25 April 2018

Sander Thomaes appointed Professor of Developmental Psychology

Sander Thomaes has been appointed Professor of Developmental Psychology with effect from 1 May 2018. As part of his chair, Thomaes wishes to examine how children and young people develop knowledge about themselves and others. ‘Our psyche has been developed to make a connection with other people. The required psychological infrastructure is formed in our youth. We want to find out how this happens: how do children develop knowledge about themselves and others, knowledge which they need in order to enter into relationships?’

Sander Thomaes

The new professor has been working at Utrecht University for quite some time, with a sidestep to the University of Southampton from 2013 to 2016. ‘In Utrecht, in the Netherlands, we are used to a university which is predominantly organised along disciplinary lines. In Southampton, the university was arranged around themes. In the research centre I was affiliated with, this meant that I didn't just work with psychologists but also with sociologists and anthropologists, for example. I will be focusing on establishing the same kind of themed, interdisciplinary collaboration here in Utrecht.’

Dark personalities

Thomaes has been researching the self-image of young people for many years. He publishes articles about this in various scientific journals. Last year, he put together a special edition of the American Journal of Abnormal Psychology which was entirely dedicated to dark personalities. He also shares his findings with the popular media. For example, Thomaes recently wrote a long article for the NRC and spoke about narcissism at the Betweterfestival in TivoliVredenburg.