I am an associate professor at the University of Twente. I graduated cum laude at the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2001 and received my PhD at the same university in 2005. I have previously worked at Leiden University, Utrecht University, and Tilburg University.
I feel it as my mission to empower individuals and society to enhance their safety for both physical threats (disasters and crises) as well as social threats (other people). In four subdomains, I focus on 1) how to facilitate sustainable behaviors with a particular emphasis on understanding the psychology of animal product consumption, 2) how to keep citizens safe from disasters and crises, 3) how to reduce harmful and financially costly deceptive behaviour, and 4) how nonverbal mimicry can foster emotional understanding and social behaviour.
Department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk, and Safety (PCRS),
University of Twente,
De Zul 10,
7522 NJ Enschede,
+31(0)53 4893 366
HELPING OTHERS DURING DISASTERS AND CRISES
Most people are willing to help others during disasters and crises. Our study showed, however, that during actual disasters and crises too much of the same type of help is offered. It appears that too many untrained citizens would like to help on the crisis location and too many goods are send to aid organizations. Governments should offer more trainings to citizens and should coordinate spontaneous helping behaviour for more efficiency in helping.
SELF-PROTECTIVE BEHAVIOURS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
We showed that immediately after the first lockdown in the Netherlands (end of March 2020), most citizens adhered to the behavioural advise to protect themselves from getting infected with Covid-19. The percentage of citizens who adhered to the behavioural advise was strongly increased compared to percentage before the lockdown (beginning of March 2020). People's self-protective actions were most strongly influenced by the extent to which the advised actions are regarded as successful in reducing the risk.
HOW TO INFORM VULNERABLE GROUPS DURING DISASTERS AND CRISES
Risk and crisis communication is often mainly focused on informing citizens who are self-reliant. Our research showed that the safety of vulnerable groups can be easily increased by adjusting and/or expanding existing communication means (offering sign language, subtitles, voice-over), by informing them more via trainings, campaigns, and evacuation practices, and by additional means such a buddy system.