The faculty of Social and Behavioural sciences is committed to a broad spectrum of psychological, pedagogical and sociological education, research and clinical services.
Game technology provides the means towards higher levels of immersion in psychological experimental settings and the use of truly interactive environments. Moreover it gives an enormous potential for applied and clinical studies and valorization. For instance, virtual scenes and environments in 3D enable advanced and precise studies of spatial navigation, route learning and episodic memory (Postma, Claessen), provide an instrument to study the functional characteristics of the ‘peripersonal space’ (Dijkerman, Kandula) and the effect of approaching threatening stimuli on physiological correlates of human behaviour (Dijkerman, Terburg, Engelhard). Moreover, creating virtual experimental setups in, for instance, the Oculus Rift, allows for the translation of fundamental paradigms to clinical settings in which patients are less able to conform to experimental demands (Keizer, Dijkerman, Nijboer). Also new methods and interventions for assessing and treating disorders such as trauma and depression can be developed by VR tools and game settings (e.g Bockting,Williams).
Another approach to translating experimental paradigms to ‘real life’ is through the development of the use of ‘smart sensors’ in the collection of data in normally behaving humans. Implementing learning algorithms in experience sampling studies allows for participant-tailored feedback (de Ridder). Augmented reality solutions can provide real-time feedback on, for instance, consumer behavior, providing a window for health improvement programs (de Ridder, Benjamins).
In education, courses in communication skills are facilitated by the Communicate! project (Ijntema in collaboration with Johan Jeuring), an application that allows for flexible online training of communication skills in different contexts.