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The Behavioural Science Institute (BSI) is a research institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences. It was re-accredited as a research school by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in 2012. The Institute offers a two-year Research Master's (RM) programme in Behavioural Science, taught within the BSI Graduate School. In 2010 BSI received a highly selective official recognition as a graduate school by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) .

Mission statement

The mission of the BSI is to conduct top level research on human behaviour. In addition to this fundamental aim (‘to understand behaviour') we aim at societal relevance (‘to influence behaviour'). BSI researchers investigate the nature and development of human behaviour. We study the ways in which human behaviour is influenced by (i) individual factors (cognitive, affective, motivational and psycho-physiological processes), (ii) social-contextual factors (home, school, peer group or work organisation), and (iii) the dynamic interplay between such individual and situational factors. In addition, we study the reverse associations, that is, how human behaviour influences such individual factors and the social context. We study both normative behaviour and psychopathology. We conduct laboratory experiments and field studies, large scale longitudinal studies, and randomized controlled trials. Our studies include behavioural, self-report, psycho-physiological, neuroscience, genetic, and virtual reality measurement paradigms.
BSI's research is integrated in three closely linked programs:

Interdisciplinary nature

A unique feature of BSI is its integrative approach to human behaviour that transcends the traditional disciplinary boundaries of psychology and education. Many collaborative relationships exist between its research groups. These collaborations lead to successful joint research grants, joint publications in high impact scientific journals, joint supervision of PhD-students, and strong cooperation in the training of Research Master students and PhD students. The interdisciplinary nature of BSI is also reflected in its collaboration with other research centres within and outside of Radboud University. As behavioural neuroscience offers exciting approaches to study human behaviour, we have appointed a BSI-principal investigator (Dr. Alan Sanfey) within the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging of Radboud University.

International collaboration

BSI strongly invests in international collaboration. In many MSc and PhD projects, researchers and students collaborate with internationally renowned scholars. Often BSI-GS students spend time abroad. International PhD students also visit BSI for joint research. Further, approximately 25 international workshops and colloquia are held annually. Further, BSI appoints international BSI fellows. Currently, Profs. Charles Perfetti (Pittsburgh University), Alex Todorov (Princeton University), Janet van Hell (Pennsylvania State University), Mitch Prinstein (University of North Carolina), Marcel Brass (University of Ghent), William Bukowski (Concordia University), Stefan Hofmann (Boston), Jasper Smits (Dallas), Emmanuel Kuntsche (Lausanne) and Goran Kecklund (Stockholm University) are international BSI fellows.


The ambition of the BSI is 1) to be a cohesive top-level institute in behavioural science; 2) with cooperating world leading research programs; 3) to train future generations of highly qualified researchers in behavioural science; and 4) to be an attractive workplace for its employees.

Key figures

These are some key figures on BSI: total budget in 2011 was approximately € 8 mln, with 51% direct funding, 33% funding from research grants and 17% from contract grants. In 2011 the total research staff comprised 112 fte, with approximately 28 fte tenured staff (professor, associate professor, assistant professior), 9 fte non-tenured staff (researchers, post docs), and 75 fte PhD-students. In the 2005-2010 period 1425 international journal articles were published and 118 PhD-theses were defended, whereas in the 1999-2004 time period we published 666 articles and 76 dissertations. Fourty to fifty per cent of all international refereed journal articles are in the top 25% of scientific journals.