Our research in this field

“Human behaviour is one big puzzle. We have ideas about why we do what we do but it continually turns out that we have less control over our actions. A lot happens in the subconscious of people. That’s what makes this field so exciting and challenging. Discovering what influences people to do what they do." 

Rob Holland Associate Professor Social and Cultural Psychology

Research themes

This programme closely cooperates with the Behavioural Science Institute (BSI). A distinctive feature of the BSI is an integrative approach that transcends the traditional disciplinary boundaries of psychology, education science and communication science. Researchers within BSI work on the themes:

  1. Development & Learning
  2. Psychopathology, Health and Well-Being
  3. Social Processes and Communication

Examples of Major Projects in the field of Behavioural Science

  • Teacher differential behaviours toward boys and girls in science classes
  • The role of maternal pregnancy stress and other general children’s health issues
  • The recovery potential of within-workday break activities
  • The effectiveness of an intervention promoting water consumption via children’s social networks
  • The effectiveness of video games to reduce anxiety in children using a randomised controlled trail
  • The role of experience on clinical diagnostic decision-making
  • Exploring the underlying cognitive mechanisms to learn more about the ability to learn to categorise new face groups


Full use of facilities

The Behavioural Science Institute has excellent research facilities which a Master’s student of Behavioural Science is free to use. The facilities include:

  • SportLab, equipped with a professional treadmill, widescreen television, digital video cameras, sleep-managers and heart rate monitors
  • Virtual Reality Lab to create immersive, three-dimensional computer generated environments in which participants can move around freely
  • Mobile lab, used to accommodate different experimental setups outside the university
  • Physiological Measurements Laboratory for measuring the neurocognitive and biochemical mechanisms involved in behaviour
  • Eye-tracking equipment
  • Stabilometric platform that allow for research on automatic freeze behaviour and approach-avoidance responses to stimuli
  • Observational laboratory with several child-proof rooms that have one-way screens and multiple cameras
  • Computer laboratory consists of identical cubicles, each with a PC and software designed for computerised experiments
  • Bar Lab, with unobtrusive cameras, recording devices, and a professional beer tap, for observation studies of social behaviour in a natural setting