Mariëlle Stel is an associate professor at the University of Twente. She graduated cum laude at the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2001 and received her PhD at the same university in 2005. She has previously worked  at Leiden University, Utrecht University, and Tilburg University.


Her research focuses on resilient (non)verbal communication. Within this field, she focuses on how people decide to deceive, how people’s skills can be improved to detect deception, how nonverbal mimicry can foster emotional understanding, and how citizens should be alarmed and informed to keep them safe during disasters and crises.


Contact information:



Department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk, and Safety (PCRS),

University of Twente,
De Zul 10,
7522 NJ Enschede,

The Netherlands


Telephone nr: 

+31(0)53 4893 366












People’s eating behaviors tend to be influenced by the behaviors of others. Together with Guido van Koningsbruggen, she investigated the effect of another person’s eating behavior and body weight appearance on healthy food consumption of young women. Results showed that people mimic the amount of food consumed by another person. This effect was stronger when the other person was underweight than overweight.



In a research project in collaboration with Eric van Dijk, she investigated people's abilities to detect deception from emotional expressions. Results showed that people can accurately distinguish between true and false negative expressive faces when estimating experienced emotions, but are unable to tell from positive facial expressions whether the person truly experiences these positive emotions.



People’s perceptions are often distorted in a way that aligns with their desires and goals. In a research project together with Guido van Koningsbruggen, she investigated effects of affiliation goals on perceptions of distance to other people. Results showed that the distance towards another person was estimated as smaller when people had a goal to affiliate.