Leiden Psychology Blog


Category: Social and Organisational Psychology

  • Raise the age limits for junk food advertising

    Raise the age limits for junk food advertising

    How come some people find it easy not to give that fast food joint a second glance, while others find their mouth watering as soon as they see it? And do children find it even harder to resist such temptations? Maybe the answers lie in our brain?
  • When doing the right thing is… annoying

    When doing the right thing is… annoying

    Michael Jackson already sang it: If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change. But do be warned: people don’t always find morally motivated ‘do-gooders’ inspiring, but rather annoying!
  • Discovering your talents

    Discovering your talents

    Do you feel you are a talented and successful person? Could you name your five greatest talents, if asked? Most people find this quite difficult. Find out whether talent is a prerequisite for success, and read about six ways to discover your talents.
  • Where blame begins…

    Where blame begins…

    Whether somebody is to blame for another person’s suffering is a question that is not always easy to answer. Psychologist Gert-Jan Lelieveld examines the origins of blame.
  • Why multiculturalism may be good for your health

    Why multiculturalism may be good for your health

    In both politics and society, multiculturalism seems to be becoming less and less popular. However, research from our lab shows that a multicultural orientation reduces the stress of inter-group encounters, also for members of ethnic-majority groups.
  • Passion for work: pleasure or pressure?

    Passion for work: pleasure or pressure?

    As a society, we place huge importance on finding our passion: a Google search reveals over 28 million hits, and TV series that focus on work passion have never been more popular. But is being passionate about work always a good thing?
  • How to set prejudice aside when watching a debate

    How to set prejudice aside when watching a debate

    The last few weeks have seen the long-anticipated debates between the Democrats’ presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Republican Donald Trump. The debates were very fierce and both candidates availed of every opportunity to make personal attacks.
  • International women’s day? Really?

    International women’s day? Really?

    “Why do we have an international women’s day? We don’t have a men’s day!” or “Every day is women’s day” are frequently heard questions and comments about March 8th – International Women’s Day. Are these concerns valid?
  • A little note about nepotism

    A little note about nepotism

    After 3 years in a non-tenure-track position at his local university, the internationally qualified Budi was passed over for a tenure-track position in favor of the Rector’s young and inexperienced relatives. Nepotism in action…
  • Discussing alcohol: To speak or not to speak?

    Discussing alcohol: To speak or not to speak?

    Say you’re asked to improve public health by designing an intervention that stimulates interpersonal communication, based on the idea that discussing unhealthy behaviors stimulates people to behave in a more healthy way. Would it work and why (or why not)?
  • New World Stereotyping

    New World Stereotyping

    Recent events in America highlight the continued plague of racism on society. Here, I describe the nature of stereotypes in other parts of the New World with a legacy of slavery and suggest that such stereotypes have an impact on racism.
  • On sabbatical

    On sabbatical

    “Enjoying your vacation?”, my friends and relations ask me, knowing I’m ‘on sabbatical’. At home the word sabbatical triggers a knowing grin; I’m working as much as ever. But my stress levels are lower, and I come back from work happy each day.
  • Flexible working

    Flexible working

    New ways of working are characterized by flexible employment, rotating projects, and virtual teams. A flexible workforce may help companies adapt to change. However, employee insecurity prevents employees from performing to the best of their abilities.
  • Living with gender dysphoria

    Living with gender dysphoria

    You may have heard the phrase ‘born in a wrong body’. However, for anyone who isn’t transsexual, it is very difficult to imagine what that feels like and how it affects our daily lives. Where does the feeling, gender dysphoria come from in the first place?
  • In Practice

    In Practice

    Science should generate knowledge that can be used to address real-life problems. That’s what taxpayers believe, it’s what many scientist endorse, and it’s the thinking underlying the development of the new Dutch Science Agenda. So how do we go about it?
  • Equal Opportunities

    Equal Opportunities

    At every step along their academic career development, more women than men fall by the wayside. The situation is not much different in other countries or in the business sector. Why?
  • The Psychology of Putin

    The Psychology of Putin

    Whether in politics or in daily life, we all encounter conflicts: between colleagues, relations, or neighbours. Often these seems to stem from conflicting interests or the allocation of scarce resources.
  • Pay it forward!

    Pay it forward!

    Receiving help makes people feel dependent and inadequate. But recent research reveals a remedy: paying help forward. Read on to see how this works.
  • Resolutions


    When it comes to resolutions, people can be extremely hard on themselves. We firmly resolve ‘I must never gain weight again', or tell ourselves 'I am a bad person to spend that much money'. But is that really the best way to change?
  • The role of honor in intercultural conflicts

    The role of honor in intercultural conflicts

    As the world is changing into a place where people with different cultures live together, it is becoming increasingly important to understand cultural differences. Can social psychology inform us on how to prevent conflicts based on such differences?
  • Leave your laptop at home!

    Leave your laptop at home!

    In this digital age of iPad schools, Facebook communities and trending topics, students more and more use their laptops to take notes during lectures. Recent research has shown that this has a bad influence on their knowledge acquisition.
  • It’s rational not to vote

    It’s rational not to vote

    The turnout for the recent Dutch municipal council elections was very low. From a rational perspective this is not surprising. The chance of casting the pivotal vote is minuscule, so why vote?
  • How we vote

    How we vote

    Although we like to think that our vote is solely the outcome of rational deliberation, research demonstrates the various influences on our political preferences. Even the language that is used might impact our ideological leanings.
  • Thanksgiving: who feels most grateful?

    Thanksgiving: who feels most grateful?

    Last week was Thanksgiving – a day to reflect on things we are grateful for. People who dwell on past experiences are generally less happy in life than people who are able to detach themselves. How would ‘detachers’ and ‘dwellers’ feel after Thanksgiving?
  • Compassion and when to feel it

    Compassion and when to feel it

    People can feel compassion when they see somebody in physical or psychological pain. Not every observed suffering, however, leads to feelings of compassion. What exactly is compassion, and can we predict under which circumstances we experience it?
  • Should Obama express anger or disappointment?

    Should Obama express anger or disappointment?

    President Obama’s plan to expand background checks on gun buyers was rejected last month by the Senate. Should Obama have communicated anger, or disappointment to influence Republicans’ voting behavior? Some insights derived from negotiation research.
  • About polite Moroccans and rude Dutch

    About polite Moroccans and rude Dutch

    You may think that honor and aggression are closely linked. In this contribution I will paint a more nuanced picture, and show that honor is also linked to politeness and constructive conflict management.
  • Women in high places

    Women in high places

    Having more women in top positions does not as a matter of fact improve career opportunities for other women. On the contrary, successful women who display 'modern sexism' to cope with a masculine work environment can undermine the ambitions of other women
  • Perceptions of pseudovoice

    Perceptions of pseudovoice

    Since last week citizens in the Netherlands can start a referendum on any issue that matters to them. However, the outcome can easily be ignored by the government. This is an example of ‘pseudovoice’, and therefore mostly ineffective.
  • Carnival


    Carnival: three days for everybody to go crazy in large groups and silly costumes and indulge, before Lent starts. What are the effects of dressing up and gathering in large groups? This is where social psychology comes in.
  • How to be successful?

    How to be successful?

    How can we become more successful? How can we achieve more in our jobs? And how do we become more efficient in our daily lives? These are central questions, especially in professional life. But what is success?