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Members (in alphabetical order)

YongQi Cong

YongQi finished the Research Master Psychology programme at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology. She started her PhD in November 2015 under the supervision of dr. Disa Sauter and prof. dr. Agneta Fischer. YongQi is interested in emotion, culture, language and their relationships with each other. She has worked on the categorical perception of emotions in pre-verbal infants and the communication and experience of positive emotions across cultures. YongQi’s PhD project investigates why there is an in-group advantage in emotion communication – the phenomena whereby people are better at recognizing emotion signals when they are displayed by someone from their own culture and do worse when emotions are displayed by someone with a different cultural background. The project examines different samples including immigrants, expats, adopted individuals in addition to native residents from China and the Netherlands. YongQi’s PhD project is funded by a Research Talent grant from the NWO (The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research).  

Ms Y. (YongQi) Cong MSc

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Corine Dijk

Dr. Corine Dijk is an assistant professor of at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. My research centres on interpersonal processes in psychopathology, mainly in social anxiety disorder. For example, I try to study if socially anxious individuals differ in their emotional responses from non-anxious individuals during social interactions (e.g., blush more or are less inclined to mimic other’s emotions);  and if this influences how they are judged by others. Also, I try to examine which cognitive mechanisms drive the differences in social and emotional behaviour. For example, do negative interpretations or strict beliefs about what is appropriate behaviour cause socially anxious individuals to behave differently?

dr. K.F.L. (Corine) Dijk

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Clinical Psychology

Tiarah Engels

Tiarah graduated from the Research Master Psychology programme at the University of Amsterdam (2017), specializing in Social Psychology and Clinical Psychology. She started her PhD in July 2018 under the supervision of dr. Disa Sauter and prof. dr. Bertjan Doosje. For her PhD project she is investigating a novel affective approach to reduce social bias. More specifically, she is extending her master thesis work where she found a significant reduction in dehumanization following induction of elevation (i.e., a positive moral emotion). She will use an experimental approach to test the robustness, specificity, and mechanism of this effect, in order to establish the role of elevation and other positive emotions in reducing dehumanization.

Ms T.F.S. (Tiarah) Engels MSc

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Allard Feddes

Allard R. Feddes is interested in the role of emotions in intergroup contexts. Specifically, Allard has investigated the role of emotions in intergroup conflicts (i.e., the role of emotions in radicalisation processes leading to terrorism), formation of attitudes (i.e., how does humour interact with threat in regard to attitudes towards outgroups) and helping behaviour (i.e., to what extent do emotions play a role in volunteering to help refugees). Currently, Allard is involved in a research project focused on the extent to which reporting experiences with LGBTI-related discrimination and aggression to the police influences (emotional) well- being on the long term.  

dr. A.R. (Allard) Feddes

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Agneta Fischer

Prof.dr. Agneta Fischer is currently Professor in Emotions and Affective Processes in the Social Psychology Group of the University of Amsterdam, and director of the Psychology Research Institute. She has been president of the International Society of Research on Emotion (ISRE, 2004-2009), and she is currently the coordinator of CERE (Consortium of Emotion Researchers in Europe) and the chair of the Dutch Association of Social Psychology (ASPO). She is co-editor of Cognition and Emotion, and consulting editor in a number of other international journals. Her broad research interest is emotions in social contexts, and she has published in the domain of facial expressions of emotion, emotional mimicry, culture and gender differences in emotions, embodiment, and the social functions of emotions, in particular anger and contempt. 

prof. dr. A.H. (Agneta) Fischer

Executive Staff


Jacob (Kobi) Israelashvili

I am a postdoc researcher in the social psychology department at the University of Amsterdam, working with Agneta Fischer and Disa Sauter. My research focusses on the psychological processes of empathy and understanding of others, building on my background inMathematics and Social Psychology. In my research, I examine empathy as a result of shared experiences. My studies show that a shared experience indeed expands our heart but at the same time can also disrupt our understanding of the subjective experiences of others. My goal is to understand the strength as well the weakness of shared experiences in the emergence of empathy, with an eye toward developing interventions that help people to care more and understand better.

Roza Kamiloglu

I completed my B.A in Psychology and B.S in Physics with double major program at Koç University, Turkey followed by a masters in Social Psychology from the same university (2016).  Upon my graduation, I worked as a researcher at Utrecht University on olfactory modality as a medium of social communication providing a demonstration of perception of discrete negative facial expressions using olfactory priming. Currently, in my PhD project, I am working on nonverbal vocal expressions associated with specific positive emotions across cultures and the lifespan.

Ms R.G. (Roza) Kamiloglu MA

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Gerben van Kleef

Prof. dr. Gerben A. van Kleef is Chair of the Social Psychology department of the University of Amsterdam. His primary research interests revolve around emotion, power, norm violations, social influence, group processes, and conflict. In studying these topics, he investigates fundamental mechanisms underlying human behavior and explores their implications for organizations and society. In doing so, he combines social-psychological approaches with insights from various other disciplines, including behavioral economics, law, biology, and evolutionary science. His work on emotion focuses on the interpersonal effects of discrete emotional expressions across domains of life, including personal relationships, conflict and negotiation, team work, leadership, coaching, and sports.

prof. dr. G.A. (Gerben) van Kleef

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Jens Lange

I am a PostDoc funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the UvA’s social psychology group. I work with Agneta Fischer and Gerben van Kleef. I have two main research areas. First, I am interested in the role of emotions in the regulation of social hierarchies with a special emphasis on status hierarchies based on prestige and dominance. Primarily, I investigate the diversity of envious reactions of low status individuals and how these reactions are predicted by these individuals’ personality (e.g., the Dark Triad or motivational inclinations) and by high status others’ emotions (e.g., pride). Moreover, I study the effects of schadenfreude, anger, contempt, and humility on the regulation of hierarchies. Second, I am broadly interested in the measurement of emotions at the state and at the trait level. I apply different methodological approaches (e.g., data-driven techniques) to uncover the nature of emotions.

dr. J. (Jens) Lange

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Jozefien De Leersnyder

Jozefien De Leersnyder is an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam and a research fellow of the Flanders Research Foundation (FWO) at the Center for Social and Cultural Psychology, KU Leuven, where she obtained her PhD in 2014. Broadly speaking, her work is located at the intersection of cultural psychology, acculturation psychology, and emotion psychology. Her main line of research is on the phenomena and processes of emotional acculturation – i.e. the changes in immigrant minorities’ patterns of emotional experience that are due to their engagement in a new/other cultural context. With migration being a quasi-experiment on changing socio-cultural contexts and emotions representing our stance in the world as well as being the social glue between people, she aims to gain insight in the cultural dynamics of meaning making as well as in the micro-processes of social belonging. When doing research as well as when teaching, Jozefien aims to increase our understanding of the intertwining of culture, psyche and well-being, particularly in changing and diverse social worlds.

dr. J.P.M. (Jozefien) De Leersnyder

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Kunalan Manokara

I started my PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) in February 2018, where I am supervised by Disa Sauter and Agneta Fischer. Broadly speaking, my research interests lie at the intersection of identity, culture and emotions. For my doctoral project, I will examine how specific positive emotions are facially represented, and evaluate the extent to which culture and identity influence such nonverbal expressions. Prior to this, I completed a double major in Psychology (BA Hons) and History at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). I then acquired an MSc in Social Cognition at University College London (United Kingdom), before proceeding to read an MPhil in Psychology at the University of Queensland (Australia), where I was jointly supervised by Prof. Jolanda Jetten and Prof. Matthew Hornsey.

Mr K. (Kunalan) Manokara MSc

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Milika Nikolic

I am a post-doctoral researcher in developmental psychopathology at the Child Development and Education department. My research interests evolve around the development of social emotions and social cognition in children. I am interested in understanding how children feel in social situations and how they think about other people and how these feelings and thoughts influence  the onset of children's  social problems on one hand and their social adjustment on the other hand. I investigate how social self-conscious emotions, such as shyness, shame, and guilt develop in toddlers and young children and how the disturbances in these emotions (for example, excessive or lack of shame) influence the occurrence of psychopathological symptoms and social adjustment.

dr. M. (Milica) Nikolic

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Developmental psychopathology

Suzanne Oosterwijk 

Broadly, my work is organized along two different themes. From an embodied cognition perspective, I investigate how networks in the brain overlap during intrapersonal and interpersonal emotion processes. For example, I studied how neural systems implement different forms of simulation when people process emotional states in language. In my second line of work, I focus on the phenomenon of morbid curiosity”. I am particularly interested in when people choose to view negative material and how this behavior is represented in the brain and body.

I received my PhD from the University of Amsterdam in March 2011. In my PhD project I examined the link between emotion concepts and bodily states. Afterwards, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett at Northeastern University in Boston. Currently, in addition to my position as a postdoc at the social psychology department, I also teach methods and statistics in the PPLE bachelor program at the University of Amsterdam. 

dr. S. (Suzanne) Oosterwijk

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Lisanne Pauw

Since September 2014, I am a PhD student in the department of Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, under supervision of Agneta Fischer, Disa Sauter and Gerben van Kleef. My academic interest lies the interpersonal nature of our emotions, and the ways in which we try to regulate them. Throughout my PhD project, I have examined why many individuals share their negative emotions with others, and why and when this is effective - or, perhaps more often than not - ineffective. In studying these questions, I use a wide variety of methodological paradigms, including behavioral measures, interaction studies, video-mediated recall, text analysis, self-report, and computer-human interaction.

Ms L.S. (Lisanne) Pauw

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard

Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard is an anthropologist and researcher at the the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR). Her work focuses on the social mechanisms behind violent acts and victimisation, cultural explanations for crime, and situational approaches to violence. She specialises in ethnographic methods with particular attention to observational methods including analysis of CCTV footage. You can find out more about Marie's work here.

Mark Rotteveel

Dr. Mark Rotteveel is an assistant professor working in the Social Psychology program at the Department of Psychology of the University of Amsterdam and he is associated editor of Cognition & Emotion. His research mainly concerns affective information processing and its behavioral consequences. Particularly, he is interested in affective information processing and its bi-directional relationship with action tendencies, attitudes, feelings, emotional expressions (e.g.,facial expressions, body posture) as well as information processing tendencies. Furthermore he is interested in cross-over phenomena of mood and affect with classic cognitive information processing (e.g., recognition performance). Recently, he started studying the perception of time in the context of emotion. In studying these processes specific latency measures, questionnaires as well as psychophysiological measures (e.g., fEMG, GSR, ERP, as fMRI) are used.

dr. M. (Mark) Rotteveel

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Maien Sachisthal

I am a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam, studying motivation and science learning with Maartje Raijmakers at the Department of Developmental Psychology. I did my internship with Dr. Disa Sauter and Prof. Agneta Fischer, investigating the influence of group membership on emotional mimicry and are aiming to find out what process underlies the finding of enhanced in-group mimicry of negative emotions. I am particularly interested in intergroup processes and what role emotions play in these processes, for example how they define group boundaries.

Ms M.S.M. (Maien) Sachisthal MSc

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Developmental Psychology

Disa Sauter

Dr. Disa Sauter is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. She currently holds an ERC Starting grant. Her work examines how factors such as culture, learning, and language, shape our emotions and the ways that they are signalled, and complementing this, which aspects of our emotions and emotional signals exhibit less plasticity. Her work examines the communication of emotions via non-verbal signals, with a particular focus on nonverbal vocalisations. She also has a particular interest in positive emotions. Disa’s research includes a range of experimental psychological approaches and cross-cultural comparative methods. 

dr. D.A. (Disa) Sauter

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Shahira Sharaf

I am a post doctoral researcher in the social psychology department at the University of Amsterdam, working with Disa Sauter. My research examines what causes impairments in emotional communication between native Dutch people and Arabic refugees. In this research I probe two mechanisms thought to underlie this impairment: group identification and cultural exposure. Specifically, I investigate the relationship between emotion recognition and Dutch perceivers’ attitudes towards refugees, and the role of cultural exposure in cross-cultural emotion recognition. My project is funded by a Refugees in Science/Hestia grant from the NWO (The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research).

Ms S. (Shahira) Sharaf

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Lukas Snoek

Since November 2015, I am a PhD-student at the Brain & Cognition department of the University of Amsterdam, under the supervision of Dr. Steven Scholte, and collaborate closely with Dr. Suzanne Oosterwijk from the Social Psychology department. In my PhD-project, I continue my research done during my master's in which I applied and developed machine learning algorithms to model affective processes measured with functional MRI. Specifically, I will investigate how different types of information, ranging from 'low-level' stimulus features to 'high-level' affective processes, map onto different spatial scales in the brain, from local patches of cortex to brain-wide functional networks. In addition to this rather methodological aspect, I am interested in how people learn affective associations by looking how affective experience develops in terms of patterns of neural activity. Generally, in my research I aim to employ state-of-the-art analysis tools, while emphasizing transparency and reproducibility. 

Rui Sun

I am a postdoctoral researcher at Department of Social Psychology, UvA, working with Dr. Disa Sauter on positive emotion experience across cultures.
Before coming to UvA, I completed my PhD in social psychology with Dr. Alex Kogan at University of Cambridge (Jan 2018), my MRes of Cognitive Neuroscience with Dr. Sarah White at University College London (Sep 2013), and my BS in Psychology with Prof. Shihui Han at Peking University (July 2012). 

dr. R. (Rui) Sun

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology

Don Weenink

My prime research interest is in violent interactions, and the dynamics of escalation and de-escalation. One question I am working on is how changes in the emotional states of the opponents are related to situational asymmetry. For instance by analysing how supportive groups impact the course of the interaction by increasing feelings of emotional domination in one party, or by degrading the opponent. Another question is how and to what extent the various cultural meanings expressed in violence are related to the emotional intensity of the interaction. I am principal investigator of the Group Violence research programme (ERC Consolidator Grant), which studies these questions by focusing on how group behaviour affects antagonistic and violent situations (see My research blends theories and methods from various social sciences, such as anthropology, criminology, social psychology and sociology. My home base for research and teaching is the department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam.

dr. D. (Don) Weenink

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Cultural Sociology

Svenja A. Wolf

Svenja is an Assistant Professor of Sport and Performance Psychology with UvA's Work and Organizational Psychology Program. Her expertise and interest centers on the intersection of group dynamics and emotions in sport, performing arts, and high-pressure work settings (e.g., restaurant kitchens). Specifically, Svenja investigates (a) collective emotions in performance teams in terms of concept, consequences, boundary factors, mechanisms, and causes; and (b) ambivalent group influences on cognition, emotion, and motivation such as social responsibility and group cohesion. In this, Svenja strives for collaboration, methodological diversity, and the translation of findings and knowledge to sport and performance psychology practice.

dr. S.A. (Svenja) Wolf

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Work and Organizational Psychology