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IPN2027 / PSY2027, the Research Practical

Thanks for visiting the course page of the Research Practical (IPN2027/PSY2027) 2023-2024. This is where you will be able to find lots of course-related information in the upcoming weeks and months. 


Feb. 2025

Descriptions available.
Application form (10 preferences)


March 2025

Deadline to submit your preferences
March 2025

Publication allocation project groups


Course entry requirements

This course has two entry requirements:
- a pass for Statistics I;
- a pass for Methods and Techniques.

Course booking
You need to book this course yourself through the Student Portal, just like you do for other courses.


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 2024

[ 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 ]
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Group 01 - Are we more likely to induce false memories in a VR environment?

Tutor: Arjan Blokland

False memories are usually measured in a labratory setting. This may not be similar to the real world. VR technologies enable to make the environment more real-world-like. Using this technology may reveal different susceptebilities to false memories. In this project a we will define an experiment that can assess these potential differences between VR and lab conditions.

https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/document?repid=rep1&type=pdf&doi=182fc325ed71ab84bbb806cd29ef1f9fa15fa134; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2006.07.001; https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017394; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85627-2

Group 02 - Sleep and Sleep Issues

Tutor: Tom Smejka

You start to feel tired, get into to bed, relax, close your eyes and… nothing. You like awake thinking of work, exams, that time you accidentally called your teacher “mum”. Now you only have 5 hours left before you have to get up. Sounds like a pretty shite night. In this project we will investigate different techniques to help reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. From muscle relaxation to ASMR, can we help your fellow students avoid shite nights?

- [Only need to look at Section 4 - Treatments] Riemann, D., Benz, F., Dressle, R. J., Espie, C. A., Johann, A. F., Blanken, T. F., ... & Van Someren, E. J. (2022). Insomnia disorder: State of the science and challenges for the future. Journal of Sleep Research, 31(4), e13604.
- Smejka, T., & Wiggs, L. (2022). The effects of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) videos on arousal and mood in adults with and without depression and insomnia. Journal of affective disorders, 301, 60-67.
- Liu, K., Chen, Y., Wu, D., Lin, R., Wang, Z., & Pan, L. (2020). Effects of progressive muscle relaxation on anxiety and sleep quality in patients with COVID-19. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 39, 101132.

Group 03 - The influence of (food) reward and hunger on visual attention

Tutor: Leonardo Pimpini

According to the reinforcement learning theory, good outcome linked to an object biases attention in favour of similar objects in later experience. Previous studies has shown this effect using monetary reward. Your task is to investigat whether the same occurs using food reward. Additionally, whether hunger influences reward and attention. 

- Loeber, S., Grosshans, M., Herpertz, S., Kiefer, F., & Herpertz, S. C. (2013). Hunger modulates behavioral disinhibition and attention allocation to food-associated cues in normal-weight controls. Appetite, 71, 32-39.
- Hickey, C., Chelazzi, L., & Theeuwes, J. (2011). Reward has a residual impact on target selection in visual search, but not on the suppression of distractors. Visual Cognition, 19(1), 117-128.
- Anderson, B. A., & Kim, H. (2018). Mechanisms of value-learning in the guidance of spatial attention. Cognition, 178, 26-36.

Group 04 - Reducing meat consumption in restaurants

Tutor: Anthea van Laren

Recent studies have shown that consuming high amounts of red and processed meat negatively affects people’s health. Moreover, the meat industry has a detrimental effect on the environment. With growing evidence highlighting these concerns, it's important for individuals to reduce their meat intake for health as well as environmental reasons.
This change should not only be evident in people’s everyday cooking behavior but also when going out to eat. So when faced with choices at a restaurant, how can people be nudged towards vegetarian options? Campaigns in several countries have added a picture of the animal on meat packaging in supermarkets in the hope of decreasing meat purchases. It is hypothesized that visualizing the source of the meat makes individuals aware that they are consuming an actual animal. Could similar strategies be effective in restaurant settings?

Furthermore, strategically placing vegetarian options in-between meat options and not in a separate section, might reduce the perceived barrier to choose a vegetarian option. How can observations like these be put to use to reduce meat-consumption and promote more sustainable food choices in a restaurant setting?

Kunst, J. R., & Hohle, S. M. (2016). Meat eaters by dissociation: How we present, prepare and talk about meat increases willingness to eat meat by reducing empathy and disgust. Appetite, 105, 758-774.

Piernas, C., Cook, B., Stevens, R., Stewart, C., Hollowell, J., Scarborough, P., & Jebb, S. A. (2021). Estimating the effect of moving meat-free products to the meat aisle on sales of meat and meat-free products: A non-randomised controlled intervention study in a large UK supermarket chain. PLoS Medicine, 18(7), e1003715.

de Vaan, J. M., van Steen, T., & Müller, B. C. (2019). Meat on the menu? How the menu structure can stimulate vegetarian choices in restaurants. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 49(12), 755-766.

Buratto, A., & Lotti, L. (2024). Encouraging sustainable food consumption through nudges: An experiment with menu labels. Ecological Economics, 216, 108024.

Group 05 - Restoring self-control after ego-depletion

Tutor: Anthea van Laren

Have you ever noticed how healthy fruits and veggies greet you at the store entrance, while sweets lurk at the end, near the register? It's not random—it's a strategy to tempt consumers when self-control is low. In our daily life we often have to exercise a lot of self-control and self-regulation. Buying healthy foods such as fruits and not chocolate for example. However, after some time our self-control gets exhausted, a phenomenon known as ego-depletion. Supermarkets make use of this phenomenon by putting the sweets aisle at the end of the supermarket when your self-control is most depleted and you’ll be more likely to buy unhealthy foods. 
However, recent research suggest that self-control can also be restored. For example by having a good night’s sleep. The question now remains whether self-control can also be restored in a more time-efficient manner. For example, in 15 minutes during a break from studying or working. Moreover, what activities might best restore self-control during this short time?  

Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R. F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle?. Psychological bulletin, 126(2), 247.

Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Muraven, M., & Tice, D. M. (1998). Ego-depletion: is the active self a limited resource? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1252–1265.

Tice, D. M., Baumeister, R. F., Shmueli, D., & Muraven, M. (2007). Restoring the self: Positive affect helps improve self-regulation following ego depletion. Journal of experimental social psychology, 43(3), 379-384.

Beute, F., & De Kort, Y. A. W. (2014). Natural resistance: Exposure to nature and self-regulation, mood, and physiology after ego-depletion. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 167-178.

Group 06 - Gender differences in Negotiation

Tutor: Chris Zelihsen

On average, women have more years of education and are more likely than men to have completed Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. Yet, in most countries, women are not paid as much as men in the workplace. It has been suggested that one of the factors that causes the Gender Pay Gap is gender differences in salary negotiations. On average, men tend to report better negotiation outcomes than women. Is this the case because men are better negotiators than women? Recent research suggests that this is not always the case, and that men are more likely to engage in negotiations whereas women more often accept what is initially offered. Can we replicate these findings in an experimental setting? What other factors might influence the engagement of negotiation?

Reif, J. A., Kunz, F. A., Kugler, K. G., & Brodbeck, F. C. (2019). Negotiation contexts: how and why they shape women's and men's decision to negotiate. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 12(4), 322-342

Shan, W., Keller, J., & Joseph, D. (2019). Are men better negotiators everywhere? A meta‐analysis of how gender differences in negotiation performance vary across cultures. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 40(6), 651-675

Elfenbein, H. A. (2021). Individual differences in negotiation: A relational process model. Organizational Psychology Review, 11(1), 73-93

Online source: https://hbr.org/2003/10/nice-girls-dont-ask

Group 07 - Detection and Sentiment assessment of AI-generated texts

Tutor: Chris Zelihsen

"In the realm of intricate discourse, one often finds an amalgamation of lexical constituents that, while appearing to convey profundity, ultimately dissipate into the ether of semantic ambiguity." AI-models like Chat-GPT are quite agile when it comes down to generating texts. They produce texts quickly and are easy to use, but are they a blessing in disguise? How skilled are people in detecting AI-generated language? And does the reader’s assessment of authenticity influence the text’s persuasiveness? What other consequences or side effects are there when people believe they are reading AI-generated texts in comparison to human-generated texts?

Lynch CJ, Jensen EJ, Zamponi V, O’Brien K, Frydenlund E, Gore R. A Structured Narrative Prompt for Prompting Narratives from Large Language Models: Sentiment Assessment of ChatGPT-Generated Narratives and Real Tweets. Future Internet. 2023; 15(12):375. https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15120375

Ying Lian, Huiting Tang, Mengting Xiang, Xuefan Dong. Public attitudes and sentiments toward ChatGPT in China: A text mining analysis based on social media (2024). Technology in Society, Volume 76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2023.102442.

Yilmaz, H., Maxutov, S., Baitekov, A., & Balta, N. (2023). Student Attitudes towards Chat GPT: A Technology Acceptance Model Survey. International Educational Review, 1(1), 57-83. https://doi.org/10.58693/ier.114

Belkhir, A., & Sadat, F. (2023, September). Beyond Information: Is ChatGPT Empathetic Enough?. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (pp. 159-169).


Group 08 - Goal Flexibility & Rigidity: "Low mood and the art of giving up"

Tutor: Andi 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. 

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. 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.

Group 09 - My next mistake: How do prediction errors support language learning?

Tutor: Matt Hilton

When we listen to somebody speaking, it seems that we follow along by trying to predict what they will say next. So, what happens when somebody says something that we didn’t expect? Given that such a prediction error would surprise us, it should boost the salience of the speech following the error. This project examines whether the boost in salience resulting from the prediction error results in better learning of subsequent information.

Gambi, C., Pickering, M. J., & Rabagliati, H. (2021). Prediction error boosts retention of novel words in adults but not in children. Cognition, 211, 104650. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104650; Mani, N., & Huettig, F. (2012). Prediction during language processing is a piece of cake—But only for skilled producers. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(4), 843–847. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029284; Ong, J. H., & Chan, A. H. D. (2019). The influence of referent type and familiarity on word-referent mapping. PLOS ONE, 14(7), e0219552. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219552

Group 10 - The role of ageism in the perception of elder abuse

Tutor: Anne van de Bovekamp

We all have a certain image in mind when we think about domestic violence, but is this always correct? Is domestic violence the same among different age groups or does the abuse of older adults differ from the abuse of younger adults? 
Even though older adults make up a large part of society, much is unknown about the abuse of older adults. We will design a study to investigate the role of ageism in how we perceive elder abuse.

Lachs, M. S., & Pillemer, K. A. (2015). Elder abuse. New England Journal of Medicine, 373(20), 1947-1956. https://doi.org/ 10.1056/NEJMra1404688

Pillemer, K., Burnes, D., & MacNeil, A. (2021). Investigating the connection between ageism and elder mistreatment. Nature Aging, 1(2), 159-164. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43587-021-00032-8

Phelan, A., & Ayalon, L. (2020). The intersection of ageism and elder abuse. Advances in Elder Abuse Research: Practice, Legislation and Policy, 11-22.

Walsh, C. A., Olson, J. L., Ploeg, J., Lohfeld, L., & MacMillan, H. L. (2010). Elder abuse and oppression: Voices of marginalized elders. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 23(1), 17-42. https://doi.org/10.1080/08946566.2011.534705

Group 11 - Shedding light on the brain to measure brain activity

Tutor: Bettina Sorger

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a rather difficult name for an easy-to-use functional neuroimaging method. FNIRS uses light to measure brain activity. It is completely safe, relatively inexpensive, and applicable in naturalistic settings to study human (brain) function. However, there is one notable observation: fNIRS-signal quality varies significantly between individuals. Knowing the origin of it could help to optimally use fNIRS for neuroscientific research and (non-)clinical applications. We will investigate whether (and which) physical characteristics of study participants predict fNIRS-signal quality. If you are interested in neuroscience and want to gain hands-on experience, you have come to the right place!

Yücel MA, Lühmann AV, Scholkmann F, Gervain J, Dan I, Ayaz H, Boas D, Cooper RJ, Culver J, Elwell CE, Eggebrecht A, Franceschini MA, Grova C, Homae F, Lesage F, Obrig H, Tachtsidis I, Tak S, Tong Y, Torricelli A,Wabnitz H,Wolf M. 2021 Best practices for fNIRS publications. Neurophotonics 8. (10.1117/1.NPh.8.1.012101)

Klein F. 2023 Optimizing real-time fNIRS in BCI and neurofeedback: A comprehensive overview of strategies to improve reliability, spatial specificity, and signal quality. preprint Open Science Framework. (10.31219/osf.io/9bgku)

Kohl SH, Mehler DMA, Lührs M, Thibault RT, Konrad K, Sorger B. 2020 The Potential of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy-Based Neurofeedback—A Systematic Review and Recommendations for Best Practice. Frontiers in Neuroscience 14, 594. (10.3389/fnins.2020.00594)

Scholkmann F, Kleiser S, Metz AJ, Zimmermann R, Mata Pavia J, Wolf U, Wolf M. 2014 A review on continuous wave functional near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging instrumentation and methodology. NeuroImage 85, 6–27. (10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.004)

Pinti P, Tachtsidis I, Hamilton A, Hirsch J, Aichelburg C, Gilbert S, Burgess PW. 2020 The present and future use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) for cognitive neuroscience. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1464, 5–29. _eprint: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/nyas.13948 (10.1111/nyas.13948) 

Group 12 - Interpersonal invisibility as a form of discrimination

Tutor: Dongning Ren

Discrimination is the unfair or prejudicial treatment of people and groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. Discrimination manifests in a wide range of forms (e.g., being insulted, being threatened, being harassed). One commonly experienced but understudied form of discrimination is the experience of being treated as invisible (e.g., being ignored, overlooked, or forgotten). In this project, students will work in small groups to conduct a cross-sectional survey study on the experience of interpersonal invisibility. Data will be collected from a general population. This research will aim to address three questions: (a) how frequent is the experience of interpersonal invisibility? (b) How do social variables (such as gender, ethnicity, and SES) determine participants’ experience of interpersonal invisibility? (c) How does the experience of interpersonal invisibility correlate with mental health and well-being outcomes?

Williams, K. D. (2009). Ostracism: A temporal need‐threat model. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 275-314.

Bhattacharyya, B., & Berdahl, J. L. (2023). Do you see me? An inductive examination of differences between women of color’s experiences of and responses to invisibility at work. Journal of Applied Psychology.

Neel, R., & Lassetter, B. (2019). The stigma of perceived irrelevance: An affordance-management theory of interpersonal invisibility. Psychological Review, 126(5), 634.

Group 13 - Letter-learning and language proficiency

Tutor: Fiona Borska & Chiara Turri

The foundation of all reading is the ability to associate sounds with symbols. This so-called audiovisual learning step needs to be successful before other things like reading comprehension and speed are possible. The audiovisual learning in reading development can be closely studied in children, in dyslexic readers, but also in typical readers learning a new alphabet or linking known sounds to an arbitrary alphabet or arbitrary symbols. In addition to learning accuracy, further mastery of audiovisual learning can be assessed via the ability to use the learned “letters” as real letters, for example by reading compounded syllables or words. In typical readers, what does successful audiovisual learning depend on? How does it tie to other language learning variables such as current reading proficiency (speed, frequency, skills, habits) or bilingualism?

- Zhang, M., Riecke, L., & Bonte, M. (2021). Neurophysiological tracking of speech-structure learning in typical and dyslexic readers. Neuropsychologia, 158, 107889.
- Koda, K. (1988). Cognitive process in second language reading: Transfer of L1 reading skills and strategies. Interlanguage studies bulletin (Utrecht), 4(2), 133-155.
- Fu, Y., Bermúdez-Margaretto, B., Wang, H., Tang, D., Cuetos, F., & Dominguez, A. (2023). Struggling with L2 alphabet: The role of proficiency in orthographic learning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 17470218231154910.
- Antoniou, M., Liang, E., Ettlinger, M., & Wong, P. C. (2015). The bilingual advantage in phonetic learning. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18(4), 683-695.

Group 14 - Social media: a blessing or a threat for our well-being?

Tutor: Sandra Wetzels

Social media are used extensively by people all over the world, especially by adolescents and young adults. Social media help people to connect to others, they can be used as knowledge resource, or for entertainment and relaxation. However, social media use is also associated with negative outcomes, such as mental health problems, sleep deprivation, and addiction. So, are social media a blessing or are they a threat for our mental well-being? Find out during the Research Practical!

Alonzo, R. et al. (2021). Interplay between social media use, sleep quality and mental health in youth: A systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 56, 1-12. McCrory, A. et al. (2020). The relationship between highly visual social media and young people's mental health: A scoping review. Children and Youth Services Review, 115, 1-14. Naslund, J. A. et al. (2020). Social media and mental health: Benefits, risks, and opportunities for research and practice. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, 5, 245-257. O'Reilly, M. et al. (2018). Is social media bad for mental health and wellbeing? Exploring the perspectives of adolescents. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 23(4), 601-613.

Group 15 - Anosmia and personality

Tutor: Garmt Dijksterhuis

Anosmia is the inability to perceive odours (cf. Boesveldt et al. 2017). Sufferers from this affliction are often reported to experience a diverse range of negative consequences. These can range from not enjoying meals, insecurity about their body odour, to even depressive symptoms (Croy, Hummel 2017). There are specialized ‘patient’-organisations for anosmics. In the Netherlands this is ‘Reuksmaakstoornis.nl’, who have regular meetings and provide much information for their members and other interested parties. Surprisingly there are also anosmic people who do appear to not suffer that much from their affliction. They know they cannot smell, or cannot smell well, but they do hardly mention it, or seem not to be bothered by it. They seem to have a neutral attitude to their disability. This stands in great contrast with some anosmics who really suffer and view themselves as disabled. It is not known what distinguishes the ‘sufferers’ from the ‘neutrals’. In this project we try to find characteristics that potentially separate these two groups. One can think of personality traits, attitudes toward food and odours, general perceptual acuity, etc.. Complicating factor is that the ‘neutrals’ may be hard to find, they are not members of ‘reuksmaakstoornissen.nl’, nor will they visit their GP’s with smell-complaints.

Boesveldt S, Postma EM, Boak D, Welge-Luessen A, Schöpf V, Mainland JD, Martens J, Ngai J, Duffy VB. (2017). Anosmia-A Clinical Review. Chem Senses. Sep 1;42(7):513-523.
Croy, I., Hummel., T. (2017), Olfaction as a marker for depression. J Neurology. Apr;264(4):631-638.
Student report UU (23-24 forthcoming)

Group 16 - Internalisation of taste preferences after diet change.

Tutor: Garmt Dijksterhuis

There can be many reasons for changing one's diet. It can be because of health or medical issues, of which obesity is a much mentioned problem. It can be because of sustainability, leading one to e.g. adopt vegetarianism or veganism. Whatever reason a person may have to change diet, it will mean a change in food consumption patterns, and a change in the range of experienced flavours from food products. Whether such a diet change can be sustained will depend on a number of factors. It is expected that one's food preferences will change as a result of the change of exposure to flavours. The extent to which this will change, and if this change is permanent, is not known. One way of assessing the change of food preferences is having subjects assess their liking of several odours, e.g. from animal or non-animal origin. These odours can be coupled to specific information about their source to find out what may affect the hedonic perception of these food odours.

Rosenfeld, D. L., Rothgerber, H., & Tomiyama, A. J. (2023). When meat-eaters expect vegan
food to taste bad: Veganism as a symbolic threat. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 0(0). https://doi-org.proxy.library.uu.nl/10.1177/13684302231153788
Student reports UU (22-23 (C. Chen; E. Teinsma), 23-24 forthcoming)
Graça, J., Calheiros, M. M., & Oliveira, A. (2015). Attached to meat? (Un)Willingness and
intentions to adopt a more plant-based diet. Appetite, 95, 113-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.201

Group 17 - Self-directed disgust and sexual arousal

Tutor: Ola Pawłowska

Increasing evidence indicates that disgust might compromise sexual functioning and can contribute to sexual problems, especially in women. Recent research shows that self-directed disgust can be a relevant type of disgust that compromises sexual responding. Given the implications disgust has on women’s sexual functioning, it is important to investigate ways in which disgust could be decreased to facilitate pleasurable sexual experiences. In this project, you will conduct an online experiment to investigate the effectiveness of emotion regulation techniques on increasing sexual arousal and decreasing self-directed disgust in women.


Group 18 - Fairness of AI-generated police photo lineups

Tutor: Micol Iannuzzi

Eyewitness identification plays a crucial role during in criminal investigations. Police photo lineups are one of the most common methods of eyewitness identification. Here a collection of photographs is presented to the witness in order to identify the perpetrator of the crime. In the lineup, there is typically one photograph of the suspect and the remaining photographs are the so-called fillers, i.e. photographs of innocent people. Because positive identification of the suspect may lead to a conviction, selecting fillers that do not create a biased lineup (where the suspect will stand out) is an important process. Using AI-generated images for the assembly of a lineup might make this process less time consuming and less bias prone. In this (online) study we will test whether, not only lineup fairness, but also accuracy and confidence in identification decisions for AI-generated lineups are comparable to those for “classic” lineups.

- Dokoupil, P., & Peska, L. (2021). Ligan: Recommending artificial fillers for police photo lineups. In Proceedings of the Joint KaRS & ComplexRec Workshop. CEUR-WS.
- Malpass, R. S., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (1999). Measuring line-up fairness. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 13(Spec Issue), S1–S7. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0720(199911)13:1+<S1::AID-ACP678>3.0.CO;2-9
- Wixted J. T., & Wells G. L. (2017). The relationship between eyewitness confidence and identification accuracy: A new synthesis. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 18(1), 10-65. https://doi.org/10.1177/1529100616686966

Group 19 - Confidence Overestimation and AI-generated police photo lineups

Tutor: Micol Iannuzzi

Eyewitness identification plays a crucial role during in criminal investigations. Police photo lineups are one of the most common methods of eyewitness identification. Here a collection of photographs is presented to the witness in order to identify the perpetrator of the crime. In the lineup, there is typically one photograph of the suspect and the remaining photographs are the so-called fillers, i.e. photographs of innocent people. Novel research has started to investigate whether AI-generated fillers can be used to create fair lineups. However, this poses a problem concerning the use of confidence to predict accuracy of identifications. Do people overestimate their confidence in spotting AI images? In this (online) study we will test whether participants who are aware the fillers in the lineup are AI-generated are more confident in their identification decision, as compared to participants who are not.

- Dokoupil, P., & Peska, L. (2021). Ligan: Recommending artificial fillers for police photo lineups. In Proceedings of the Joint KaRS & ComplexRec Workshop. CEUR-WS.
- Malpass, R. S., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (1999). Measuring line-up fairness. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 13(Spec Issue), S1–S7. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0720(199911)13:1+<S1::AID-ACP678>3.0.CO;2-9
- Wixted J. T., & Wells G. L. (2017). The relationship between eyewitness confidence and identification accuracy: A new synthesis. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 18(1), 10-65. https://doi.org/10.1177/1529100616686966

Group 20 - Understanding student intrinsic motivaton in the FPN PBL curicullum from a self-determination perspective.

Tutor: Narek Harutyunyan

In today's education landscape, the challenge of student motivation stands as a significant concern for academic success. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2013), about 30% of tertiary students do not complete their education, and in the Netherlands, only 28% of bachelor's students finished programs on time in 2017 (OECD, 2019). Motivation plays a pivotal role in initiating learning and predicting student persistence (Turner & Baskerville, 2012; Ryan, 1982). Motivated students dedicate more time to their studies, resulting in higher-grade point averages (Pintrich, 2003a; Richardson et al., 2012). Self-Determination Theory (SDT) underscores autonomy, competence, and relatedness as crucial components of intrinsic motivation. The SDT framework suggests a positive link between these constructs and student intrinsic motivation. This project aims to explore the relationship between SDT constructs and student intrinsic motivation within the FPN PBL curriculum. You will assess how these STD constructs correlate with student intrinsic motivation and engagement.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. (2013). Education at a glance 2013: OECD indicators. Paris: OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2013-en

Vansteenkiste, M., Sierens, E., Soenens, B., Luyckx, K., & Lens, W. (2009). Motivational profiles from a self-determination perspective: The quality of motivation matters. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 671-688. doi:10.1037/a0015083

Group 21 - Where to find Meaning in Life? The Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

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 expands rapidly. At the same time, problems and life challenges that people face do not decline. Whereas traditionally, people predominantly used to search for answers to life questions in religious sources (e.g., the Bible, a rabbi, or a Muslim community), non-believers now need to look for these sources of meaning themselves. Currently, popular inspirational sources such as Happinez or Flow magazine, influencers on social media, or yoga travels are on the rise. In this study we will explore these sources, and dive into the connection between spirituality and psychology.

Schnell, T. (2011). Individual differences in meaning-making: Considering the variety of sources
of meaning, their density and diversity. Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 667-673.

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.

NPR. (2023, January 30). New BBC podcast explores this ‘golden age of gurus' [Audio file]. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2023/01/30/1152634385/new-bbc-podcast-explores-this-...

Group 22 - Religious Coping and Mental Health

Tutor: Marjo van Zundert

When dealing with crisis, people often turn to religion as a means of finding meaning and coping. This was for example clearly visible after the 9/11 attacks and during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people showed significant increases in spiritual activities such as prayer. Although religion and spirituality are sometimes difficult to interpret in clinical practice because of their link with for example delusions, (mental) health care practitioners are increasingly acknowledging the role of religion, spirituality and meaning-making as an important part of overall well-being. However, whereas religious coping seems to have a positive influence on well-being, adverse effects may happen as well. In this study we will explore the relation between religious coping and well-being.

Bentzen, J. S. (2021). In crisis, we pray: Religiosity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Economic
Behavior and Organization, 192, 541-583.

Koenig, H. G. (2009). Research on religion, spirituality, and mental health: A review. Canadian Journal
of Psychiatry, 54, 283–291.

Pargament, Kenneth I., Smith, B. W., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. (1998). Patterns of positive and
negative religious coping with major life stressors. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 710.

Group 23 - Popular Misogyny and the Myth of the Perfect Victim

Tutor: Marjo van Zundert

Even following the raised awareness after #MeToo, research increasingly reports displays of misogyny, especially in online environments. Moreover, in cases of gender-based violence, accusers are often scrutinized and compared to unrealistic standards of what a victim should be like (e.g., weak, completely respectable). An extreme example of this includes, but is not limited to, the aggressive expressions on social media surrounding the Depp v. Heard defamation trial. In this study we will take a multiperspective approach to investigate overt and covert misogyny in contemporary media and society.

Dockterman, E. (2022). The Depp-Heard trial perpetuates the myth of the perfect victim. Time.Com, 6/2/2022, 1.

Ridley, A., Huma, B., & Walz, L. (2023). Porridge and misogyny: Rationalising inconspicuous misogyny in morning television shows. Feminism & Psychology, 0, 1-23. doi: 10.1177/09593535231197526

Szymanski, D. M., Gupta, A., Carr, E. R., & Stewart, D. (2009). Internalized Misogyny as a Moderator of the Link between Sexist Events and Women’s Psychological Distress. Sex Roles, 61, 101-109.

Walker, R. L., (2021). Call it mysogyny. Feminst Theory, 25, 64-82.

Group 24 - Exploring the Nexus of Auditory Hallucinations, Hearing Impairment, and Substance Use in Auditory Emotion Perception

Tutor: Xan Duggirala

Studies indicate that auditory hallucinations in individuals with hearing impairment exhibit greater similarities to those observed in psychiatric diagnoses than previously assumed (Waters et al., 2012). Similarly, hallucinations extend beyond associations with psychotic disorders and can also be induced by substances like psychostimulants, psychedelics, and dissociative anesthetics (Leptourgos et al., 2020; Rolland et al., 2014; Waters, 2023). Given this evidence, it's crucial to elucidate the distinct neural mechanisms underlying hallucinations linked to hearing impairment, psychosis, and drug abuse. Emotion recognition emerges as a pertinent factor for discerning between these three categories of hallucinations. Participants with diverse proneness to hallucinations, drug abuse, and hearing abilities will undergo assessments on auditory emotion perception. The research will utilize non-verbal vocalizations )Ah and oh sounds) exhibiting a range of emotional content.

(1) Leptourgos, P., Fortier-Davy, M., Carhart-Harris, R., Corlett, P. R., Dupuis, D., Halberstadt, A. L., . . . Jardri, R. (2020). Hallucinations Under Psychedelics and in the Schizophrenia Spectrum: An Interdisciplinary and Multiscale Comparison. Schizophr Bull, 46(6), 1396-1408. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbaa117. ; (2) Waters, F. (2023). The future of hallucination research: Can hallucinogens and psychedelic drugs teach us anything? Psychiatry Res, 319, 114968. ; (3) Rolland, B., Jardri, R., Amad, A., Thomas, P., Cottencin, O., & Bordet, R. (2014). Pharmacology of hallucinations: several mechanisms for one single symptom? BioMed Research International, 2014. (4) Waters, F., Allen, P., Aleman, A., Fernyhough, C., Woodward, T. S., Badcock, J. C., . . . Laroi, F. (2012). Auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia and nonschizophrenia populations: a review and integrated model of cognitive mechanisms. Schizophr Bull, 38(4), 683-693. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbs045.; (5) Amorim, M., Roberto, M. S., Kotz, S. A., & Pinheiro, A. P. (2022). The perceived salience of vocal emotions is dampened in non-clinical auditory verbal hallucinations. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 27(2-3), 169-182.

Group 25 - Hacking memory with AI: Finding the perfect study method 

Tutor: Melanie Smekal

When studying for an exam or learning any new information, the ways we try to enter something into our memory (called memory encoding techniques) can make the crucial difference between what is remembered, and what is forgotten. Research has shown that using multimodal encoding, e.g. combining seeing and physically enacting a word, leads to memory benefits when compared to using just one sensory modality (e.g. Engelkamp & Zimmer, 1989). Similar memory boosting effects have been found when including active elements such as drawing, generative processing or haptic feedback (Wammes et al., 2019; Slamecka & Graf, 1978; Lederman et al., 1990). Nowadays, these methods can be further expanded with the use of generative AI tools. We will aim to compare several memory encoding techniques, including one AI component, and to (potentially) find the perfect way to study/learn. 

Engelkamp, J., & Zimmer, H. D. (1989). Memory for action events: a new field of research. Psychological research.; Wammes, J. D., Jonker, T. R., & Fernandes, M. A. (2019). Drawing improves memory: The importance of multimodal encoding context. Cognition, 191, 103955.; Slamecka, N. J., & Graf, P. (1978). The generation effect: Delineation of a phenomenon. Journal of experimental Psychology: Human learning and Memory, 4(6), 592.; Lederman, S. J., Klatzky, R. L., Chataway, C., & Summers, C. D. (1990). Visual mediation and the haptic recognition of two-dimensional pictures of common objects. Perception & psychophysics, 47(1), 54-64.

Group 26 - Which type of learner are you? 

Tutor: Melanie Smekal

It has been proposed and widely applied that people can be categorized into four groups based their preferred learning style: visual, aural, read/write or kinesthetic (Murphy et al., 2004). However, this view is actually more controversial than you may think! For instance, students often do not study according to their learning styles, and even if they do, this does not significantly correlate with grade outcomes (e.g. Husmann & O’Loughlin, 2019). Alternatively, research consistently finds that combining several modalities, such as vision and hearing, or vision and touch, leads to improved memory when compared to using only one sensory modality, and across different learning styles (Lederman et al., 1990). We will aim to investigate whether learning styles actually matter for better memory.

Murphy, R. J., Gray, S. A., Straja, S. R., & Bogert, M. C. (2004). Student learning preferences and teaching implications. Journal of dental education, 68(8), 859-866.; Husmann, P. R., & O'Loughlin, V. D. (2019). Another nail in the coffin for learning styles? Disparities among undergraduate anatomy students’ study strategies, class performance, and reported VARK learning styles. Anatomical sciences education, 12(1), 6-19.; Lederman, S. J., Klatzky, R. L., Chataway, C., & Summers, C. D. (1990). Visual mediation and the haptic recognition of two-dimensional pictures of common objects. Perception & psychophysics, 47(1), 54-64.

Group 27 - Remember in pain: Remember in vain? 

Tutor: Rena Gatzounis

To remember to hand in your assignment on time or to pass by the supermarket after the tutorial, you need prospective memory – that is, memory for future intentions. Under certain circumstances, prospective memory gets worsened by pain. This can further decrease functioning in people with chronic or acute pain problems, who may then get to forget important things, such as to take their medication. In this project we will investigate prospective memory in the context of pain, and, potentially, ways to improve it. 

Baker, K. S., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Gibson, S. J., & Giummarra, M. J. (2017). Optimizing cognitive function in persons with chronic pain. Clinical Journal of Pain, 33(5), 462–472. https://doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0000000000000423
Dismukes, R. K. (2012). Prospective memory in workplace and everyday situations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(4), 215–220. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721412447621
Einstein, G. O., & McDaniel, M. a. (2005). Prospective memory: Multiple retrieval processes. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(6), 286–291.
Gatzounis, R., Schrooten, M. G. S., Crombez, G., & Vlaeyen, J. W. S. (2018). Forgetting to remember? Prospective memory within the context of pain. European Journal of Pain, 22(3), 614–625. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1152
Pitães, M., Blais, C., Karoly, P., Okun, M. A., & Brewer, G. A. (2018). Acute pain disrupts prospective memory cue detection processes. Memory, 26(10), 1450–1459. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2018.1491602

Group 28 - Pain in a Social World

Tutor: Kai Karos

We all have felt pain before and know it is a deeply subjective and personal experience. However, we rarely experience pain alone. As social animals we often experience pain in the presence of others or others experience pain in our presence. Are we taken seriously? Do others help and comfort us or not? And are we good at estimating pain in others? How do we react when others suffer? It turns out that our social environment can greatly influence how we perceive pain and deal with pain, both in the good and the bad. In this project you will design an online study to investigate social influences on the perception of pain in others. Possible topics that could be studied include stigma, discrimination, pain communication and expression, and social learning. 

1) Karos, K., Williams, A. C. de C., Meulders, A., & Vlaeyen, J. W. S. (2018). Pain as a threat to the social self. PAIN, 159(9), 1. https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001257. 2) de Ruddere, L., & Craig, K. D. (2016). Understanding stigma and chronic pain. Pain, 157(8), 1. https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000512. 3) de Ruddere, L., Goubert, L., Vervoort, T., Prkachin, K. M., & Crombez, G. (2012). We discount the pain of others when pain has no medical explanation. Journal of Pain, 13(12), 1198–1205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2012.09.002. 4) Kappesser, J., Williams, A. C. D. C., & Prkachin, K. M. (2006). Testing two accounts of pain underestimation. Pain, 124(1–2), 109–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2006.04.003

Group 29 - Hope in the face of climate change

Tutor: Marjolein Hanssen

Young people are increasingly concerned about climate change. While climate concerns are real and can encourage environmentally friendly behavior, they can also negatively impact psychological well-being and have a paralyzing effect. Hope, optimism and/or positivity may be an essential source of renewable energy for dealing with climate concerns in a way that benefits both people and the planet. In this project, you will design a study to investigate this claim.

1) Ojala, M. (2015). Hope in the Face of Climate Change: Associations With Environmental Engagement and Student Perceptions of Teachers’ Emotion Communication Style and Future Orientation. The Journal of Environmental Education, 46, 133 - 148.

2) Pihkala, P. (2020). Anxiety and the Ecological Crisis: An Analysis of Eco-Anxiety and Climate Anxiety. Sustainability, 12(19), 7836.

Group 30 - A taste of the past: good food, good memories

Tutor: Sjaan Nederkoorn & Rosalie Mourmans

Every day, people make decisions about what to eat, influenced by both current situations and memories of past experiences. Our food decisions are not isolated events; they are rooted in our personal histories and the emotions associated with previous dining encounters. Have you ever noticed how negative food experiences stick in your memory more than positive ones?. By identifying the factors contributing to biased thinking in food selection and understanding the role of memory in food decision-making, interventions can be developed to promote healthier eating habits.

Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. Review of general psychology, 5(4), 323-370.
Schienle, A., Potthoff, J., Schönthaler, E., & Schlintl, C. (2021). Disgust-related memory bias in children and adults. Evolutionary Psychology, 19(2), 1474704921996585.

Group 31 - Food for Thought: Exploring Social and Economic Influences on Food choices

Tutor: Rosalie Mourmans

In recent years, behavioral economists have recognized that individuals consider not only their own interests but also those of others, demonstrating other-regarding preferences and aversion to unequal resource distributions. Are food choices influenced by similar considerations? As healthy eating becomes increasingly important in combating obesity in our obesogenic environment, understanding the factors influencing food choices is crucial. This study aims to examine food decision-making behaviors in an economic game setting.

van Dillen, L., Lelieveld, G. J., Hofmann, W., & de Kwaadsteniet, E. W. (2021). ‘Sharing in need’: How allocator and recipient's hunger shape food distributions in a dictator game. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 95, 104152.
Sorokowski, P., Oleszkiewicz, A., Niemczyk, A., Marczak, M., Huanca, T., Velasco, E. C., & Sorokowska, A. (2017). Money, food, and daily life objects are similarly shared in the dictator game. A study among poles and Tsimane’. Frontiers in Psychology, 554.
Kaplan, H., Gurven, M., Hill, K., & Hurtado, A. M. (2005). The natural history of human food sharing and cooperation: a review and a new multi-individual approach to the negotiation of norms. Moral sentiments and material interests: The foundations of cooperation in economic life, 6, 75-113.

Group 32 - Do (not) fear, your food is here!

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 touching, or never wants to try new foods. How can we explain this behavior? Food rejections are thought to have an evolutionary origin: for our ancestors, eating an unknown type of (potentially poisonous) berries was dangerous. Furthermore, previous studies have revealed higher levels of anxiety in people with food rejection tendencies. In this practical, you will examine the relationship between fear/anxiety and picky eating behavior. Depending on the group’s preference, your focus may lie on (but isn’t limited to) questionnaire data, information processing biases, or implicit danger-food associations.

Maratos, F. A., & Sharpe, E. E. (2018). The origins of disordered eating and childhood food neophobia: Applying an anxiety perspective. In Food neophobia (pp. 305-328). Woodhead Publishing.
Van den Brand, A. J. P., Hendriks-Hartensveld, A. E. M., Havermans, R. C., & Nederkoorn, C. (2023). Child characteristic correlates of food rejection in preschool children: A narrative review. Appetite, 107044.
Raudenbush, B., & Capiola, A. (2012). Physiological responses of food neophobics and food neophilics to food and non-food stimuli. Appetite, 58(3), 1106-1108.
Farrow, C. V., & Coulthard, H. (2012). Relationships between sensory sensitivity, anxiety and selective eating in children. Appetite, 58(3), 842-846.

Group 33 - 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 obvious 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 34 - From TikTok to tic talk – The role of social media on symptom reporting 

Tutor: Lotte Slootmaekers

Have you ever spent 10 minutes scrolling the internet and diagnosed yourself with at least three different diseases? In an era where information about mental health and mental illnesses is readily available everywhere online, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between trustworthy and deceptive information. With this wealth of information only a few clicks away, it is very easy to (wrongfully) self-diagnose without ever seeing a clinician. Could it be that self-diagnosing or a chronic online presence has an effect on our understanding and experience of mental health symptoms? During this practical, we will look into the role of social media on symptom reporting and delve into what influence it has on our understanding of mental health.

Frey, J., Black, K. J., & Malaty, I. A. (2022). TikTok Tourette’s: Are We Witnessing a Rise in Functional Tic-Like Behavior Driven by Adolescent Social Media Use?. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 3575-3585.
Giedinghagen, A. (2023). The tic in TikTok and (where) all systems go: Mass social media induced illness and Munchausen’s by internet as explanatory models for social media associated abnormal illness behavior. Clinical child psychology and psychiatry, 28(1), 270-278.
Lucas, J (2021, July 6) Inside TikTok’s booming dissociative identity disorder community. INPUT. file:///C:/Users/P70057538/Documents/PhD%20Project/Social%20Media%20and%20Symptom%20Reporting/Inside%20TikTok's%20booming%20dissociative%20identity%20disorder%20community.html
Olvera, C., Stebbins, G. T., Goetz, C. G., & Kompoliti, K. (2021). TikTok tics: a pandemic within a pandemic. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, 8(8), 1200-1205.

Group 35 - Diving into Veggie Power: Decoding Food Picks

Tutor: Pauline Dibbets

Ever wondered why we choose what we eat? This project zooms in on how our food choices impact our vegetable intake. By figuring out what makes us tick—whether it is the choice itself or other factors—we are on a mission to crack the code for getting more vegetables on our plates. Unraveling these mysteries can help developing interventions and campaigns to make healthy eating a breeze.

Mourmans, R., Fleischeuer, B., Dibbets, P., Houben, K., & Nederkoorn, C. (2023). Choice-induced tasting: Evaluating the effect of choice on children's acceptance of an unfamiliar vegetable. Appetite, 191, Article 107049. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2023.107049https://doi.org/10.1016/j.app...

Group 36 - The impact of Evaluation Methods on Motivation through the lens of Self-Determination Theory

Tutor: Nicholas Pleij

Maybe you recognize yourself in this scenario: you’re taking a new course this period, and it’s exactly your cup of tea. You’re engaged and excited to discuss it during tutorials, and think you might have found your niche in psychology! But then something starts to change – finals week is ever approaching, and the course has a closed-book exam that has a reputation for being a killer. Your drive to learn about this topic deflates, and ultimately a stressful approach to the final exam commences.
Assessments are often seen as an inevitable part of education. And to an extent, gauging progress will always be crucial. But is there an optimal way to do this, and help students stay passionate about the subjects they love? One way to investigate this type of motivation is through the lens of self-determination (Deci & Ryan, 2012). To this end, we will investigate what kind of impact different forms of evaluation have on the students’ motivation, and therefore their wellbeing.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Self-determination theory. Handbook of theories of social psychology, 1(20), 416-436.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2002). Overview of self-determination theory: An organismic dialectical perspective. Handbook of self-determination research, 2, 3-33.
Vansteenkiste, M., Sierens, E., Soenens, B., Luyckx, K., & Lens, W. (2009). Motivational profiles from a self-determination perspective: The quality of motivation matters. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 671-688. doi:10.1037/a0015083
Ryan, R. M., & Weinstein, N. (2009). Undermining quality teaching and learning: A self-determination theory perspective on high-stakes testing. Theory and research in education, 7(2), 224-233.

Group 37 - Why do students do (or don’t do) this healthy behavior?

Tutor: Louk Peters

Interventions that are designed to promote a certain healthy behavior are usually based on research into the underlying determinants of that behavior: why do people do (or do not do) that behavior? In this practical you will conduct research among your fellow students to identify which underlying factors of a health behavior are most important in explaining why students act in a healthy or unhealthy way. The behavior will be about alcohol, eating or physical activity. By the way: you will not design an intervention, but in the discussion of your research paper you can give suggestions for what factors/aspects to address in an intervention, based on your research results. The references give a clue to an often-used theory (a meta-analysis to show its applicability, and an individual study that can act as an example of such a study on a different topic).

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 38 - Why do students do (or don’t do) this sustainable behavior?

Tutor: Louk Peters

Interventions that are designed to promote a certain sustainable behavior are usually based on research into the underlying determinants of that behavior: why do people do (or do not do) that behavior? In this practical you will conduct research among your fellow students to identify which underlying factors of a sustainable behavior are most important in explaining why students act in a sustainable or unsustainable way. The behavior will be about eating (e.g. meat reduction, organic food). By the way: you will not design an intervention, but in the discussion of your research paper you can give suggestions for what factors/aspects to address in an intervention, based on your research results. The references give a clue to the often-used Theory of Planned Behavior (a meta-analysis to show its applicability, and an individual study that can act as an example of such a study on a sustainability topic).

Klöckner, C. A. (2013). A comprehensive model of the psychology of environmental behaviour – A meta-analysis. Global Environmental Change, 23(5), 1028-1038. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.05.014. O'Connor, E. L., Sims, L., & White, K. M. (2017). Ethical food choices: Examining people’s Fair Trade purchasing decisions. Food Quality and Preference, 60, 105-112, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.04.001.

Group 39 - An empirical assessment of psychological risk factors of sexual aggression among Dutch university students

Tutor: Nisali Perera

University-based sexual violence poses a significant public health concern, leading to various longterm adverse consequences. Extensive research involving victim-survivors has confirmed that approximately one in five female students experience sexually aggressive acts during their university years. Additionally, empirical investigations into perpetration have revealed that nearly one-third of male students exhibit sexually aggressive behaviors during their time at university. Despite these alarming statistics, there remains a lack of understanding regarding the psychological traits associated with sexual aggression among students, especially in the context of the Netherlands. Based on past research we will design a study aimed at expanding the understanding of university-based sexual aggression.

Canan, S.N., Jozkowski, K.N. and Crawford, B.L. (2016) ‘Sexual assault supportive attitudes: Rape myth acceptance and token resistance in greek and Non-Greek college students from two university samples in the United States’, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(22), pp. 3502–3530. doi:10.1177/0886260516636064.
Rich, K., Seffrin, P.M. and McNichols, E. (2021) ‘College students’ responses to their sexually assaulted friends: Impact of rape myth acceptance, prior victimization, and social relationships’, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 50(1), pp. 263–275. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01842-4.
Hales, S. T., & Gannon, T. A. (2022). Understanding Sexual Aggression in UK Male University Students: An Empirical Assessment of Prevalence and Psychological Risk Factors. Sexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment, 34(6), 744–770. https://doi.org/10.1177/10790632211051682

Group 40 - The role of popular media and dark triad traits in promoting rape cognitions

Tutor: Nisali Perera

Previous research has established the significance of socially aversive personality traits, such as those encompassed within the Dark Triad, in shaping rape cognitions (such as rape-supportive attitudes, empathy toward rape victims, and hostile masculinity). However, there remains a gap in understanding how various types of popular media content influence attitudes toward rape cognitions depending on individual personality traits. Therefore, this study aims to design an online experiment to investigate the impact of exposure to different popular media platforms on rape cognitions, taking into account variations across the Dark Triad personality traits.

Barn R., & Powers R. A. (2021). Rape myth acceptance in contemporary times: A comparative study of university students in India and the united kingdom. Journal of Interpersonal Violence , 36(7–8), 3514–3535. 10.1177/0886260518775750
Brewer G., Lyons M., Perry A., & O’Brien F. (2021). Dark triad traits and perceptions of sexual harassment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence , 36(13–14), NP7373–NP7387. 10.1177/0886260519827666m
Galdi S., Maass A., & Cadinu M. (2014). Objectifying media: Their effect on gender role norms and sexual harassment of women. Psychology of Women Quarterly , 38(3), 398–413. 10.1177/0361684313515185

Group 41 - Learning a language from scratch: Mapping sounds to letter

Tutor: 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 42 - The role of motor-processes in avoidance behaviour: A VR study

Tutor: Dimitri Van Ryckeghem

Pain-related avoidance is an evolutionary adaptive behavior that can prevent us from further injuring our body. Because of this, the ability of the central nervous system to anticipate potential pain and adjust behavior to avoid or minimize threat, is highly adaptive. Motor processes are crucial component of anticipatory behavior. However, how such behavioral adjustments aimed at avoiding anticipated pain, are supported by motor processes, is poorly understood. In this project, we aim to systematically investigate motor processes using a VR pain-related avoidance paradigm. More specifically, participants will perform an arm reaching task during which movements towards a specific direction will be paired with a painful stimulation. Participants will have the chance to avoid these stimuli by moving towards the other direction. We will examine motor indices (Reaction time, motor performance accuracy) and their role in supporting pain-related avoidance during goal-directed movements.

​Schouppe, S. et al. Does experimentally induced pain-related fear influence central and peripheral movement preparation in healthy people and patients with low back pain? PAIN 161, 1212–1226 (2020). ​Glogan, E. et al. Investigating pain-related avoidance behavior using a robotic arm-reaching paradigm. J. Vis. Exp. 2020, 1–26 (2020).

Group 43 - Pain-related attention alignment: A VR design

Tutor: Dimitri Van Ryckeghem

Chronic pain is a major health problem resulting in reduced quality of life and tremendous societal and economic costs. Attentional processing of pain is considered to be central in developing poor pain outcomes and chronic pain. The idea is that heightened selective attention for pain-related information, at the cost of other information in the environment, initiates or exacerbates persistent pain problems (attentional bias for pain-related information). Yet research findings for the role of AB in developing poor pain outcomes are mixed. Recently, it was argued that to improve research in the field, pain stimuli should be more ecological valid (i.e. actual pain cues) and AB dynamics should be investigated (i.e. in changing functional contexts). To address these suggestions, we propose a novel VR paradigm to assess flexibility in attending towards or away from pain information in varying contexts. By doing so current study will provide insights in the dynamics of AB and the impact of attention processing upon pain outcomes.

Van Ryckeghem DML, Noel M, Sharpe L, Pincus T, Van Damme S. Cognitive biases in pain: an integrated functional-contextual framework. Pain 2019;160(7):1489-1493. Todd J, van Ryckeghem DM, Sharpe L, Crombez G. Attentional bias to pain-related information: a meta-analysis of dot-probe studies. Health psychology review 2018;12(4):419-436.

Group 44 - The Language of the Future

Tutor: 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 45 - Mind that gap! I don’t see any gap.

Tutors: Anna Razafindrahaba

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 see the contributions of higher visual cortex areas to filling-in and use eye-tracking to investigate the contribution of eye movements and pupil size.

De Weerd, P. (2006). Perceptual filling-in: More than the eye can see. Progress in Brain Research, 154, 227–245. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0079-6123(06)54012-9; Weil, R. S., & Rees, G. (2011). A new taxonomy for perceptual filling-in. Brain Research Reviews, 67(1), 40–55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresrev.2010.10.004; Komatsu, Hidehiko. “The Neural Mechanisms of Perceptual Filling-In.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 7, no. 3 (March 2006): 220–31. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn1869.

Group 46 - How does sensory integration influence behaviour?

Tutor: Andrea Smitten

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. 
One 2009 *study, found that 1 in every 6 children has sensory processing issues that make it hard to learn and function in school. Other studies have found that **66% of autistic children (65-90% of autistic children, depending on the research study), and 32% of children with special education needs (who were not autistic) show definite differences in sensory behaviours. 
More recently, a 2020 paper*** found that sensory processing difficulties predicted executive and cognitive dysfunctions in inhibitory control, auditory sustained attention, and short-term verbal memory in autistic children within a school context.

*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. doi: 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. doi: 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 47 - Visual skill learning: Practice makes perfect?

Tutors: Peter de Weerd

Visual skill learning refers to the ability to perceive visual stimuli better after training. For example, a radiologist will make a diagnosis using details in a CT-image that we as non-radiologists simply wouldn't see.  We all believe this ability reflects lots of practice! However, a surprising experiment (1) used smart tricks to show you can avoid much of the training to build a visual skill. We want to test some hypotheses about why these tricks work. These experiments have theoretical implications about the nature of the learning process (2, 3) and also potential practical implications! 

Amar-Halpert, R., Laor-Maayany, R., Nemni, S., Rosenblatt, J.D., Censor N. (2017). Memory reactivation improves visual perception. Nature neuroscience, 20, 1325-1328, 2017
Karni, A., & Sagi, D. (1991). Where Practice Makes Perfect in Texture Discrimination: Evidence for Primary Visual Cortex Plasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 88, 4966-4970.
Ahissar, M. & Hochstein, S. (2004). The reverse hierarchy theory of perceptual learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 457-464.

Group 48 - A memory of time

Tutors: Vincent van de Ven

We can remember the temporal structure of our experiences, such as story narratives or the order of life events. However, remembered time is often "warped" or morphed by the content of experience during encoding and memory formation, suggesting that we reconstruct rather than recall time from memory. What factors during encoding influence how we remember or warp time? Can we learn temporal structure from watching a movie multiple times? How can we test temporal memory?

1) Schoenenkorb, C., Niekerken, L., Valente, G., De Weerd, P., & van de Ven, V. (2023). Temporal memory compression after boundary segmentation and narrative learning. PsyArxiv. https://doi.org/10.21608/pshj.2022.250026; 2) van de Ven, V., Raissle, A., van den Hoogen, S., Roberts, M. J., & Smulders, F. T. Y. (2023). Encoding conditions shape temporal memory precision by modulating temporal uncertainty and temporal bias. PsyArxiv. https://psyarxiv.com/2xmyn/; 3) Richmond, L. L., & Zacks, J. M. (2017). Constructing Experience: Event Models from Perception to Action. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21(12), 962–980. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2017.08.005; 4) Heusser, A. C., Ezzyat, Y., Shiff, I., & Davachi, L. (2018). Perceptual boundaries cause mnemonic trade-offs between local boundary processing and across-trial associative binding. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 44(7), 1075–1090. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000503

Group 49 - Visual skill learning: Visual skill learning: How long does latent consolidation last?

Tutors: Peter de Weerd

Visual skill learning refers to the ability to perceive visual stimuli better after training. For example, a radiologist will make a diagnosis using details in a CT-image that we as non-radiologists simply wouldn't see. We all believe this ability reflects lots of practice! However, is it the case that if you entirely skip all daily training except for the first and last training session you would learn so much less (1)? Perhaps latent consolidation (2) starting at the end of the first training session automatically teaches you as much as a number of days of actual daily training ? We will test this! These experiments have theoretical implications about the nature of the learning process (2-4) and also potential practical implications!

Amar-Halpert, R., Laor-Maayany, R., Nemni, S., Rosenblatt, J.D., Censor N. (2017). Memory reactivation improves visual perception. Nature neuroscience, 20, 1325-1328, 2017
Karni, A., Sagi, D. (1993). The time course of learning a visual skill. Nature 365, 250–252.
Karni, A., & Sagi, D. (1991). Where Practice Makes Perfect in Texture Discrimination: Evidence for Primary Visual Cortex Plasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 88, 4966-4970.
Ahissar, M. & Hochstein, S. (2004). The reverse hierarchy theory of perceptual learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 457-464.

Group 50 - Not so proficient speaker, better judge?

Tutors: 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?

References: Costa A, Foucart A, Hayakawa S, Aparici M, Apesteguia J, et al. (2014) Your Morals Depend on Language. PLoS ONE 9(4): e94842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094842   Dror, I. E. (2020). Cognitive and Human Factors in Expert Decision Making: Six Fallacies and the Eight Sources of Bias. Analytical Chemistry 92 (12), 7998-8004. DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00704   Nunez, N., Estrada-Reynolds, V., Schweitzer, K., & Myers, B. (2016). The Impact of Emotions on Juror Judgments and Decision-Making. In Advances in Psychology and Law (pp. 55-93). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-43083-6_3

Group 51 - Social mirroring: an obstacle in forensic speaker identification?

Tutors: Maartje Schreuder

In my experience as a forensic speech analyst, working on cases for police and justice, I often notice that some speakers adjust their speech to their interlocutor, while others do not have that tendency at all. In forensic speaker identification, one has to analyze similarities and differences between recordings of speakers, in order to answer the question whether they originate from the same speaker or not. Not only does it become more difficult to distinguish speakers who mirror each other’s speech, indeed the differences between different recordings of the same speaker may hinder comparisons. Therefore, it would be relevant to investigate whether there are certain population types (e.g., ethnicity, gender) that have a higher tendency for social mirroring their speech than other, or whether it perhaps depends more on different situations.  

Garrod, S., & Pickering, M. J. (2009). Joint Action, Interactive Alignment, and Dialog. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1(2), 292-304. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-8765.2009.01020.x 

French, P. (1994). An overview of forensic phonetics with particular reference to speaker identification. Forensic Linguistics, International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, 1 (2) 169-181. 

Fusaroli, R., Bahrami, B., Olsen, K., Roepstorff, A., Rees, G., Frith, C., & Tylén, K. (2012). Coming to Terms. Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797612436816 

Van Baaren, R. B., Holland, R. W., Kawakami, K., & van Knippenberg, A. (2004). Mimicry and Prosocial Behavior. Psychological Science, 15(1), 71-74. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.01501012.x 

Watt, D. (2010). The identification of the individual through speech. In: Llamas, C. & Watt, D. (eds.). Language and Identities, pp. 76-85. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


Group 52 - Prevalence of discrimination

Tutors: Dongning Ren

Discrimination can take various forms such as harrasement, exclusion, microaggresion, and omission. But what is the prevalence of these different forms of discrimination in people's everyday life? In this project we will survey participants' experiences with different forms of discrimination and gain an understanding of how often these events occur. 

Krieger, N., Smith, K., Naishadham, D., Hartman, C., & Barbeau, E. M. (2005). Experiences of discrimination: validity and reliability of a self-report measure for population health research on racism and health. Social science & medicine, 61(7), 1576-1596.

Group 53- Emerging adulthood as a distinct life stage

Tutors: René Tanious

The timing and shape of transition into adulthood has changed drastically since the second half of the 20th century. Specific markers of transitioning to adulthood such as leaving the parental home, entering full-time employment, marrying, and becoming parents occur much later in life. Young persons who are legally adults, but have not yet reached young adulthood are called emerging adults. Typically, the age of emerging adulthood ranges from 18 – 29 years, though there is individual variation. Emerging adulthood is a sensitive life period with an increased risk of developing psychological disorders. The transition from emerging adulthood to young adulthood is associated with feeling in-between, identity explorations, and not yet being fully autonomous. 

Arnett, J. J. (2007). Emerging adulthood: What is it, and what is it good for? Child Development Perspectives, 1(2), 68–73. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-8606.2007.00016.x
Arnett, J. J., Žukauskienė, R., & Sugimura, K. (2014). The new life stage of emerging adulthood at ages 18–29 years: implications for mental health. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1(7), 569–576. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2215-0366(14)00080-7
Munsey, C. (2006). Emerging adults: The in-between age. Monitor on Psychology, 37(7), 68. https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/monitor/jun06/emerging

Tanious, R., Gérain, P., Jacquet, W., & Van Hoof, E. (2023). A scoping review of life skills development and transfer in emerging adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1275094

Group 54 - Contextual factors and time pressure in information processing and decison-making

Tutors: René Tanious

The way in which we perceive information depends on many contextual statements. The same piece of information can be presented in many different ways. With the current oversaturation of news, information need to be processed quickly. Imagine scrolling through you newsfeed and you see two different articles reporting on the same story that a boat has sunk. One outlet chooses the title “In tragic boat accident, 10% of the passengers perish” while the other outlet chooses the title “Miraculously, 90% of passengers survive accident in which a boat sank”. While the statistics in the two headlines are complimentary and thus convey the same information, their perception upon reading them differs.  This does not only apply to information processing, but also to using information to solve problems, especially under time constraints.

Chong, D., & Druckman, J. N. (2007). Framing theory. Annual Review of Political Science, 10(1), 103–126. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.10.072805.103054
Kitchen, P. J., Kerr, G., Schultz, D. E., McColl, R., & Pals, H. (2014). The elaboration likelihood model: review, critique and research agenda. European Journal of Marketing, 48(11/12), 2033–2050. https://doi.org/10.1108/ejm-12-2011-0776
Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1981). The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice. Science, 211(4481), 453–458. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.7455683

 End of list.

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