancleef, L. M. G., Vlaeyen, J. W. S., Hayes, A. F., Schouten, E. G. W., & Peters, M. L. (2015). Optimism, motivational coping and well-being: Evidence supporting the importance of flexible goal adjustment. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16, 1525-1537.
  • Nesse, R. M. (2019). Low mood and the art of giving up. In Good reasons for bad feelings: Insights from the frontier of evolutionary psychiatry (pp. 84-111). Penguin.



Group 12 - Shake, rattle and roll: Examining the cognitive processes involved in action segmentation

Tutor: Matt Hilton

In order to learn how to perform a given action sequence (e.g., tying your shoelaces), we usually break the sequence down into individual steps (e.g., grasp the first lace, then grasp the other lace with the other hand, then loop the first over the second… etc.). So, action sequences with individual steps that are easier to identify should also be easier to learn. This project will look at the cognitive processes involved in identifying the steps of an action sequence. To do this, we will design a computer-based experiment to be run with adult participants.




Group 13 - Remember that tune: Song learning, temporal prediction and episodic memory

Tutor: Vincent van de Ven

We form episodic memories of our experiences to predict future outcomes and to interact and communicate with others. Our experiences are often temporally structured, such as watching a movie, having a conversation or listening to a song. Memory schema theory and event segmentation theories suggest that we mentally cluster experiences into event models, based on perceived contextual changes. Our memory system then converts those perceptual event models to conceptual gists that we use for understanding, prediction and communication. In this project, we will investigate how people mentally segment a song in memory, and how this process in turn affects cognition, such as temporal prediction, song conceptualization or communication. The study will be conducted online using Pavlovia.




Group 14 - Fear and avoidance behaviors

Tutor: Skye King

After an injury (e.g., breaking a bone, having a concussion, rupturing an ear drum etc.) people often need to 'take it easy' and avoid doing certain tasks that may worsen their injury or recovery. Friends and family may show their support by taking on tasks for the injured person to assist them (i.e., grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, driving etc.). After the person has recovered, they may still show fear and avoid the activities that they needed to during their recovery. They may experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and hypersensitivity to light, when they start to do the previously avoided behaviors (e.g., when they go grocery shopping for the first time after recovery they may become overwhelmed and stressed). For some people these symptoms fade and they return to their lives as it was before. For others, they have persistent symptoms that can limit their participation in normal activities and negatively affect their mental health. Let's find out more about this experience.

  • Rickards, T. A., Cranston, C. C., & McWhorter, J. (2020). Persistent post-concussive symptoms: A model of predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2020.1748032
  • Whittaker, R., Kemp, S., & House, A. (2007). Illness perceptions and outcome in mild head injury: a longitudinal study. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 78(6), 644-646. https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp.2006.101105
  • Wijenberg, M. L. M., Stapert, S. Z., Verbunt, J. A., Ponsford, J. L., & Van Heugten, C. M. (2017). Does the fear avoidance model explain persistent symptoms after traumatic brain injury? Brain Injury, 31(12), 1597-1604. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2017.1366551



Group 15 - Food for thought: Are picky eaters less flexible in their cognition?

Tutor: Anouk van den Brand

We all know someone who is picky in their eating – someone who does not eat vegetables, does not want their foods to be mixed, or never wants to try new foods. How can we explain this behavior? Picky eating is common in autism spectrum disorder – a disorder characterized by repetitive/restrictive behaviours (cognitive rigidity). Could cognitive flexibility/rigidity also play a role in picky eating behavior in non-clinical populations? Find out in this practical!

  • Foinant, D., Lafraire, J., & Thibaut, J. P. (2022). Relationships between executive functions and food rejection dispositions in young children. Appetite, 176, 106102.
  • Zickgraf, H. F., Richard, E., Zucker, N. L., & Wallace, G. L. (2022). Rigidity and sensory sensitivity: Independent contributions to selective eating in children, adolescents, and young adults. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 51(5), 675-687.
  • Dajani, D. R., & Uddin, L. Q. (2015). Demystifying cognitive flexibility: Implications for clinical and developmental neuroscience. Trends in neurosciences, 38(9), 571-578.



Group 16 - Improve your grades and reduce study time: Use Cornell notes and retrieval practice!

Tutor: Sandra Wetzels

When studying, do you also highlight important text sections, summarize the text, or restudy it? And how does this work for you? Are your grades as high as you would like? Although these study techniques are extensively used, research has shown that they are not necessarily the most effective. A special type of note taking, Cornell notes, combined with retrieval practice in which you test your knowledge and understanding, might be more beneficial for long-term retention and self-regulated learning. But how can Cornell notes and retrieval practice be optimally implemented in your studying? Find out during the Research Practical!

  • Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14, 4-58.
  • Friedman, M. C. (2014). Notes on note-taking: review of research and insights for students and instructors. Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, Harvard University.
  • Reijners, P. B. G. (2016). Retrieval as a cognitive and metacognitive study technique to learn from expository text [Doctoral dissertation, Open University of the Netherlands]. Datawyse.
  • Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). Test-enhanced learning: taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological Science, 17(3), 249-255.



Group 17 - Embracing diversity: How can we increase awareness and acceptance in education?

Tutor: Sandra Wetzels

Diversity is a fact of life. We differ in many characteristics, such as cultural background, skin colour, mental health, sexual orientation, and gender identification. Unfortunately, diversity might result in miscommunication, for example, when one does not understand the other’s perspective. This is potentially detrimental in PBL, hampering collaboration and interfering with the well-being of the individual who does not feel accepted and understood. What are your peers’ experiences with diversity? And how can we make optimal use of diversity in education, fostering collaboration and inclusion? Find out during the Research Practical!

  • De Leersnyder, J., Gündemir, S., & Agirdag, O. (2022). Diversity approaches matter in international class rooms: how a multicultural approach buffers against cultural misunderstandings and encourages inclusion and psychological safety. Studies in Higher Education, 47, 1903-1920.
  • Orosz, G., Bánki, E., Böthe, B., Tóth-Király, I., & Tropp, L. R. (2016). Don’t judge a living book by its cover: effectiveness of the living library intervention in reducing prejudice toward Roma and LGBT people. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46(9), 510-517.
  • Smith, D. G. (2020). Diversity’s promise for higher education. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Whittaker, J. A., & Montgomery, B. L. (2012). Cultivating diversity and competency in STEM: Challenges and remedies for removing virtual barriers to constructing diverse higher education communities of success. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 11(1), A44-A51.



Group 18 - Improved comprehension reading from print: strategies to enhance learning in a digital age

Tutor: Andrea Smitten

Reading is reading, right? Not exactly. Many studies have shown that when people read on-screen, they don’t understand what they’ve read as well as when they read in print. Even worse, many don’t realize they’re not getting it. Why would we expect electronic screens or the particular reading medium to affect how learners process text? To answer this question, we turn to Vygotsky’s proposal that cognitive development is mediated by the semiotic mechanisms or psychological tools provided by the culture such as language, counting systems, algebra, and writing (Vygotsky, 1978). Like other cultural tools that have had cognitive impacts, screens may similarly be changing the way people read, and thus it is important to examine whether they impact the efficiency and effectiveness of reading and processing text. The aim of this study would be to investigate fellow students with reading tasks using both mediums.

  • N. Baron. Medium matters for reading: What we know about learning with print and digital screens. A report for K-12 Educators. April 29, 2021.
  • N. Baron. How We Read Now: Strategic choices for print, screen, and audio. Oxford University Press, March 24, 2021, 304 pp.
  • Pablo Delgado et al. Don’t throw away your printed books: A Meta-analysis on the effects of reading media on reading comprehension. Educational Research Review. Vol. 25, November 2018, p. 23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2018.09.003.
  • L.M. Singer and P. Alexander. Reading on paper and digitally: What the past decades of empirical research reveal. Review of Educational Research, Vol 20, July 21, 2017. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654317722961.



Group 19 - Cheating on an exam? Me?

Tutor: Ewout Meijer

Soon after the covid-19 pandemic forced universities to move to digital exams, the School of Business and Economics of Maastricht University invalidated all 1200 exams of a single course. The reason? Students had been exchanging answers in chat groups. Research, however, also shows that people can be surprisingly honest. They, for example, return a lost wallet, especially when it contains a larger amount of money. Using techniques from social psychology, this research will look at how honest students are when it comes to (online) examination. How often do they cheat, and how?

  • Mazar, N., Amir, O., & Ariely, D. (2008). The Dishonesty of Honest People: A Theory of Self-Concept Maintenance. Journal of Marketing Research, 45(6), 633–644.
  • Hoffmann A, Diedenhofen B, Verschuere B, Musch J. A strong validation of the crosswise model using experimentally-induced cheating behavior. Exp Psychol. 2015;62(6):403–14.



Group 20 - Drugs and society

Tutor: Maitane Prinz

Psychoactive substances are a highly polemic and yet fascinating topic and in this research practical I want to give you the opportunity to explore the complex relationship between substances and society. Some drugs are normalized and accepted in society and their consumption takes place as part of tradition, while other substances are classified as dangerous and their consumption is frowned upon. As conducting experimental studies with drugs is difficult, this research practical invites you to work with questionnaires and focus on the societal stand of drugs: What drugs have a bad reputation and why? Are there cultural differences? Do different genders consume different drugs for different reasons? Are there any merits to the claim of self-medication? The possibilities are endless! I hope this short description inspires some of you to join this group and come up with your own ideas and designs to explore the complex relationship between society and psychoactive substances.

  • Overview of substances (classification, slang names, etc.): https://www.drugscience.org.uk/drug-information/#1551446554018-2fda9c68-c796
  • Nutt, D. J. (2020). Drugs without the hot air : making sense of legal and illegal drugs (Second edition, revised & updated). UIT Cambridge. (All chapters are great but I recommend chapter 4 as an introduction to what are drugs and why do people take them)
  • Edland-Gryt, M., Sandberg, S., & Pedersen, W. (2017). From ecstasy to mdma: recreational drug use, symbolic boundaries, and drug trends. International Journal of Drug Policy, 50, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.07.030
  • Greenfield, S. F., Back, S. E., Lawson, K., & Brady, K. T. (2010). Substance abuse in women. Psychiatric Clinics, 33(2), 339-355. (Cis-women and substance abuse as an introduction to gender differences)



Group 21 - Memento Mori: Death and Body Image

Tutor: Kai Karos

Body image comprises an individual's thoughts and feelings about their own body, and has been shown to impact one's overall health and well-being. A recent study has shown that one dark - yet powerful - technique to improve body image is by having individuals reflect on their own mortality (Alleva et al., 2020). Can thinking about your own death really make you more appreciative of your own body? Does it put things into perspective and make appearance concerns less relevant? In a potential study we could use a meditation on mortality to test the effects on how we think about our own body.




Group 22 - Dare to taste?! The role of disgust, risk-taking and choice on food acceptance

Tutor: Rosalie Mourmans

There is always a person who claims to eat everything, while others stick to more or less the same diet all their lives.
Picky eating refers to the rejection of foods that are both novel or familiar, resulting in a diet that is low in variety.
Recently it has been emphasized that picky eating continues into adulthood and is viewed as a lifespan issue. How can this behavior be explained and what influences the acceptance of certain foods? Does risk-taking/ reward sensitivity play a part in this? Sensitivity to disgust? And how about having a choice or not?



Group 23 - Not so proficient speaker, better judge?

Tutor: Maartje Schreuder

Logical reasoning and emotions do not go together very well. An interesting study by Costa et al. (2014) shows that solving moral reasoning tasks in a language that is not your own improves the reasoning, by taking away the emotions. Could that also be the solution for preventing forensic experts from being biased? Should they analyse case files in a language they are just a little proficient in?




[ng]Group 24 - A mindful student = a happy student?
Tutor: Alicia Walkowiak

Many studies in the field of work & organizational psychology have shown beneficial effects of mindfulness on stress, mood and fatigue among other things. We know from the literature that a short mindfulness intervention can decrease levels of fatigue of employees and can lead to better psychological detachment from work. In this research project, we will set up a short mindfulness intervention to see if mindfulness can also help students to better deal with stress and we will study related mechanisms, for example the role of mood.




Group 25 - Do we over- or underestimate the burden of living with HIV?
Exploring HIV stigma among other groups than men who have sex with men

Tutor: Hanne Zimmermann

In many parts of the world, HIV infection is currently seen as a manageable, chronic condition rather than a fatal disease. However, the personally experienced burden of a chronic illness goes further than the clinical manifestation of a disease. It incorporates stigma, social discourse, and changes in interpersonal interactions and intimate relationships, and it has an impact on various other aspects of daily life. In a previous research project, we investigated whether men who have sex with men (MSM) have realistic views of the current implications of living with HIV. For this current research project, you will investigate whether other groups than MSM (such as young people, women) have realistic views. To do so, you will conduct an online survey among these groups and compare their data to an existing dataset to of the views of individuals living with HIV: Is the burden of living with HIV overestimated?




Group 26 - Do GPs over- or underestimate the burden of living with HIV? The role HIV stigma in testing for HIV and offering PrEP among GPs

Tutor: Hanne Zimmermann

About 8% of individuals living with HIV in the Netherlands are unaware of it and can contribute to onwards transmission. GPs can play a major role in ending the HIV epidemic, but are often hesitant to discuss sexuality or LGTBTQI+ topics and to test for HIV or offer PrEP (an HIV prevention pill that has been proven to be effective). In this project, we will explore the role of HIV stigma in testing for HIV and offering PrEP among GPs. To do so, you will conduct an online survey among these GPs and compare their data to an existing dataset to of the views of individuals living with HIV: Is the burden of living with HIV over- or underestimated and how this associated with testing for HIV and offering PrEP in their practice?

  • Zimmermann HML, van Bilsen WPH, Boyd A, Matser A, van Harreveld F, Davidovich U. The Burden of Living With HIV is Mostly Overestimated by HIV-Negative and Never-Tested Men Who Have Sex With Men. AIDS and Behavior. 2021. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10461-021-03281-1
  • Van Bilsen WPH, Zimmermann HML, Boyd A, Davidovich U. Burden of living with HIV among men who have sex with men: a mixed-methods study. Lancet HIV. 2020;7(12):e835–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(20)30197-1.
  • Van Bilsen WPH, Zimmermann HML, Boyd A, van Harreveld F, Davidovich U. Factors Associated with Never Testing for HIV: Directions for Targeted Testing Interventions Among Men Who Have Sex with Men. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1089/apc.2021.0024



Group 27 - Navigating sexual health - the knowing and the doing

Tutor: Lizette Krist

Why do some people get checked for STIs every three months, while others don't? What makes someone decide to use a condom? Many interventions that address sexual health aim to increase knowledge about STIs, but is knowledge enough? This is your chance to formulate a theory, come up with the best way to test it, and see if you can find out if you were right.

  • Licata F, Angelillo S, Nobile CGA, Di Gennaro G, Bianco A. Understanding Individual Barriers to HIV Testing Among Undergraduate University Students: Results From a Cross-Sectional Study in Italy. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 Apr 19;9:882125. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2022.882125. PMID: 35514754; PMCID: PMC9063657. Montanaro EA,
  • Bryan AD. Comparing theory-based condom interventions: health belief model versus theory of planned behavior. Health Psychol. 2014 Oct;33(10):1251-60. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033969. Epub 2013 Aug 26. PMID: 23977877.
  • Chinbunchorn T, Thaneerat N, Howell S, Sowaprux T, Phiphatkunarnon P, Lujintanon S, Kaewpoowat Q, Phanuphak P,
  • Phanuphak N, Ramautarsing RA. Assessment of U=U understanding, PrEP awareness, HIV risk behaviours and factors associated with low HIV knowledge among users of Hornet, an online dating application for LGBTQ, in Thailand. Sex Transm Infect. 2023 Feb;99(1):21-29. https://doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2021-055300. Epub 2022 Mar 8. PMID: 35260436.



Group 28 - What does it mean to be a positive or a negative learner?

Tutor: Laurens Kemp

Individual differences in learning and conditioning are commonly studied in the context of a negative focus, namely related to fear and anxiety, and a positive focus, namely related to consumption and addiction. However, there are very few studies that investigate both the positive and negative aspects of conditioning, and this could give us more information than focusing on either in isolation. How individuals learn positive and negative information is linked to their personality traits, and could have implications on how they perceive and react to events in daily life. What other effects would you expect to be linked to this measure? How would you investigate the downstream effects of being a positive or a negative learner?

  • Beckers, T., Krypotos, A. M., Boddez, Y., Effting, M., & Kindt, M. (2013). What's wrong with fear conditioning?. Biological psychology, 92(1), 90-96.
  • Shook, N. J., & Fazio, R. H. (2009). Political ideology, exploration of novel stimuli, and attitude formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(4), 995-998.
  • van den Akker, K., Schyns, G., & Jansen, A. (2017). Altered appetitive conditioning in overweight and obese women. Behaviour research and therapy, 99, 78-88.
  • Laufer, O., & Paz, R. (2012). Monetary loss alters perceptual thresholds and compromises future decisions via amygdala and prefrontal networks. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(18), 6304-6311.



Group 29 - Attacking the Meat-Masculinity Link

Tutor: Chris Zelihsen

An average vegetarian diet is healthier for humans and better for the environment than an average meat-based diet. Yet, a meat-based diet remains popular which is partly explained by the meat-masculinity link. The meat-masculinity link, shaped through evolution, persisted over time through models of social conformity, self-identity, precarious manhood and culture. Men do not eat meat due to a lack of information on how bad it is; they know. Governments or companies who wish to steer men into the vegetarian direction ought to try a different strategy than merely informational campaigns. How can we use framing strategies to take masculinity out of the equation? Can we decrease men’s intention to eat meat, for example by creating a masculinity-vegetarian link?

  • Nath, J. (2011). Gendered fare? A qualitative investigation of alternative food and masculinities.
  • Rosenfeld, D. L. (2020). Gender, Meat Consumption, and Openness to Vegetarianism.
  • Rothberger, H. (2013). Real men don't eat (vegetable) quiche: Masculinity and the justification of meat consumption.



Group 30 - Consumer Psychology: can time pressure influence loss aversion?

Tutor: Chris Zelihsen

Hmmmmm. Shall I sign up for this Research Practical group, or do I like that other topic more? Chances are that the more you consider your options, the less happy you will end up with your choice. Post-choice discomfort is not uncommon for consumers. When you consider buying something you can get attached such that it feels like a loss when you end up not buying the item. Do you think this influences customer satisfaction? And how can companies address it? What role does time pressure play on loss aversion in a post-decision context? Better sign up for this group quickly, eh?

  • Dhar, Nowlis, and Sherman (2000), "Trying hard or Hardly trying: an analysis of context effects in choice".
  • Carmon, Wertenbroch, and Zeelenberg (2003), "Option attachment: When deliberating makes choosing feel like loosing".
  • Daniel Kahneman (2011), "Thinking fast and Slow".



Group 31 - Psychology and religion, spirituality, meaning-making

Tutor: Marjo van Zundert

The Netherlands is one of the most secularized countries in Europe, and the rate of people who do not consider themselves religious (anymore) expands rapidly (De Groot, 2018a, 2018b). This trend is especially visible among teens and young adults (CBS, 2020). The period that this age group of ‘emerging adulthood’ (18-25 years old) covers is crucial in the development of young individuals and their worldview (Arnett, 2000). Traditionally, religions provided guidelines for how to deal with life and its challenges. However, one by-product of the secularization is that people nowadays need to search for meaning and how to deal with these challenges themselves. In this study you will explore how emerging adults who do not consider themselves religious experience spirituality and meaning-making.

  • Arnett, J.J. (2000). Emerging Adulthood: A Theory of Development from the Late Teens to the Twenties. American Psychologist, 55, 469-480. | Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek [Statistics Netherlands] (CBS). (2020). Religie in Nederland [Religion in the Netherlands]. Statistische trends. |
  • De Groot, K. (2018a). Geestelijke verzorging voor ongelovigen: Religie en zingeving in recente onderzoeken [Spiritual care for non-believers: Religion and meaning-making in recent research]. Tijdschrift Geestelijke Verzorging, 21, 56-60. | Groot, C. N. de. (2018b). The liquidation of the church. New York: Routledge.



Group 32 - Psychology and religion, spirituality, sources of inspiration

Tutor: Marjo van Zundert

The Netherlands is one of the most secularized countries in Europe, and the rate of people who do not consider themselves religious (anymore) expands rapidly (De Groot, 2018). At the same time, problems and life challenges that people face do not decline (Swinton, 2001). Whereas traditionally, people predominantly used to search/find answers to these life questions in religious sources (e.g., Scripture such as the Bible, religious leaders such as a Rabbi, or spiritual groups such as a Muslim community), non-believers now need to look for these sources of meaning themselves (Taves et al., 2018). Currently, popular inspirational sources such as Happinez or Flow magazine, influencers on social media, or yoga travels are on the rise. In this study you will explore in where non-believers look for answers to their life questions, and whether they find the inspiration there that they need.

  • Groot, C. N. de. (2018). The liquidation of the church. New York: Routledge. | Swinton, J. (2001). Spirituality and mental health care: Rediscovering a ‘forgotten’ dimension. London: J. Kingsley. |
  • Taves, A., Asprem, E., & Ihm, E. (2018). Psychology, Meaning Making, and the Study of Worldviews: Beyond Religion and Non-Religion. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 10, 207–217.



Group 33 - Boredom

Tutor: Morsal Yusoufzai

Some people have a tendency to be bored more easily than others, but what could this be associated with? Are there certain personality characteristics that we can relate to it, such as psychopathy, openness to experiences/creativity, sadism, sensation seeking, or other interesting trait variables you can think of? Does it matter whether you have found meaning in life? And would gender or some other variable perhaps play a moderating role? Study can be a correlational design using questionnaires, or experimental design to see whether induced boredom affects other variables. Get creative! Students can come up with a study idea in agreement with the tutor.

  • Bench, S. W., & Lench, H. C. (2013). On the function of boredom. Behavioral sciences, 3(3), 459-472.
  • Westgate, E. C., & Steidle, B. (2020). Lost by definition: Why boredom matters for psychology and society. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 14(11), e12562.



Group 34 - Political extremism/leftism and personality traits

Tutor: Morsal Yusoufzai

Are there personality characteristics that explain/coincide with liberal versus conservative values? Looking at the extremes, while the pathologies of right-wing ideology are clear [1], the pitfalls of its counterpart (far-left) are not researched nearly as much. Dupree & Fiske [2] found across 5 experiments (N=2,157) that liberals were more inclined to dumb down their speech ('competence downshift') when speaking to minority audiences and interaction partners, while conservatives weren't. Are there specific personality characteristics that play a role in these particular circumstances? Alternatively, perhaps there are common characteristics we can identify on either extreme side of the political spectrum, as another study [3] found that situational boredom and trait boredom proneness coincided with more extreme political orientations. Students are free to determine the variables they are most interested in, in agreement with the tutor!

  • Van Hiel, A., Mervielde, I., & De Fruyt, F. (2004). The relationship between maladaptive personality and right wing ideology. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(2), 405-417.
  • Dupree, C. H., & Fiske, S. T. (2019). Self-presentation in interracial settings: The competence downshift by White liberals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 117(3), 579.
  • Van Tilburg, W. A., & Igou, E. R. (2016). Going to political extremes in response to boredom. European Journal of Social Psychology, 46(6), 687-699.


Group 35 - Does it take guts to have sex?

Tutor: Ola Pawłowska

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a multifactorial disease characterized by disruptions to the brain-gut axis that affects 11% of the global population. A recent literature review suggested that individuals diagnosed with IBS are more likely to develop sexual dysfunctions. At the same time, disgust sensitivity and propensity have been implicated in the development and maintenance of symptoms of both IBS and sexual dysfunctions. This project will examine whether IBS is associated with a higher prevalence of sexual dysfunctions and if higher disgust propensity and/or sensitivity is a pathway through which IBS influences sexual functioning.

  • de Jong, P. J., & Borg, C. (2018). Self-directed disgust: Reciprocal relationships with sex and sexual dysfunction. In The Revolting Self (pp. 89-112). Routledge.
  • de Jong, P. J., van Overveld, M., & Borg, C. (2013). Giving in to arousal or staying stuck in disgust? Disgust-based mechanisms in sex and sexual dysfunction. The Journal of Sex Research, 50(3-4), 247-262.
  • Formica, S., Rizzo, G., Martino, G., Lucifora, C., Craparo, G., & Vicari, C. M. (2022). Relationship between sensitivity to disgust and irritable bowel syndrome: A study on healthy individual. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 19(4), 230-235.
  • Muscatello, M. R. A., Bruno, A., Scimeca, G., Pandolfo, G., & Zoccali, R. A. (2014). Role of negative affects in pathophysiology and clinical expression of irritable bowel syndrome. World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG, 20(24), 7570.
  • Reynolds, L. M., Lin, Y. S., Zhou, E., & Consedine, N. S. (2015). Does a brief state mindfulness induction moderate disgust-driven social avoidance and decision-making? An experimental investigation. The Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38, 98-109.
  • Sørensen, J., Schantz Laursen, B., Drewes, A. M., & Krarup, A. L. (2019). The incidence of sexual dysfunction in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Sexual Medicine, 7(4), 371-383.



Group 36 - What I talk about when I talk about good sex

Tutor: Ola Pawłowska

Despite being widely spoken about and implicitly understood, the term “good sex” lacks an agreed-upon conceptual definition. In sex therapy, clinicians working with couples often use the “Good Enough Sex Model.” But what is meant by good (enough) sex? And does the definition of good sex differ depending on the stage of the relationship people are in? Do people in long-term relationships put emphasis on different aspects of sexual experiences compared to people in the honeymoon stage? This study focuses on defining good sex across different relationship stages.

  • Dewitte, M. (2014). On the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 40(3), 209-232.
  • McNulty, J. K., Wenner, C. A., & Fisher, T. D. (2016). Longitudinal associations among relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and frequency of sex in early marriage. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 85-97.
  • Metz, M. E., & McCarthy, B. W. (2007). The “Good-Enough Sex” model for couple sexual satisfaction. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 22(3), 351-362.



Group 37 - Learning to fly: What happens when you take pilot lessons?

Tutor: Tobias Otto

We are exploring how learning to fly a helicopter (in a realistic virtual reality flight simulator) affects your brain. If you find the training exciting, will you be less tired afterwards? How does the degree of tiredness affect your decision making? Previous studies have shown that people who get more tired and bored can be impaired in their descision making. This makes them prone to spend too much money, get greedy for short-term rewards or be prone to take risks. As you can imagine, this has negative consequences for many people. We want to understand this process better in order to develop an intervention, and our helicopter training is the first part of this study. We will have the opportunity to explore research questions from a wide range of possibilities in the context of our study, not limited to the original scope, plus you will learn how to fly a helicopter in the process!


  • Otto T, Zijlstra FRH, Goebel R. Feeling the force: Changes in a left-lateralized network of brain areas under simulated workday conditions are reflected in subjective mental effort investment. PLOS ONE. 2018 Jun 18;13(6):e0198204.
  • Libedinsky C, Massar SAA, Ling A, Chee W, Huettel SA, Chee MWL. Sleep Deprivation Alters Effort Discounting but not Delay Discounting of Monetary Rewards. SLEEP [Internet]. 2013 Jun 1 [cited 2015 Apr 5]; Available from: http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=28973
  • Milyavskaya M, Inzlicht M, Johnson T, Larson MJ. Reward sensitivity following boredom and cognitive effort: A high-powered neurophysiological investigation. Neuropsychologia. 2019 Feb 4;123:159–68.


Group 38 - Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR): Cognitive effects and associated personality characteristics

Tutor: Sergii Yaremenko

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a self-reported cross-sensory phenomenon where specially recorded auditory stimuli trigger tingling sensations, promoting a sense of wellbeing and intense relaxation. There is some preliminary evidence showing that the technology can provide relief in insomnia and anxiety. However, studies investigating ASMR as a scientific construct are scarce. In this research practical project, you will design a study into the cognitive effects of ASMR, or the personality characteristics that co-occur with this phenomenon.

  • Barratt, E. L., & Davis, N. J. (2015). Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): A flow-like mental state. PeerJ, 3. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.851
  • Mahady, A., Takac, M., & De Foe, A. (2023). What is Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)? A narrative review and comparative analysis of related phenomena. Consciousness and Cognition, 109, 103477. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2023.103477
  • Poerio, G. L., Blakey, E., Hostler, T. J., & Veltri, T. (2018). More than a feeling: Autonomous Sensory Meridian response (ASMR) is characterized by reliable changes in affect and physiology. PLOS ONE, 13(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196645



Group 39 - Owls vs larks: Memory performance at optimal and non-optimal time of day

Tutor: Sergii Yaremenko

Our cognitive performance does not stay constant across the day; rather, our alertness and performance show 24-hour cycles. People vary in when they reach their cognitive peak: morning types, or larks, perform better in the morning, while evening types, or owls, are at their best in the evening hours. Little is known about how recognition of faces (as opposed to other types of stimuli) varies across the day. In this project, you will design and conduct an experiment to test 24-hour variations in face recognition performance.

  • Schmidt, C., Collette, F., Cajochen, C., & Peigneux, P. (2007). A Time to think: Circadian rhythms in human cognition. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 24(7), 755–789. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643290701754158
  • Adan, A., Archer, S. N., Hidalgo, M. P., Di Milia, L., Natale, V., & Randler, C. (2012). Circadian typology: A comprehensive review. Chronobiology International, 29(9), 1153–1175. https://doi.org/10.3109/07420528.2012.719971
  • May, C. P., Hasher, L., & Stoltzfus, E. R. (1993). Optimal time of day and the magnitude of age differences in memory. Psychological Science, 4, 326–330. doi:10.1111/j.1467- 9280.1993.tb00573.x



Group 40 - Can money buy sexual wellbeing?

Tutor: Pascalle Heijligenberg

Sexuality is both an individual phenomenon and a social process, influenced by factors such as gender, parental attitudes and cultural norms. One contextual influence that has received less attention in sexuality research is socio-economic status, despite it being among the largest influences on people’s lived experiences. A recent literature review found that a lower educational level and income are associated with lower levels of sexual health and wellbeing. This study will examine potential pathways through which socio-economic conditions may shape sexuality, and will consider socio-economic status in relationship to other inequities such as gender, sexual identity and ethnicity.

  • De Graaf, H., Vanwesenbeeck, I., & Meijer, S. (2015). Educational Differences in Adolescents' Sexual Health: A Pervasive Phenomenon in a National Dutch Sample. The Journal of Sex Research, 52(7), 747-757. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2014.945111
  • de Looze, M., Bogt, T. F. t., & Vollebergh, W. A. (2013). Explaining Educational Differences in Adolescent Substance Use and Sexual Activity:The Role of Conceptions and Expectations of Adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, 1(3), 175-184. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167696812471942
  • Higgins, J. A., Lands, M., Ufot, M., & McClelland, S. I. (2022). Socioeconomics and Erotic Inequity: A Theoretical Overview and Narrative Review of Associations Between Poverty, Socioeconomic Conditions, and Sexual Wellbeing. J Sex Res, 59(8), 940-956. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2022.2044990



Group 41 - Mind that gap! I don’t see any gap.

Tutor: Mark Roberts

The retina responds well to local contrast at surface boundaries, but hardly responds to surface interiors. How then do we see surfaces? One theory is that the perception of surfaces represents simply the brain’s best guess based on what it can infer from the surface’s edges. In this project you will investigate the mechanisms of surface perception using a stimulus in which a blank region of a textured background becomes invisible as the brain fills it in. We will test how the region’s size and location influence the filling-in and we will use eye-tracking to investigate the contribution of eye movements and pupil size.




Group 42 - I see your anger in your pupils

Tutor: Rudy Schreiber

Although you may not expect it, in the student population there are quite some students who can be quite aggressive. But do you want to be aggressive or is this something that happens to you. Aggression can be measured using questionnaires, but you may not be very honest with respect to your own aggressiveness. Maybe your pupil may be a more reliable manner to measure your aggression? It is well known that pupils react autonomously to fearful stimuli. Is the pupil response realted to your aggression potential? That's what we hope to find out in this research project.




Group 43 - The impact of the goal to control pain on attention flexibility for pain information.

Tutor: Dimitri Van Ryckeghem

About 20% of the European population suffers from chronic pain of moderate to severe intensity, resulting in reduced quality of life. Identifying pivotal factors that initiate or exacerbate chronic pain and associated problems is, therefore, a priority. There has been significant research on attentional bias related to chronic pain during the last decades, but the findings have been mixed. More recently, it has been suggested that alignment of attention processing with goal pursuit is of importance, rather than the presence of a pain-related attention bias as such. Within current study we will therefore investigate how attention for pain information aligns with the goal to control pain using a novel Virtual Reality experiment allowing to investigate pain-related attention processing in an ecological valid context.

  • Van Ryckeghem, D., Noel, M., Sharpe, L., Pincus, T., & Van Damme, S. (2019). Cognitive bias in pain: an integrated functional-contextual framework. Pain, 160, 1489-1493. https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001508
  • Van Ryckeghem, D., & Combez G. (2018). Pain and attention: towards a motivational account. In P.Karoly & G.Crombez (Eds) Motivational perspectives on chronic pain: theory, research and practice. (pp. 211- 245). Oxford University Press.
  • Van Damme, S., Legrain, V., Vogt, J., & Crombez, G. (2010). Keeping pain in mind: A motivational account of attention to pain. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral reviews, 34 (2), 204-213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.01.005



Group 44 - Is food variety the 'spice' of life?

Tutor: Anouk Hendriks

People tend to eat more when they can eat from a more varied meal. This so-called ‘variety effect’ might be useful to encourage a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. If people include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in their meals, their diet quality will improve. However, we know very little about whether people actually prefer such varied meals. Also, it might be that some people would not prefer a varied meal, for example people who are picky eaters or highly ‘food neophobic’ (avoiding novel foods), while so-called ‘variety-seekers’ might have a much stronger preference for highly varied meals. In this project you will research preferences with regard to food variety and explore individual characteristics that may be of influence. Find out how we can encourage a healthy diet by playing with food variety.

  • Hendriks-Hartensveld, A. E. M., Brodock, J. L., Hayes, J. E., Rolls, B. J., Keller, K. L., & Havermans, R. C. (2022). The relative importance of complexity, variety, and portion size in ice cream preference in Dutch and American participants. Food Quality and Preference, 104523. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2021.104523
  • Embling, R., Pink, A. E., Gatzemeier, J., Price, M., Lee, M. D., & Wilkinson, L. L. (2021). Effect of food variety on intake of a meal: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 113(3), 716–741. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa352
  • Wilkinson, L. L., Hinton, E. C., Fay, S. H., Rogers, P. J., & Brunstrom, J. M. (2013). The ‘variety effect’ is anticipated in meal planning. Appetite, 60, 175–179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2012.10.0

Group 45 - The Language of the Future

Tutors: Chen Zhiwei adnd Francesco Gentile

Frank’s Mother asks him to go to the grocery shop to buy 3 bananas and 4 apples and gives him 5euros. If one banana costs 1.5euros and one apple 1euros, how much money Frank will return to his mother?” This problem sounds very much as those we were confronted with long time ago during elementary schools. Yet, in daily life, we also face similar problems and when their complexity becomes unbearable to solve manually, we appeal to programming languages as Phython or Matlab. The use of the word “languages”, in this case, is not accidental. In fact, programming languages share several characteristics with natural languages like English. First, they use English terms to define variables or functions with the exact same meaning as in English and they have a set of constraints/rules (syntax) to be followed in order to combine basic elements. However, the two languages also differ on a number of aspects. For example, programming languages are used to implement a large variety of algorithms and their content mainly consists of mathematical and logical expression. The main goal of the present project is to investigate what are the cognitive processes the two languages share and to what extent they differ.

  • Fedorenko, E., Ivanova, A., Dhamala, R., & Bers, M. U. (2019). The Language of Programming: A Cognitive Perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 23(7), 525-528. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2019.04.010
  • Lin, Y.-T., Liao, Y.-Z., Hu, X., & Wu, C.-C. (2021). EEG Activities During Program Comprehension: An Exploration of Cognition. IEEE Access, 9, 120407-120421
  • Liu, Y. F., Kim, J., Wilson, C., & Bedny, M. (2020). Computer code comprehension shares neural resources with formal logical inference in the fronto-parietal network. eLife, 9. doi:10.7554/eLife.59340
  • Siegmund, J., Kästner, C., Apel, S., Parnin, C., Bethmann, A., Leich, T., ... & Brechmann, A. (2014, May). Understanding understanding source code with functional magnetic resonance imaging. In Proceedings of the 36th international conference on software engineering (pp. 378-389)

Group 46 - Exploring the psychometric properties of newly developed fear and avoidance questionniares

Tutor: Skye King

Two questionnaires were adapted for use in traumatic brain injury populations. One tapping into fear of mental activity (FMA) and the other catastrophizing about post concussion symptoms (PCS-CS). These questionnaires have not been fully validated (validity, reliability, factor strucutre). Students can come up with a study idea and design in agreement with their tutor. 

  • Wijenberg, M. L. M., Stapert, S. Z., Verbunt, J. A., Ponsford, J. L., & Van Heugten, C. M. (2017). Does the fear avoidance model explain persistent symptoms after traumatic brain injury? Brain Injury, 31(12), 1597-1604. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2017.1366551

Group 47 - I want that 10! Making notes to perform better on your exam

Tutors: Eliza De Sousa Fernandes Perna and Anke Sambeth

Have you ever wondered how you can study best for an exam? Do you maybe just read texts, make summaries, or do you practice with prior exam questions? Research has often shown that active, effortful studying leads to optimal memorization for the long-term. And this in turn could be beneficial to pass exams. One such effortful activity that was proven successful in research is making notes by heart after reading a text, and then checking whether you got it right. But what if you were already at the exam and had to answer the exam questions, would making notes by retrieving information from memory help you perform optimally as well? Nobody knows! But you will find out if you join this group.

  • Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4-58. https://doi.org/10.1177/1529100612453266
  • Karpicke, J. D., Butler, A. C., & Roediger, III, H. L. (2009). Metacognitive strategies in student learning: do students practise retrieval when they study on their own? Memory, 17, 471-479. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658210802647009
  • Kornell, N., & Bjork, R. A. (2009). A stability bias in human memory: overestimating remembering and underestimating learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138, 449-468. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017350
  • McCurdy, M. P., Viechtbauer, W., Sklenar, A. M., Frankenstein, A. N., & Leshikar, E. D. (2020). Theories of the generation effect and the impact of generation constraint: a meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin & Review, 27, 1139-1165. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-020-01762-3


 End of list.
Last modified: Wed, 22/03/2023 - 13:52

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