News

The role of insults in an honour culture

People from an ‘honour culture’ often respond more aggressively to insults and provocations than those from a ‘dignity culture’. Saïd Shafa examined the underlying mechanisms and discovered how such responses can be avoided. PhD Defence 26 June.


Persuasive communication has pitfalls

Industrial organisations often use communication to convince the public of their good intentions concerning the environment, writes organisational psychologist Gerdien de Vries in her dissertation. But this strategy has some pitfalls. Dissertation defence on 18 June.


You can think too much

People can think too much about their capabilities. Once you've mastered something, it's not a good idea to spend too much time thinking about it. Leiden cognitive psychologists Bruno Bocanegra and Bernhard Hommel have published an article on the subject in Psychological Science.


Does Ehealth therapy work for physical conditions?

Can online treatment benefit patients with chronic physical disorders? Cognitive behavioural therapy via internet has been shown to be effective. Health psychologist Sylvia van Beugen writes in the 'Journal of Medical Internet Research' about the effects of Ehealth therapy for physical disorders.


Do placebos help against itching?

If a pill containing no active ingredients still helps, this positive expectation is called a placebo effect. A negative expectation is called a nocebo effect. Both can be produced by verbal suggestions and conditioning. According to Andrea Evers’ research group, combining these is the most promising approach to itching.


Better memory at ideal temperature

People’s working memory functions better if they are working in an ambient temperature where they feel most comfortable. That is what Leiden psychologists Lorenza Colzato and Roberta Sellaro conclude after having conducted research. They are publishing their findings in Psychological Research.


Difference between brain hemispheres not so strict

The difference between the rational left hemisphere and the emotional right hemisphere is by no means as strict as the popular view would have us believe. PhD candidate Jurriaan Witteman has published a study on this topic in Cognitive, Affective and Behavioural Neuroscience.


Tyrosine helps you stop faster

A child suddenly runs out into the road. Brake!! A driver who has recently eaten spinach or eggs will stop faster, thanks to the amino acid tyrosine found in these and other food products. Leiden cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato publishes her findings in the journal Neuropsychologia.


More sensitive to social exclusion

Children who experience chronic rejection and exclusion by their parents can become more sensitive to social exclusion later on in life and suffer the effects for a longer period of time. This is the subject of an online publication on the website Plos One by Anne-Laure van Harmelen and her Leiden University colleagues.


How autistic children learn to control their emotions

Children with autism spectrum disorder often suffer from social and mental health problems. PhD research by Lucinda Pouw (Developmental and Educational Psychology) has shown that how they deal with their emotions is an important factor. PhD defence 14 January.


Verbal abuse does hurt

Emotional child abuse has negative effects on cognition and the structure and functioning of the brain, as Leiden PhD-student Anne-Laura van Harmelen has discovered. Her PhD defence is on 10th of December.


Need inspiration? Let’s get physical!

People who exercise regularly are better at creative thinking. This is the outcome of research by Leiden cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato. She published an article on this subject in the scientific magazine Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.


Reduced cognitive control in passionate lovers

People who are in love are less able to focus and to perform tasks that require attention. Researcher Henk van Steenbergen concludes this, together with colleagues from Leiden University and the University of Maryland. The article has appeared in the journal Motivation and Emotion.


Speed-dating to find your thesis supervisor

Four talented students will have the opportunity to progress smoothly from their master’s study programme into a research career. Master’s students in Applied Statistics can compete for one quarter of the € 800,000 grant recently awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The students get to choose their supervisor via speed-dating.


Trust through food

People’s trust in others increases after eating food that contains the amino acid tryptophan, found in fish, soya, eggs and spinach. Leiden psychologist Lorenza Colzato and her colleagues at the Universities of Leiden and Münster published their findings in Psychological Science.


Social equality as a moral ideal

How do you motivate people to strive for equal opportunities? According to social psychologist Serena Does, by appealing to their sense of morality. PhD defence 14 May.