I am a social psychologists. My research includes three topics: disgust and prejudice, political violence, and precautions. See below for more details.
My approach to research is evolutionary psychology. That is, I assume that the mind includes mechanisms that have been designed by natural selection to serve survival and reproduction. Biologically-informed conjectures about what our psychological mechanisms are designed to do, serve as a guide for discovering how the mind works.
I use quantitative research methods. I mostly use experiments (for example memory and reasoning tasks) and analysis of survey data.
Disgust and prejudice
People have motivations to avoid infection with pathogens and disgust plays a key role in such avoidance behavior. Does disgust influence broader social phenomena, such as outgroup prejudice and conformity?
Psychological factors underlying political violence
Political violence is a disruptive phenomenon and most explanations of it make assumptions about psychological processes. Together with Michael Bang Petersen and Henrikas Bartusevičius, we researched how political violence relates to psychological factors, such as status-seeking and inequality.
Beliefs and precautions
I work on the project “Understanding vaccination hesitancy” funded by the Herbert Simon Research Institute (with Mitchell Matthijssen, Mariëlle Cloin, Ien van de Goor, and Peter Achterberg). We research how people make decisions about vaccinations with the aim of helping people make better decisions about taking precautions.
I have substantial experience with interdisciplinary research. Over the last decade, I have worked together with anthropologists, political scientists, and sociologists. Together we can do better science.