Prof. dr. Sander Thomaes

Martinus J. Langeveldgebouw
Heidelberglaan 1
Kamer H2.24
3584 CS Utrecht

Prof. dr. Sander Thomaes

Developmental Psychology
+31 30 253 3666

‘The average teenager is concerned about climate change, but that doesn't necessarily translate into behavior. My research is about how to achieve behavior change.'

Sander Thomaes is professor of Developmental Psychology and vice-dean of Research and Impact at the Faculty of Social Sciences. 

As human beings we are able to look at ourselves, reflect on our behavior and experience feelings about who we are and what we do. In his research, Thomaes looks at the origin, nature and consequences of the developing self in young people. He wonders, among other things, why young people think and feel about themselves the way they do and why ‘the self’ has such a major influence on their psychological development and health.

Thomaes integrates different methods and theories from developmental psychology, social psychology and clinical psychology and translates these into practical applications. For example, how self and identity processes can be used to promote sustainable behavior change in young people.

Thomaes obtained his PhD in Developmental Psychology cum laude from the VU and previously worked at the University of Southampton. As a teacher, he is involved in the Psychology curriculum and in the master program Development and in the Socialization in Childhood and Adolescence. In addition, he is associate editor with the scientific journal Self and Identity. Thomaes wrote a children’s book on psychology (Wat Je Denkt Ben Je Zelf) which appeared with publisher Nieuwezijds.

developmental psychology