Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Understanding the sociology and psychology of human actions

Department Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Source: http://nordiclifecore.com

Developmental Psychology

Why does norm breaking increase during adolescence? How do our brains develop during childhood? How do youngsters manage to form a stable identity? Do people become more or less agreeable as they mature?

These are some of the questions that we as developmental psychologists seek to answer, by examining every person’s unique thoughts, feelings, and behavior across the lifespan. We also seek to understand why some people manage to thrive in life and why for others, development goes awry– together, this is the study of individual differences.


Stefan Bogaerts is department chair and education director of the master Psychology and Mental Health. Also Jaap Denissen (director of the research program 'Development of individual differences: Bio-psycho-social perspectives'), Theo Klimstra, Loes Keijsers and Yvonne Brehmer are members of the daily board.


We share our expertise on the development of individual differences with our students.


Our research covers exciting and diverse topics, including:

  • Personality, identity, and motivation
  • Forensic psychology
  • Emotions and stress
  • Parenting and social relationships
  • Cognitive development and aging

For more information regarding our research activities, please visit our research page.


An important goal of conducting scientific research is to impact society in positive ways. Our Master-students, for instance, conduct a clinical internship, and we collaborate with practitioners in various settings (e.g., forensic psychiatric care). We also share our expertise with others, including children and their families, policy makers and community institutions, for example:


Our department consists of a vibrant group of researchers interested in understanding the emergence and existence of individual differences in development.