Research Areas and Expertise
“How can we engage people with behaviours that contribute to their own future benefit or the greater good of all while recognizing their need for making autonomous decisions? This question is urgent, and examples abound, from vaccination to choosing green energy and from decreasing meat consumption to registering as an organ donor.
Dealing with these decisions relates to self-regulation, how people work on their personal goals in the midst of competing interests. The overarching goal of our Utrecht-based research group is to advance the understanding of opportunities and obstacles that individuals may encounter when trying to achieve their goals. We do this by examining when and how people identify possibilities and overcome difficulties and by looking into how environmental arrangements support them in doing what they want to do.
Not acting in line what people aim to do is not always irrational and often related to the lack of chances in the context at hand. Research from our Lab highlights these contextual factors with a focus on choice architecture and social norms. Our lab is deeply involved with the pressing question of how psychological science can inform public policy making that employs behavioural insights to guide individual choices. We therefore collaborate with scholars from public administration, design, law, ethics, behavioral economy, and communication science to investigate theory-driven interventions in the public domain.
Our research employs advanced designs and methodology to track self-regulation processes and real time decision making in lab and field experiments by means of experience sampling, mouse tracking, eye tracking, and Wii-boards.”