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Members (in alphabetical order)

David Abadi

David Abadi is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Social Psychology, University of Amsterdam and a member of the H2020-funded project DEMOS (Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe). His research examines the psychological and emotional mechanisms linked to populist and extremist sentiments (and their corresponding appraisals) as well as hate speech and abusive language across media. For this purpose, he deploys a combination of (computational) methods, such as big data analytics, machine learning algorithms, survey research, experimental design, and natural language processing (NLP). He has co-developed a deep learning NLP model based on RoBERTa (Robustly optimized BERT approach), in order to detect metaphor, emotion and political rhetoric in big data. Lately, he co-developed a multi-task learning (MTL) model to detect social identity, populist attitudes, news bias and emotion in social media data.

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

Nila Fadhlia

I completed my undergraduate (B.Hons) and master degree in Department of Psychology, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. Now, I am working on my Ph.D project under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Bertjan Doosje and Dr. Disa Sauter about resilience of refugees.

Ms T.N. (Nila) Fadhlia

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

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.

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. 

Mr L. (Lukas) Snoek MSc

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Brain and Cognition

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

Maria Zwicker

I started my PhD at the University of Amsterdam in September 2018 under the supervision of Dr. Frenk van Harreveld and Dr. Hannah Nohlen. My work concerns consumer attitudes and behaviour towards climate change. In particular, the project has two aims: 1) to investigate what causes consumers to experience a sense of urgency to combat climate change and 2) how their environment as a consumer can be modified to make the translation of this sense of urgency into behaviour most likely. My PhD is part of a larger (mainly chemistry-focused) project led by Prof. Dr. Gert-Jan Gruter that is developing novel rigid bio-based plastics for large scale application.

Prior to my PhD, I graduated with a first-class Psychology Bachelor degree (BSc Hons) from the University of Stirling, UK (2016). I then proceeded to do a two-year Research Master in Social Psychology at the VU Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), from which I graduated cum laude (in August 2018). During my time at the VU, I worked on a variety of topics: I collaborated with Dr. Francesca Righetti on a project about the dynamics of close relationships, I completed a year-long research internship under Dr. Joshua Tybur using an evolutionary perspective, and I wrote my master's thesis on different threat perceptions and ideology during the European Refugee crisis under the supervision of Dr. Jan-Willem van Prooijen.

Ms M.V. (Maria) Zwicker

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group Social Psychology